Ya-ha-haw! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King by Jerome Charyn.
Brave Heart, Teddie’s father, plays a very important role in Teddie’s life. From long midnight rounds in the carriage to fighting the bad guys to playing the role of a loving and caring father – Brave Heart had influenced young Teddie’s life a lot.
When Brave Heart was out, fighting, sister Bamie took charge of the Roosevelt House. From managing her delirious mother – Mittie, to a servant who did not want to take orders from an eleven-year-old, Bamie’s hold on Roosevelt household and Teddie’s life was firm and mother-like.
Alice Lee and Teddie’s love story was heart-warming but short-lived. After Alice’s death, Teddie was no longer the man who he previously was. Instead of looking after his daughter – Alice, he went away to The Badlands, leaving Bamie to look after Alice. Bamie was like a second mother to Alice and their bond was inseparable. When Teddie married Edith, Alice moved in with them. Edith treated Alice like her own.
When Teddie’s brother – Elliot, had problems of his own, Teddie stood up to him. Anna, Elliot’s wife, died two years before Elliot and he was heart-broken. The separation from Eleanor when he was being treated in Switzerland was too much for Elliot to bear. Eleanor’s role in the Roosevelt house was heart-warming yet sad. The girl was almost always dressed in hand-me-downs until Nan pointed out that Teddie can do better than giving the little girl hand-me-downs.
As the story proceeds further, there are many more adventures of the Cowboy king. From joining politics to attending courts to keeping a mountain lion (Josephine) as a pet, the book gets even more interesting. Young Teddie’s love for Taxidermy and his time at Harvard and Teddie joining the Morton Hall – these are some of the charming moments of his life. The book ends with Teddie being asked to come over immediately from his camping trip. The president is dead and the vice president has to take over his place.
Jerome Charyn’s writing is absolutely brilliant. The Perilous Adventures of The Cowboy King is a must read for all those who love a good blend of History with Literature.
The chairman of the club, a loathsome little rascal named Ashbel Grief, quieted the assembly with a patrolman’s cylinder-shaped whistle. The sound racked my ears, but it did its own shrill work.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have with us today a man who has always been knee-deep in controversy. Theodore Roosevelt, son of the late philanthropist and banker who did so much to help the disadvantaged, who was known as Brave Heart, and who built hospitals and lodging houses. There isn’t a newsboy among us, past or present, who doesn’t owe a debt of gratitude to Brave Heart. But Theodore Jr. is our Police Commissioner rather than a philanthropist. He comes to us from the Civil Service, where he slept for six years. But now we have him on our doorstep. And what a blunder it has been. he’s denied workingmen their Sunday ambrosia, banished some of our very best Irish captains to ‘Goatsville,’ all the way in the Bronx, and ripped the gold bars off the sleeves of others. he was a sheriff in the Badlands, some say, captured vicious men. But does Manhattan desire a cowboy king? Is he not our tin czar, as Mr. Pulitzer says, the man who dictates terms at Police Headquarters?… Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, please welcome Commissioner Roosevelt, the cowboy king.”
Character Development: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Raising the literary bar to a new level, Jerome Charyn re-creates the voice of Theodore Roosevelt, the New York City police commissioner, Rough Rider, and soon-to-be twenty-sixth president through his derring-do adventures, effortlessly combining superhero dialogue with haunting pathos. Beginning with his sickly childhood and concluding with McKinley’s assassination, the novel positions Roosevelt as a “perfect bull in a china shop,” a fearless crime fighter and pioneering environmentalist who would grow up to be our greatest peacetime president.
With an operatic cast, including “Bamie,” his handicapped older sister; Eleanor, his gawky little niece; as well as the devoted Rough Riders, the novel memorably features the lovable mountain lion Josephine, who helped train Roosevelt for his “crowded hour,” the charge up San Juan Hill. Lauded by Jonathan Lethem for his “polymorphous imagination and crack comic timing,” Charyn has created a classic of historical fiction, confirming his place as “one of the most important writers in American literature” (Michael Chabon).
Title: The Perilous Adventures of The Cowboy King: A Novel of Teddie Roosevelt and His Times
Author: Jerome Charyn
Publication Date: 8th January 2019 (today!)
Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Thank you, Rachel Gul from OverTheRiverPR and Jerome Charyn, for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this blog tour. Thank you, Edelweiss+, for the ARC.
Have a look at the other stops on this blog tour here.