Fair Land, Fair Land

by A. B. Guthrie Jr.

Hardcover, 1995

Call number




Houghton Mifflin, 272 pages


A novel of the early-day West in the period between 1845 and 1870 in which Dick Summers, a conservationist, seeks retribution from his former countryman Boone Caudill and companionship with Teal Eye.

User reviews

LibraryThing member dougwood57
In Fair Land, Fair Land, A.B. Guthrie wrapped up the Old West part of his 6 novel series of the West. Guthrie had originally skipped over the period from 1845 to 1870. He was later convinced in 1982 to go back and finish the tale of Dick Summers.

Guthrie places Summers in an extended autumn both of
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his own life and that of the old Indian way of life.

But the idyll does come to an end. The game gradually gets harder and harder to find, whites intrude more closely, and finally the soldiers come to establish a fort. The book ends with the Marias River Massacre.

There's no way to make of this era a happy story and Guthrie doesn't try. A fine ending to the Dick Summers trilogy.
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LibraryThing member HaroldTitus
I've read all of A. B. Guthrie Jr.'s weatern series and enjoyed them all. "Fair Land, Fair Land" is not quite up to the quality of "The Big Sky" and "The Way West" but it is a must read for anyone that has read these earlier novels. Dick Summers is one of the most engaging characters I have come
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across. Verbally succinct, decisive in action, Summers adheres to a moral code that makes him an exceptional human being in a harsh, frequently cruel environment.

This book had to be written for two reasons. One, readers of Guthrie's first two novels wanted to learn of the fates of Boone Caudill, Summers's dark-hearted protege in "The Big Sky," and Teal Eye, Caudill's abandoned squaw. Two, the novel fills a gap in the timeline of Guthrie's series of Western novels. It narrates skillfully the end of the mountain man era and the ascendency of frontier army control over the Rocky Mountain Indian population.

Prepare to be emotionally moved.
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LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
Fair Land, Fair Land by A. B. Guthrie is the third book in the series that he wrote about the American West. He started with The Big Sky, a story about mountain men, then moved on to The Way West detailing how pioneers followed the Oregon Trail settling and developing the region. This third book he
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called a finishing touch as he wanted closure for the characters of the first two books.

In Fair Land, Fair Land we once again meet Dick Summers, originally a mountain man who became a guide on the Oregon Trail. Now as he looks around, he can see and feel the end of his free way of life. More and more white people are settling, building farms and towns and changing the land. He and his friend Higgins decide to strike out and live a free life while they can. Along the way he meets and takes as his companion, Teal Eye, a young Blackfoot woman who he knew in the past. The book is leading us to his confrontation with Boone Caudill, a previous partner who owes Dick Summer an explanation for his behaviour that ended with the death of a good friend to both men.

This was my first read of Fair Land, Fair Land although I have long been a fan of A. B. Guthrie and have read most of his other books more than once. The author was well known in Montana as a conservationist and was strongly in favor of wolves being returned to Yellowstone Park. In this book he shows some of this by having Dick Summers becoming aware and pondering upon the end of the buffalo, the treatment of the Indians, and the eventual spoiling of the land by over development. This was a historically accurate portrayal but is also a moving and engrossing story.
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