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Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

Book Review: “Horse Soldiers,” by Doug Stanton

In Book Review, Culture Bluffs on February 21, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Book Review of Horse Soldiers by Doug StantonBy Charles W. Buck

No—this is not a review of the old John Wayne cavalry movie of a similar name. This is about a book by a writer from northern Michigan—Elberta country. It is a war story. It is a story of exceptionally brave people. It is not all about men, although some very tough men are core characters. The events in this book are now more than 15 years old, yet it will provide any reader with a better understanding of a place still struggling with a daily reality and way of life shaped by those events, in ways almost unimaginable here in our bucolic existence.

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Karl Manke’s Third Book: Secrets, Lies, and Dreams:

In Book Review, Culture Bluffs on August 29, 2014 at 11:37 pm

By Janet La Rue Buck

Karl Manke has written a third adventure story, and this one is set mainly in the Whitehorse region of Alaska.

It is the tale of a Mormon polygamist, Jacob Mueller, his two wives, who are sisters, and their six sons. (Lena, the elder wife, has four children and Rena, two.) Like most families, this one is far from perfect. Lena’s eldest son, Sam, overcome with envy, tries to murder his superintelligent younger half-brother, Joey, who is Rena’s eldest. He is also guilty of stealing gold from his family’s precious-metal smelting operation. Meanwhile, Rena has an adulterous encounter with another of her sister’s sons. Dark secrets abound between some of the brothers, and two also prove to be renegades when seeking revenge on the two men who kidnap Jacob and Sam, as this dark tale unfolds.

Joey survives Sam’s attack, unbeknownst to the family, and is stricken with amnesia. He wanders in the wilderness and, as he struggles to survive, not remembering anything of his past life, meets a black giant named Tiny. Soon these two suffer an undeserved incarceration in an Anchorage jail. Eventually, with Tiny’s help and through some unusual plot twists, Joey becomes a driving force in the firm of a successful Russian immigrant, Mr. Amzlov.

To learn how he finds the love of his life, becomes reunited with his family, regains his memory, and resolves the family’s differences, you have to read this entertaining book, which engages the imagination until the last page.

Karl Manke began writing only a few years ago, after he retired from his barbershop in Owosso. He certainly has a flair for storytelling. If he wishes to become a truly fine novelist, he must employ a good editor. As a former English teacher, I found myself, pencil in hand, correcting misspelled words, punctuation errors, and typos, all of which could have been easily eliminated.

Rough copy notwithstanding, I think readers will very much enjoy this story by an Elberta native son. It can be found at the Bookstore in Frankfort and on Ψ

A third-party interview with Karl Manke…