Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Review: Track of the Cat

As I've spent the last few years working my way through a lot of horror novels, I've had to start branching out of the strait horror genre and into crossover books. Sometimes these work well, other times the author has some trouble. Last week I read the 1949 western novel The Track of the Cat, by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, and I've got to say it was pretty effective.

The story follows a trio of brothers living on a ranch in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California in the year 1900 - an early snow storm has hit the region and their herd of cattle has been attacked by what appears to be a large black mountain cat. Two of the brothers head out into the storm to catch it and one ends up dead.

The meat of the novel follows the other brother, alone and lost in the blizzard, tracking this cat which he may or may not be seeing as the environment starts to drive him more than a little crazy. The novel is really at it's best as it describes how quickly you can become lost in the mountains and how easy it is to start to fall apart, even for a mountain man like our protagonist, Curt.

The other section of the novel focuses on the family back at the ranch, and although it is interesting, it definitely pales in comparison to the cat and mouse game going on between Curt and The Cat.

No comments:

Post a Comment