A compelling and stunning portrayal of life during and after the American Civil War, No Good Like It Is is an epic tale of the adventures and misadventures of two soldiers who rode with Terry’s Texas Rangers. From the moment they met and everything that came after, West Point grad Second Lieutenant Dobey Walls and veteran Corporal Jimmy Melton always had the same sense of justice. After their years of battle, from the first and final charges of the Army of Tennessee, riding with Nathan Bedford Forrest, and playing a curious role in the Fort Pillow Massacre, it only made sense that they’d stick together.
Jimmy has Dobey’s back when their commander releases them to search for Dobey’s long lost family. On their way to the Panhandle where they think his family might be, the two come across destitute farmers, love-starved widows, murderous Home Guards, bootleggers, freed slaves, and a few Confederate Cherokees. Their pace slows to a mule’s when they save a woman and her daughter from Yankee deserters who’ve stolen a large Union payroll, and the killings put detectives and a renegade lawman on their trail. (Taken from the back of the book)
I started posting what’s on the back of the book when I wasn’t quite sure how to explain it. I’ve come to depend on it though because it usually portrays an overall idea of what the book is about rather than just what I personally took from it. Also, it’s usually written in a more charming manner than I myself would use. This book seems to be an exception for me, however. I did post it simply because it tells much more about the book than I plan to, but I can give you the synopsis in a few words. Two soldiers become best friends and have all sorts of adventures.
In the beginning, I felt like I was transported back to my teenage days, being forced to watch a western movie with my dad. I love you, Dad, but that was never my idea of a good time. Back then what I saw was a bunch of dirty old men riding around on dirty old horses shooting dirty old guns and looking for dirty old saloon girls. My tastes have somewhat matured since then and that wasn’t what I found at all. We have dirty old men, who are actually in their 20’s and quite handsome. We have dirty old horses, but thankfully they usually get shot or stolen (Sorry, horsey girls! I’m not one of you! They terrify me!). We have dirty old guns that are blazing at the rebels and the feds and all sorts of people. Those dirty old guns sure do cause a lot of action! As for those dirty old saloon girls, well they’ve switched to straight up whores in the whorehouses and what fun they are! This was like a ride down memory lane for me, but much more fun this time around!
I loved this book! I can’t lie to you and say it’s a quick and easy read. It doesn’t grab you and take you on a thrill ride. It doesn’t make you cry. There’s no mystery to be figured out at the end. What you find is an honest to history story about two comrades who happen to be soldiers. No, that isn’t their duty, that’s who they are. We get to ride along with them as they battle a multitude of enemies and mourn with them over lost friends. Best of all for me was that there was such a wonderfully infused sense of humor. Comments such as ‘ He vas dead when we left there. I doubt he got much better.’ kept me giggling sporadically throughout the action.
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