The man, the myth, the one-eyed legend: a frontier epic for fans of Ron Rash and Cormac McCarthy.
In 1876, the fabled lawman Strother Purcell disappears into a winter storm in the mountains of British Columbia, while hunting down his outlawed half-brother. Sixteen years later, the wreck of Purcell resurfaces – derelict, homeless and one-eyed – in a San Francisco jail cell. And a failed journalist named Barrington Weaver conceives a grand redemptive plan. He will write Purcell's true-life story. All it requires is a final act…
What unfolds is an archetypal saga of obsession, lost love, treachery, and revenge, told in Ian Weir's trademark funny, fast, wickedly intelligent style. A deadpan revisionist Western, refracted through a Southern Gothic revenge tragedy, The Death and Life of Strother Purcell is a novel about two cursed brothers, a pair of eldritch orphans, the vexed nature of truth, and the yearnings of that treacherous s*********h the human heart.
The third novel from playwright and screenwriter Weir (Will Starling) is a remarkable, sprawling epic about myth, memory, and what may or may not be the truth in the making of legends. The tale begins in 1876, in the snowy mountains of British Columbia, where famed lawman Strother Purcell is last seen riding off into a blizzard, in pursuit of his outlaw brother, Lige. Sixteen years later, Barrington Weaver, a desperate writer of little renown, stumbles upon what might be the story of the century: Strother Purcell is alive in San Francisco broken and ruined, but alive. As pieces of the story come together, readers discover the terrible reckonings wrought by the brothers' feud, leaving any notion of righteousness and heroism lying in the dust. Purcell's obsession with justice and revenge destroys the towering lawman, and even in the twilight of his days, one-eyed and crumpled, he is obliged to exact retribution owed, "down to the last copper penny." This is an outstanding novel, alternately tragic and funny, grim and joyous, about spilled blood, shattered lives, and the redemptive power of both the smallest good deed and the grand selfless act.