Robert Knott's Ironhorse
Title: The Ironhorse
Author: Robert Knott
Publisher: Putnam Adult
When I first saw the picture of the cover and read the title, I thought that this would be another western novel to read. After getting about halfway through to book, I started to see a pattern emerging that wasn’t encouraging. No one is ignorant of the fact that the Old West was not pristine or an easy time period in which people lived. We have all seen some westerns that show everything and others that kids could view. One thing people from all over the world enjoy is a good story. Whether the story teaches something or not, in the heart of mankind is a strong desire for stories. As with each individual tastes are vast and different so too are the genre, authors, characters, etc…
Since westerns have always been a favorite genre of mine because of my Nana’s influence, I thought I would try a new author. I have a great collection of Louis L’Amour novels. He was a writer who wasn’t locked into any mold of writing; he could tell a great tale that captivated generations of people. I had hoped that this novel would tell a good story. I expected some mention of the less desired professions as well. I was not surprised to find foul language, but what was very surprising was the amount of it as if no other words in the English language existed. As is the habit of some authors they take the twenty first century slang/foul words and put it in a different era that doesn’t seem to be truthful to the genre or period of history.
When I went back to read other reviews on Amazon about the book, I ran across others that were disappointed for various other reasons than the language. Have we become so immune to hearing, speaking or reading these words that we no longer challenge authors to write a story without this element? It seems such a waste of talent and a good tale to ruin it all with the overuse of nasty words. Sometimes I wonder if we are so uneducated as to think words spoken today meant the same as in the past. Are we? I don’t believe readers are at all. I think authors can be forgetful of the influence they have over people who read what they take time to share. It is my hope that people will not read novels like this which I had to discard because of the amount of foul language.
Authors please share your stories with people, but try to change the use of foul language to clean words that help build the tale not detract from it. There are people who love reading a good novel who will be repeat readers if you do, regardless of anything else you might be told.
My rating is 1 star.