The Great Wild West: An American Journey

Jeff Apppelquist
Beavers Pond Press (2013)
ISBN 9781592989935
Reviewed by William Phenn for Reader Views (10/13)


I think “The Great Wild West: An American Journey” by Jeff Appelquist is a great value for the money. It will keep you entertained for days and days and even though your attention span may wander at times (because of its 508 pages), it will most assuredly bring you right back to it!

The Wild West just happens to be a young man named Jedediah (Jed) Magnus West who is a child of the Korean War era. The 1950s and 60s were pleasant times and simpler times before computers and cell phones and that’s one of the enticing pleasures of this book. The way the author puts the reader into that time period, he manages to bring you back to that nostalgic era with a certain seductive style. Mr. Appelquist manages to introduce you to Jed’s family and friends in a very entertaining way as well. Bringing you into their private lives, the author gives you an insight into all the others that touch Jed’s life in one way or another.

Jed’s story begins to take shape as he grows to manhood, from his school-boy days to his Marine career and all the trials and tribulations that were instrumental in molding him into the husband and family man that he became. Nothing is taboo in this exciting novel, the family has some perplexing problems to deal with and manage to work out the many things that concern most of us.

I thought this novel was an interesting read and I enjoyed it for the most part. It was a bit much at times but as in any great read, you will have your passionate moments and the doldrums. A good author knows how to mix the two to make the reader want to get to the next page, to see what is around that proverbial corner. Mr. Appelquist happens to do just that in a way that brings the reader to a climax. He slowly builds the interest to the point you are compelled to keep reading to find out what happens next. I gave it a B on my rating scale because in my opinion it could have been a bit shorter but that is just my view. “The Great Wild West: An American Journey” by Jeff Appelquist is a well written book for an adult audience and I wholeheartedly recommend it to all. 

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