Review of “The Luck of Roaring Camp: And Other Tales.”

The Luck of Roaring Camp: And Other Tales

The Luck of Roaring Camp: And Other Tales by Bret Harte

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I do not fault Bret Harte for this volume. I fault the editor. The first section of the book shows the elegance of the short story form and why Harte was so good at it. The plots are not complicated, the characters interesting and the pace quick.

Where the editor’s effort fell apart was when it got to the series of ‘short novels.’ Obviously they are pastiches of popular novels of the period (Les Mis, Christmas Story, and Moonstone are represented), but would only work if the reader had also read the original. Even in the cases where I was familiar with the original work, these are just bad! You get the impression that the rent was due and Harte was just sending in anything.

At that point, the reader’s spirit is broken so the remaining stories, although good, are not as well received.

Checking my records I see that this was a free book through EARLY BIRD BOOKS, in which case, I got my money’s worth.



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