Friday, July 24, 2015

Reader's Diary #1178- Gil Adamson: The Outlander

I'd heard enough praise of Gil Adamson's "gripping" Outlander to be quite excited to finally read this book. And at the beginning, I really was enjoying it. The premise was good; it's the wild West of Canada circa early 1900s and Mary Boulton is on the run. She's just killed her husband and her twin brothers-in-law are hunting her down. Certainly it had potential to be as gripping as everyone claimed and Mary was surely going to be the compelling character everyone made her out to be.

But, as you've already guessed based on my tone, I was let down. Bored, even. There are so many good starts to stories but they just drop, sometimes being picked up again later, sometimes not, and I thought it all resulted in a rather tedious mess.

Mary Boulton, the Widow, is shown early on to have hallucinations. This could complicate matters! Not really. Then there's a love affair with a wild mountaineer, a short time with a Native hunter, then she winds up in the ill-fated mining town of Frank, Alberta. Occasionally the twins pop up but not nearly often enough to remind this bored reader that Mary was actually on the run. I get that it was Mary's story, not the twins', but the book needed more streamlined peril to keep me awake. Otherwise the book felt like just a bunch of stuff that happened.

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