The Winter Family
A Globe & Mail Top 100 Book of 2015 Longlisted for The 2015 Giller Prize
A Finalist for the Governor General's Literary Prize
"Sadistic but mesmerizing..." -- The New York Times Book Review
Tracing a group of ruthless outlaws from its genesis during the American Civil War all the way to a final bloody stand in the Oklahoma territories, The Winter Family is a hyperkinetic Western noir that reads like a full-on assault to the senses.
Spanning the better part of three decades, The Winter Family traverses America's harsh, untamed terrain, both serving and opposing the fierce advance of civilization. Among its twisted specimens, the Winter Family includes the psychopathic killer Quentin Ross, the mean and moronic Empire brothers, the impassive ex-slave Fred Johnson, and the dangerous child prodigy Lukas Shakespeare But at the malevolent center of this ultraviolent storm is their cold, hardened leader, Augustus Winter—a man with an almost pathological resistance to the rules of society and a preternatural gift for butchery.
From their service as political thugs in a brutal Chicago election to their work as bounty hunters in the deserts of Arizona, there's a hypnotic logic to Winter's grim borderland morality that plays out, time and again, in ruthless carnage.
With its haunting, hard-edged style, The Winter Family is a feverishly paced meditation on human nature and the dark contradictions of progress.
“The world’s a hard fucking place…A little hard to get by with just please.”
Reading this book was like being the middle of a high action Western! Horrible things happened and I loved it. The blurb pretty much covers it all, so I’ll just stick with telling how much I enjoyed this book.
I loved the message in this story. I loved the way it covered 30 years and showed us how much changed and how much stayed the same. It was exceedingly clever. I couldn’t put it down. Who doesn’t want to follow a “family” of outlaws and see what they get into? In Western Chicago, no less? The corruption of the city during those decades alone made this book fascinating. And none of these boys are right in the head. This creates sick, twisted, and intense moments throughout the book.
“I got news for you. The war was civilization. That was it! You ain’t fighting civilization, Winter! There’s no civilization out here for you to fight. But it’s coming. And it’s a whole lot bigger and meaner than you, friend. And it’s not going to have no use for you when it gets here.”
4.5 stars! Cheers to the Winter Family and all of their darkness! Nothing by whiskey for these boys!