Randy Shipp

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 189

Historical fiction buffs may find ["A Roaring in the Wind"] somewhat of a disappointment. Taylor's description of life in frontier gold rush towns is lively and entertaining, but his plot and character development leave something to be desired….

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Looking for adventure, a young man … finds himself a part of the rough mining towns of preterritorial Montana. His description of the people and places he encounters reads like a cross between the rollicking humor of Mark Twain's "Roughing It" and the poignancy of Bret Harte's short stories.

The novel's authenticity is enhanced by the quotes from diaries and newspaper accounts of events of the era. In this respect, it is similar to Taylor's Pulitzer Prize winning "The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters." Unfortunately, though, the character and plot development of "A Roaring in the Wind" aren't nearly as strong. The result is pages and pages of local color through which shadowy characters wander, following a tenuous plot line.

Randy Shipp, "Taylor's New Novel Set in Frontier Mining Towns," in The Christian Science Monitor (reprinted by permission from The Christian Science Monitor; © 1978 The Christian Science Publishing Society; all rights reserved), March 1, 1978, p. 26.

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