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The year is 1898 and Matthew Dubchek (aka, Mattthew Chumms, aka, The Ringo Kid) comes drifting into Twenty-Mile, Wyoming (so called because it's twenty miles from some place twenty miles away). Eighteen year old Matthew, all of whose ideas about life come from the Ringo Kid series of books, has just lost his parents & has come to town looking for work, which is scarce because the town is nearly deserted and the few remaining townsfolk serve only to take care of periodic visits from workers at the local mine. But Matthew is a natural con man & soon talks his way into a half dozen part-time
jobs & takes over the abandoned Town Marshall's quarters.

Meanwhile, Hamilton Adams Leider has escaped from prison with two psychotic henchman & he too is headed to Twenty-Mile where he plans to rob the next silver shipment from the mine to fund his American Freedom Militia. Seems Leider has been captivated by the lunatic writings of a man known as The Warrior, whose magnum opus The Revelation of Forbidden Truth reveals the fact that immigrants are being dumped into America by the International Conspiracy. Leider plans to take up The Warriors cause and lead an army against these "scum of the Earth."

This is Trevanian's first book in 15 years and it's a shame he's been inactive. He's taken the standard elements of the Western given them a vigorous shake & added an ironic modernist twist (the local stable is run by two gay men, one black, one white & the town's three whores are a black, a
white & an Asian) to produce an idiosyncratic Western for the '90's.


Grade: (B+)


See also:

Trevanian (2 books reviewed)
Trevanian Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Trvanian
    -OBIT: Rodney Whitaker, a.k.a. Trevanian, 74; Author Wrote ‘Eiger Sanction’ (MYRNA OLIVER, DEC. 19, 2005, LA Times)

Book-related and General Links:
    -FIRST CHAPTER: Incident at Twenty-Mile
    -Trevanian (Stop You're Killing Me)
    -PROFILE : I want to be alone : J.D. Salinger isn't the only reclusive writer in America  (JEFF BAKER, August 29, 1999, The Oregonian)
    -PROFILE : Outspoken Opinions :  A.K.A. Trevanian (David J. Schow ,
    -Who is Trevanian ? (Dirda on Books ­ Transcript, Michael Dirda, Washington Post, September 29, 1999)
    -REVIEW : of Incident at Twenty-Mile (Tom Walker, Denver Post)

    -FILMOGRAPHY : Trevanian (
    -REVIEW : of The Eiger Sanction (BBC Online)

    -The American West
    -The West and the Frontier in American Culture (from ALA)
    -Westweb: Western History Resources

If you liked Incident at Twenty-Mile, try:

Abbey, Edward
    -The Brave Cowboy

Ambrose, Stephen E.
    -Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West

Berger, Thomas
    -Little Big Man

Connell, Evan S.
    -Son of the Morning Star

Grey, Zane
    -Riders of the Purple Sage      (read Orrin's review)

Horgan, Paul
    -A Distant Trumpet

MacLean, Alistair
    -Breakheart Pass

Matthews, Greg
    -Power in the Blood

McCarthy, Cormac
    (The Border Trilogy)
        -All the Pretty Horses
        -The Crossing

McMurtry, Larry
    -Lonesome Dove
    -The Streets of Laredo
    -Dead Man's Walk

Michener, James

Parkman, Francis
    -The Oregon Trail

Schaeffer, Jack

Slotkin, Richard
    -The Fatal Environment : The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800-1890

Snyder, Midori
    -The Flight of Michael McBride

West, Jessamyn
    -The Massacre at Fall Creek

Wister, Owen
    -The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains