Clark's classic novel is a compelling tale of four men who fear a marauding mountain lion but swear to conquer it. It is also a story of violent human emotions—love and hate, hope and despair—and of the perpetual conflict between good and evil."The reason why The Track of the Cat is a novel of the first rank is that its author says something of universal significance. TheClark's classic novel is a compelling tale of four men who fear a marauding mountain lion but swear to conquer it. It is also a story of violent human emotions—love and hate, hope and despair—and of the perpetual conflict between good and evil."The reason why The Track of the Cat is a novel of the first rank is that its author says something of universal significance. The black panther has always been there since the beginning of man's existence in the world. It will always be there, looming over man and always to be hunted though never killed." —San Francisco Chronicle"Mr. Clark knows his Nevada, as The Oxbow Incident proved, and he knows how to tell a good hunting story." —The New Yorker"This is the real beauty of Walter Clark's masterful prose—its wonderful capacity to evoke from the homeliest circumstances the quality of grief and loneliness that exists deep in or under every human effort." —The New York Times"Clark's story is continuously and wonderfully exciting. He is able to bring before the reader with extraordinary vividness the clash of stubborn wills in the snowbound ranch house, the unpopulated mountain landscape, the snow and cold, and above all, the hunt itself." —Yale Review...
|Title||:||The Track Of The Cat|
|Number of Pages||:||424 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Track Of The Cat Reviews
This is a stunning novel -- probably a guy book, I have to say -- about two days and nights on a struggling Sierra Nevada ranch as a mysterious black panther attacks its herds and, one at a time, the three brothers in the family, plus their enigmatic Native American ranch hand, go after it. The vast majority of the story takes place in a blizzard that's almost personally lethal, and the long sequence in Book Three when the brother named Curt first hunts and is then hunted by the panther is one of the most amazingly sustained action/suspense/psychological sequences I've ever read. The characters are not uniformly sympathetic, and some are worse than that, and the claustrophobia Clark creates in the little ranch house kitchen is almost suffocating -- but things are worse outdoors, where Mystery of a unique kind is waiting in the snow. There's not a bad sentence in this book.This has been a great reading year for me, but nothing has been much better than THE TRACK OF THE CAT. The comparisons to MOBY-DICK are not off the mark at all. A great American novel.
A mountain lion, apparently crazed, killing the herd for sport, and four men who try to kill it: Arthur (the idealist), Curt (the angry, evil, materialistic, driven one), Joe Sam (the Indian in touch with the supernatural) and Harold (the youngest, the one finding his way, representing the middle way). There are two cats, two evils...the real one who kills the cattle and the idealist, and the mythical one which kills Curt and that Joe Sam knows is ever present.
The Track of the Cat by Walter Van Tilburg Clark tells the story of a few days in the life of a Nevada ranching family at the turn of the 20th Century. An unseasonable blizzard has blown in, and a mountain lion has preyed on the family cattle, prompting the elder brothers to track and hunt it. When one is killed and the other begins a multi-day stalk in the storm, the rest of the family--beset by greed, jealousy, and unfulfilled dreams--slowly devour one another. What I like about the novel: On its surface, the novel tells the story of a pursuit by a very able hunter of a near-mythic panther, and does so in close detail--the reader can feel the effects of cold and wind, triumph and defeat, fear and elation, on Curt Bridges' psyche as the natural world defies him again and again in spite of his ability to wring whatever he needs out of every situation. Parallel to the hunt is the story of the dysfunctional family, preparing the body of the eldest son for burial, each person's weaknesses dredged to the surface. In the midst of this is the aged Paiute ranch hand, Joe Sam, who remains as much a mystery to the Bridges family as they likely are to him. Beyond the surface elements of the novel are the layers of ambiguity, the backstory that is hinted at but never quite told, and the connection to myths much older. Clark blends parts of the Arthurian mythos into his western landscape and American story. Unlike other 'western' appropriations of that myth cycle, Clark mines the legend for psychological complexity.What I dislike about the novel: in 1949, critics did not receive Clark's novel well. Seen only as a western story, the characters of the alcoholic father and the bible-thumping mother can come across as stereotypes. The domestic side of the story seems overwrought. Clark's first novel, The Ox-Bow Incident, was praised for its realism and deliberate attention to fine detail; the entire novel covers a span of less than a full day. Critics felt that the same level of detail was a problem in The Track of the Cat, but I can see (I think) Clark's purpose. Clark loads each scene with sensory detail, and does so in very tightly controlled spaces--the scenes in the Bridges household have the feel of a stage play. The effect is sometimes overwhelming; the oppressive quality of the mother's vitriol is such that the reader will want to get away from it. The University of Nevada Press edition appears to have been made from the same plates as the Random House 1st edition; the handful of typos are in the same places. My copy is a high quality trade-paperback that has survived several readings and moves. I recommend the book to anyone interested in literary westerns and/or modern redactions of the Arthurian cycle.
I read this when I was 14 and systematically going through every book in my home, starting with some classics. This taught me some some things about my taste in books, I could love a book even if it was sad and didn't seemed to give me closure.
Good mood-setting, but the prose was longwinded and often redundant. Made me want to stop reading, and when I get that feeling, I stop reading. Life's too short.
There was a lot to like, especially the Western landscape/vibe and the interesting, elusive qualities of the black panther, but I think this novel required more patience than I was ready to give it at the time of reading. I am not sure if that was the author's fault or mine so am trying not to judge it based on that. Tons of dialogue, detail and imagery which I normally like, but in this case I found it to maddeningly slow down the plot and character development. Evidently many people compare this book to Moby Dick which makes sense to me because I liked similar things about both and very much disliked similar things about both.
An incredible look into the mind of a man bent on revenge against a mountain lion who killed his brother. Some profanity and other bad language.
The thoroughness of the narrative demands patience in parts, but it's deserved. Appreciated the author's Afterword. (Why is there ever a Foreword?)
You had better wear a sweater while you read this book. It is so real, and so cold.