Savage country : a novel / Robert Olmstead.

Item request has been placed! ×
Item request cannot be made. ×
loading   Processing Request
  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "A bankrupt widow embarks on a buffalo hunt in 1873 to try to save her late husband's land, and encounters multiple dangers along the way"-- Provided by publisher.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: September 1873. Elizabeth Coughlin, a widow bankrupted by her husband's folly and death, embarks on a buffalo hunt with her estranged brother-in-law, Michael. She hopes to salvage something of her former life and the lives of the hired men and their families who depend on her. The buffalo hunt that her husband had planned, she now realizes, was his last hope for saving their land. As they ride across the Deadline demarcating Indian Territory from their home state, Kansas, they're on borrowed time: the Comanche are in winter quarters, and the cruel work of slaughtering the buffalo is unraveling their souls.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      OLMSTEAD, R. Savage country : a novel. First edition. [s. l.]: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2017. ISBN 9781616204129. Disponível em: Acesso em: 8 ago. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Olmstead R. Savage Country : A Novel. First edition. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; 2017. Accessed August 8, 2020.
    • APA:
      Olmstead, R. (2017). Savage country : a novel (First edition.). Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Olmstead, Robert. 2017. Savage Country : A Novel. First edition. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
    • Harvard:
      Olmstead, R. (2017) Savage country : a novel. First edition. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Available at: (Accessed: 8 August 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Olmstead, R 2017, Savage country : a novel, First edition., Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, viewed 8 August 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Olmstead, Robert. Savage Country : A Novel. First edition., Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2017. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Olmstead, Robert. Savage Country : A Novel. First edition. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2017.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Olmstead R. Savage country : a novel [Internet]. First edition. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; 2017 [cited 2020 Aug 8]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2017 September #2

*Starred Review* Like so many outstanding novels about the taming of the West, there is a tragic ambiguity at the heart of Olmstead's brutal but beautiful tale of the last buffalo hunt. Although we admire the courage and unbridled individualism of the men and women who subdued an unforgiving country, we also recoil at the horrors they left in their wake, both to the land itself and to the indigenous peoples and animals who had managed to maintain an ecological balance before the arrival of white settlers. In the 1870s, Elizabeth Coughlin is the wife of a rancher who, deeply in debt, has killed himself, leaving Elizabeth with the burden of saving the land and providing for the hired hands. Before his death, Elizabeth's husband had hatched a desperate plan to set things right: a dangerous buffalo hunt below the aptly named Deadline, the demarcation point separating "civilized" Kansas from the treacherous Indian country to the south. Aided by her brother-in-law Michael, she gathers a Magnificent Seven–like band of misfits to undertake the seemingly suicidal hunt.What follows is an epic journey into a heart of darkness partially of their own making and partially defined by the worst that the unrelenting landscape can throw at them, from titanic lightning storms to rattlesnakes to the greed and treachery of their fellow hunters. The field of battle is strewn with victims (there are no victors), but none is more tragic than the buffalo, its ravaging described in the most visceral of details. For a certain kind of uncompromising yet lyrical writer—think of Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, or William Kittredge—the West offers a stage for a special kind of archetypal, almost Shakespearean tragedy, and Olmstead makes the most of it. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2017 June #1

Heartland Prize winner for Coal Black Horse, Olmstead tells the 1873-set story of Elizabeth Coughlin, left bankrupt when her husband dies, who takes over the buffalo hunt he had planned. The Comanche are quiet, but floods, fires, rattlesnakes, rabies, and blue northers make the going tough. Then there's the heart-destroying task of slaughtering noble animals.

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

LJ Reviews 2017 September #1

In 1873, her husband's death leaves Elizabeth Coughlin in deep debt to the dangerous and conniving Mr. Whitechurch. Her only hope of raising money is a buffalo hunt planned by her late spouse. With the grudging assistance of taciturn brother-in-law Michael, who had been a professional game hunter in Europe and Africa, she and her husband's hired men head into Native lands. No one is quite prepared for the dangers along the way—wild storms, poisonous snakes, wayward travelers, wildfires, animal bites, and Native warriors. Elizabeth, unlike many female characters in stock Westerns, begins to develop her own sense of independence and self, although Olmstead (Coal Black Horse) could have fleshed her out a bit more. Graphic descriptions of hunts and violence may turn some readers away, but the accurate account of such violent times, and in particular the hunts that decimated vast buffalo herds of the West, is necessary. VERDICT Fans of Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove will enjoy this thoroughly researched epic Western. [See Prepub Alert, 5/3/17.]—Brooke Bolton, Boonville-Warrick Cty. P.L., IN

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2017 July #2

Hunters, skinners, and teamsters slaughter herds of buffalo on the Old West plains of 1873 in Olmstead's ninth novel, in an orgy of killing for profit on a grand and wasteful scale. Olmstead (Coal Black Horse) presents a grim, gruesome tale of buffalo hunting and harsh, deadly frontier life. Elizabeth Coughlin, recently widowed, is set to lose her ranch to a cheating banker named Whitechurch. Desperate to pay off her debt, she and her brother-in-law Michael organize a large hunting party to go into Comanche territory to find the last massive herd of buffalo, which have been hunted nearly to extinction. Despite a warning that Whitechurch will try to kill them, Michael and Elizabeth lead the party to the hunting grounds, enduring prairie fires, floods, heat, cold, fatigue, injuries, illness, gory evidence of Comanche atrocities, and the ever-present danger of ambush by Whitechurch's gunmen. Michael is a stone-cold killer, patient advisor, and teacher of fieldcraft, and Elizabeth shows remarkable courage, judgment, and strength of character as the leader of the unwashed, profane, rough men in the bloody business of killing and skinning a thousand buffalo a day when not killing each other. This is a powerful depiction of the brutality of the Old West, where life was cheap and easily taken. (Sept.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.