1863, New Mexico Territory Shot full of holes and on the run from the relentless pursuit of his one time friend now intent on retribution, Confederate deserter Everett Root finds himself navigating the brutal desert headed to the town of Mesilla, where he believes salvation lies But when Everett stumbles on a cache of silver, and a young girl who s lost everything, he is1863, New Mexico Territory Shot full of holes and on the run from the relentless pursuit of his one time friend now intent on retribution, Confederate deserter Everett Root finds himself navigating the brutal desert headed to the town of Mesilla, where he believes salvation lies But when Everett stumbles on a cache of silver, and a young girl who s lost everything, he is forced to take stock of his past and his future Full of sprawling landscapes and wild gunmen, Mesilla is a story of one man s resolve to rectify the wrongs he has committed and make peace with his place in the world.Advance praise A shotgun marriage between classic and revisionist Western, Mesillasings a hard bitten practicality and brutal authenticity Emily Schultz, author of The Blondes In a mounting gush of sumptuous prose, Robert James Russell s Mesilla scrubs bare the elements of the classic Western the wounded, questing hero, the damsel in distress, the phantasmal villain in hot pursuit and reinvents them as existential meditation Matthew Gavin Frank, author of Preparing the GhostThe Mad Feast Robert James Russel s Mesillareads like young James Lee Burke action so sharp readers might as well pull their fingers from the page looking for blood A fine story of revenge in the old west, salvation hoped for, but not easily achieved Urban Waite, author of The Terror of Living and Sometimes the Wolf If Albert Camus had written westerns, they might have sounded something like Robert James Russel s Mesilla Tough as rawhide, coiled like a diamond back, and spare as the New Mexico desert, this taut novel is as loaded as the Dance revolver its wounded hero wields Russell is a writer on the rise, with a voice and vision sure to entrance every reader who lays eyes on this book I m already pinning away for his next one Peter Geye, author of The Lighthouse Road
Mesilla New Mexico Territory Shot full of holes and on the run from the relentless pursuit of his one time friend now intent on retribution Confederate deserter Everett Root finds himself navigating th
Read 1/4/16 - 1/8/165 Stars - Highly Recommended / The Next Best BookPage: 113Publisher: Dock Street PressReleased: September 2015Confession: I've had this book downloaded to my Kindle for quite some time and for reasons that are not completely clear to me, I left it sitting in the good ole TBR pile. After seeing The Hateful Eight a few weeks ago, I suddenly had this overwhelming urge to read a gritty western that wasn't too concerned with the fact that it was a Western and turns out, Robert Jam [...]
Rob's published my work in the past, so it's unlikely that I'll be reviewing this for any publications, which was my intention. But this book does a lot of good with the Western genre. The book takes tropes (the solitary, conflicted hero, a woman in distress, loss, destinations, a pursuing villain) and acknowledges their potential for cliche, but also their potential for new stories. There's a lot gotten out of the terse dialogue, and the descriptions are consistently beautiful. Perhaps I'll wri [...]
Tight little western that you can knock out in a single sitting or a weekend. All the classic elements of the western are there, filtered through Russell's honed literary voice. Treasure and riches? Check. Grizzled gunslingers? Check. A stark landscape for the villain to chase the hero across? Check. Thoroughly enjoyed this novella.
MESILLA is a Western. It says so right on the cover. It makes no apologies for being a Western but doesn’t make a show of it, either. By this, I mean that it isn’t “celebrating the genre” by self-consciously evoking classic tropes and referencing every John Wayne movie. Rather, MESILLA gives us a story and that story happens to be a Western.The plot of this 113 page novella is, in fact, fairly simple. It’s 1863, and Confederate deserter Everett Root traverses a desert in New Mexico Ter [...]
It is clear to me that I am becoming more and more of a fan of Robert James Russell. His novellas are wonderfully written and spark so much intrigue. Russell takes your typical western backdrop and turns in into something more. His poetic pens flows and delivers us a rugged gunslinger, woman in distress, and hostile Indians. This book is a fast read and packed full of adventure. The backdrop of this book is set in a rough world and you root for our main hero as he races against his opponent. Thi [...]
I'm generally not drawn to Westerns for no real reason really. But Robert's novella was a short, sweet, and impactful entry into the genre for me. Awesome to read and support someone has been so supportive of my own work along the way. Plus, mine has an original drawing of an ostrich inside. Does yours?
I picked up this book mostly due to the title. Mesilla is a town very close to where I live, and reading this book, I was able to imagine the landscape. Although, I had a hard time figuring out in what direction the main characters were traveling, but I recognized all the named landmarks. Definitely a western in the vein of Larry McMurty and Lonesome Dove.
This book is bold in its simplicity. The entire story follows one character as he struggles through one event with a sense of ever present dread that never lets you or him forget that it's coming. It's fun and immersive. Russell also deftly handles patois and character details that suck you into the environment naturally, without trying to push you overboard.
This is a very bland story. Things happen. Westerny words are used. Wafer-thin characters exist as stereotypes exhausted in Clint Eastwood films of yesteryear. Murky flashbacks muck about the main character's mind to break up the mostly insipid descriptions of the landscape. On occasion, the author writes something interesting, but mostly he doesn't. The grammar works. That's about it.
Simple short western that evoked memories of a real place in an imagined time. This is my country and people
Fucking gripping.More - changeyourlifethiswill
A great short novel that will totally captivate you. I am so glad I won this as a giveaway on . It is a quick read but worthwhile nonetheless. I thoroughly loved the authors abrupt style.
Excellent Western with a man on the run from an unrelenting enemy done almost in the style of Carpenter's "Halloween". Great tension throughout. Hoping for a follow-up!
Excellent western novel. Unflinching and relentless. A panoramic view of the southwest, and a slow (painful) revealing of one man's heart.