Book review for 'Shalom on the Range'
Shalom on the Range
By Michael S. Katz
My dad loved Westerns, and so do I. While my dad was alive, his bookshelves were filled with westerns. He had all of Louis L’Amour’s westerns along with many other writers.
Before I started reading science fiction, mysteries, and the hundreds if not thousands of other books I’ve read in the last six decades, give or take a few years, I read westerns first.
I also watch westerns on television and in theaters whenever one comes along which seems rare now-a-days. I can look back and honestly say that I never laughed reading a western until Shalom on the Range, due to David Goldstein, the main character. Goldstein is a railroad detective investigating a train robbery that takes place in Colorado in 1870. I saw David as a sophisticated Bat Masterson type of action hero (western television series 1958 to 1961), but Shalom on the Range comes with a dash of slapstick and humor and a touch of martial arts that includes some fancy moves with a cane.
To give a better description of the hero in Shalom on the Range, I’ll borrow from the review in Roundup Magazine: "A tenderfoot Jewish railroad detective is sent west to investigate a train robbery, where he grapples with anti-Semitism, culture shock, and plenty of misadventure. This one is a fast paced 'kosher' Western with plenty of action, some unexpected twists, and more than a few laughs.” I couldn’t have said it better.
It’s refreshing to read a western that teaches while entertaining. Michael Katz has reinvented the western. It’s about time someone did. My review of Shalom on the Range would have been longer with examples describing a scene or two but it is easier to watch a scene instead. I recommend this book and offer a special treat, a scene from Shalom on the Range that the author filmed with the help of friends/actors and posted on You Tube. After all, they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. In case this link doesn’t work, here’s the entire address so you can copy and paste it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj7A9ZCnjKM
If you are a fan of westerns, I recommend Shalom on the Range.
Michael S. Katz, an attorney and former history teacher, has been writing and editing since 2002. Shalom On The Range represents the first in a series.