Do you have to be an historical fiction aficionado to enjoy Bluster’s Last Stand? NOPE. Do you have to enjoy tall tales of the “Old West” to find this story engaging? NOPE. Did I find this book particularly fun to read? Hell yeah!!!! Why? CHARACTERS!!!!
Bluster’s Last Stand – The Story
The story follows H.H. Lomax from hunting buffalo, to working at a high class brothel in Waco, Texas, to prospecting for gold in the Black Hills, and ultimately to the Little Bighorn with General George Armstrong Custer. We all know what happened there, right? But do we really know why it happened? This author, Preston Lewis, provides us with a very interesting ~ and highly entertaining ~ perspective of the events that could have led up to the massacre at the Little Bighorn.
H.H. Lomax had an uncanny way of being in the wrong place at the wrong time (or the right place at the right time, depending on your perspective). But as interesting as his exploits were, the real genius in this story is the characters.
H.H. Lomax has quickly become one of my very favorite characters! On the one hand, he tries to be a rough and tough cowboy, but on the other hand, he can’t shoot worth a darn. His nickname was Leadeye Lomax, because he wasted so much ammunition trying to hit whatever he was aiming at. But for all of his roughness, his heart seemed to be in the right place.
In traversing his exploits in Bluster’s Last Stand, H.H. Lomax comes into contact with a wide range of delightful characters. Generally, they’re either easy to love or easy to hate. I was particularly intrigued by the emergence of two nineteenth century nerds. When you think about the people living in 1875 America, you probably don’t conjure up any nerds. But they were there!
Throw in a freed slave that could play the fiddle as well as he could play the violin (read the story to find the humor), a number of good-hearted women who are just trying to make a living, a wife-beating, money-skimming creep, a regiment of soldiers who loathe their leader, and a side of an American “hero” you probably never saw before, and you have the ingredients for a delightful story.
I take my hat off to Preston Lewis for providing us with a plethora of wonderful characters!
I had no real issues with the technical merits of this book. There were very few SPAG errors, and since my edition was an advance copy, they could well have been fixed in the final version.
At first I thought the story moved along a kind of slow, but then I came to appreciate the slow pace as part of the charm. In the settings where the story takes place, most things were done at a slow place. It worked for me.
The character arcs were amazing! I loved the way the author wove the story around actual celebrities of the day, such as Wild Bill and Annie Oakley. You can only get that type of interaction in historical fiction.
Most times it would be very hard to sum up an entire story into one word, but not this time: CIAHA!
To find out what Ciaha means, as well as how H.H. Lomax related to folks like Wild Bell, Crazy Horse, Annie Oakley, and especially General Custer, you’ll just have to read the book! I highly recommend it!