A.B. Guthrie Jr.

Arfive is billed as a "saga" and an "American epic."While it is an enjoyable read there is so much more that could have been added to it to make it so.Once again I enjoyed the landscapes Guthrie painted with his words, seeing the Montana seasons pass, feeling the heat and the cold.This is one of my favorite aspects of his writing.The characters of the story are definitely interesting and all the traditional western characters are included:sheriff, deputy, madaam, saloon owner/keeper, store keeper, principal of the school, school teacher, the town father, the rich man, Indians, and all of their families.As the story unfolded the reader is given just enough to know how some arrived in Arfive, why they remained, and why some left. However, I found myself thinking so much more could have been told about the key characters and if the stories had been more fully developed it would indeed have been an epic along the lines of "The Thornbirds."If I read the history correctly the author was in his late 80s, maybe early 90s when he wrote this final book and given the late date of its recording it was a satisfactory read.

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