Monday, June 29, 2009
First, treat yourself to another viewing of the old movie, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." Believe me, it has stood up well over these many years and you'll have as much fun seeing it this time as the last time.
Then, find yourself a copy of "Etta" by author Gerald Kolpan and settle in for a real romp.
What Kolpan has done is to give Etta a life beyond the movie. Actually, she was a real person, but there is nothing known about her beyond her escapades with the Hole in the Wall gang. So Kolpan has created a fictitious life for her to set the groundwork for how it was that she found herself with the outlaws, and then has carried her story, again all fictitious, after the deaths of Butch and Sundance.
Kolpan gave her an amazing life, which touches all kinds of well-known personages in the 1900 time frame. I found the book to be a real hoot. One of the reviews shown on the Barnes and Noble website called it a "picaresque novel." I had to look that one up and found the following: "Pertaining to, characteristic of, or characterized by a form of prose fiction, originally developed in Spain, in which the adventures of an engagingly roguish hero are described in a series of usually humorous or satiric episodes that often depict, in realistic detail, the everyday life of the common people." And yes, I'd say that applies to this novel.
Kolpan is an award-winning journalist and this is his first novel. I say more power to him. I look forward to the next one, which I hope will be as much fun to read as this one!