Saturday, July 18, 2015

American Meteor, by Norman Lock

"American Meteor" could describe the protagonist of this novel, Stephen Moran, or the railroads that spanned the continent, or the US's declared "Manifest Destiny", or even Walt Whitman (quoted in the frontispiece "What am I myself but one of your meteors?"

Fast moving as a meteor, this brief novel (201 pages) encompasses the career of one man, and takes us from his childhood gathering oysters near Brooklyn, NY, to the American Civil War and an army hospital where he met Walt Whitman, to Abraham Lincoln's funeral train. He stayed with the train after the Union Pacific RR bought it, and having become enamored of the pioneer craft of photography, worked for U. P.'s Dr. Thomas Durant documenting the progress of the railroad's westward expansion. From there, it was a short step to becoming Gen. Custer's personal photographer, and meeting Crazy Horse..

The author takes a few liberties with actual historical events, as he freely admits in "Acknowledgements".

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