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The Barrier by Rex Beach, Fiction, Westerns, Historical

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This, then, was a day of revelations, for the first thing they beheld upon opening their packs was a pair of rubber boots for each. They were ladies' knee-boots, the smallest size in stock, but the Gales entered them bodily, so to speak, moccasins and all, clear to their hips, like the waders that duck-hunters use. When they ran they fell down and out of them, but their pr This, then, was a day of revelations, for the first thing they beheld upon opening their packs was a pair of rubber boots for each. They were ladies' knee-boots, the smallest size in stock, but the Gales entered them bodily, so to speak, moccasins and all, clear to their hips, like the waders that duck-hunters use. When they ran they fell down and out of them, but their pride remained upright and serene, for were not these like the boots that Poleon wore, and not of Indian make, with foolish beads on them? Next, the youthful heir had found a straw hat of strange and wondrous fashion, with a brim like a board and a band of blue, which Poleon had bought from a college man who had retained this emblem of his past to the final moment. Like the boots, it was much too large for little John, and hard to master, but it made a brave display, as did a red cravat, which covered his front like a baseball catcher's harness. Molly had also two sets of side-combs, gorgeously ornamented with glass diamonds, and a silver-handled tooth-brush, with which she scrubbed the lame puppy. This puppy had three legs and the mange, and he was her particular pride.


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This, then, was a day of revelations, for the first thing they beheld upon opening their packs was a pair of rubber boots for each. They were ladies' knee-boots, the smallest size in stock, but the Gales entered them bodily, so to speak, moccasins and all, clear to their hips, like the waders that duck-hunters use. When they ran they fell down and out of them, but their pr This, then, was a day of revelations, for the first thing they beheld upon opening their packs was a pair of rubber boots for each. They were ladies' knee-boots, the smallest size in stock, but the Gales entered them bodily, so to speak, moccasins and all, clear to their hips, like the waders that duck-hunters use. When they ran they fell down and out of them, but their pride remained upright and serene, for were not these like the boots that Poleon wore, and not of Indian make, with foolish beads on them? Next, the youthful heir had found a straw hat of strange and wondrous fashion, with a brim like a board and a band of blue, which Poleon had bought from a college man who had retained this emblem of his past to the final moment. Like the boots, it was much too large for little John, and hard to master, but it made a brave display, as did a red cravat, which covered his front like a baseball catcher's harness. Molly had also two sets of side-combs, gorgeously ornamented with glass diamonds, and a silver-handled tooth-brush, with which she scrubbed the lame puppy. This puppy had three legs and the mange, and he was her particular pride.

34 review for The Barrier by Rex Beach, Fiction, Westerns, Historical

  1. 5 out of 5

    L.

    Yet another Rex Beach action/love story set in the wilderness of the Northwest. Kentuckian Lt. Meade Burrell is in charge of the (unwanted) American military presence in the untamed Yukon as the gold rush is in full swing. He finds himself attracted to Necia Gale, daughter of the local trading post owner. However, Necia's father is white while her mother is Native American (and they're not married), thus she's not worthy of Burrell's superior White Man love. Poleon Doret is a French Canadian tra Yet another Rex Beach action/love story set in the wilderness of the Northwest. Kentuckian Lt. Meade Burrell is in charge of the (unwanted) American military presence in the untamed Yukon as the gold rush is in full swing. He finds himself attracted to Necia Gale, daughter of the local trading post owner. However, Necia's father is white while her mother is Native American (and they're not married), thus she's not worthy of Burrell's superior White Man love. Poleon Doret is a French Canadian trapper and trader. He's known Necia for years and loves and accepts her for who she is, but Necia only sees him as a big brother. Then its discovered (view spoiler)[ Necia's real parents were married and were 100% white, thus making the girl O.K. to love. However, its also revealed her birth father is a wife abuser and murderer. I fail to see how this is supposed to be better than being half Indian. (hide spoiler)] Furthermore, I'm ticked off when (view spoiler)[ Necia is in danger of a fate worse than death. It's Poleon who leaps into action and comes to her rescue, yet Necia still ends up with Burrell. C'mon, Beach - you couldn't give Poleon one bit of happiness?! (hide spoiler)]

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    The surprising thing is that Rex Beach is an engaging writer. I fell into the flow of the action as melodramatic and predictable as it is, and was engaged until the end. However, the thing that does not surprise is how patriarchal the author comes off. Anyone who is not white is subhuman. Indians are mysterious non-communicative creatures, the only black character is thief of hams, and worst of all are "half-breeds" whose very mixture makes them a danger to society. Naturally, men are the ones t The surprising thing is that Rex Beach is an engaging writer. I fell into the flow of the action as melodramatic and predictable as it is, and was engaged until the end. However, the thing that does not surprise is how patriarchal the author comes off. Anyone who is not white is subhuman. Indians are mysterious non-communicative creatures, the only black character is thief of hams, and worst of all are "half-breeds" whose very mixture makes them a danger to society. Naturally, men are the ones that do, while women are little more than children. True, one leading character, John Gale, has the view that skin color doesn't matter, but for Meade, the main character, his chief struggle throughout the novel is his love for John's daughter, Necia, whose mother is Paiute. Necia's mixed heritage is the barrier of this title, for it would prevent him from marrying her, an act which would lead to the loss of his family and his military career and any social status he has. The problem is only resolved when it is learned (spoiler alert) she is actually 100% white, so it becomes socially okay for Meade to love her. Ew. Taking a step back, a reader can easily see that the whole story revolves around three or four grown men fighting to be the guy to marry a 17 year old girl. I'm not sure how that would be perceived at the time this book was published (1908) but it should certainly be viewed with distaste. Double ew.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Data

    I created a new shelf for this book: hateful_things_written_by_sanctimonious_people. I read it some time ago, and thought I should re-read it to actually review it. I couldn't waste my time on re-reading, and I think that this book will likely become only the second book I have deliberately thrown away. My old hand-written blurb on this book: "The ultimate in bad fiction - sexist and racist." I created a new shelf for this book: hateful_things_written_by_sanctimonious_people. I read it some time ago, and thought I should re-read it to actually review it. I couldn't waste my time on re-reading, and I think that this book will likely become only the second book I have deliberately thrown away. My old hand-written blurb on this book: "The ultimate in bad fiction - sexist and racist."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

  6. 5 out of 5

    Iris Engel

  7. 5 out of 5

    Wesley Yaryan

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carol Wright

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kellyt

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dyana Fuller

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Troudt

  13. 4 out of 5

    Decop

    a great example of what made a 'strong' woman at the beginning of the last century a great example of what made a 'strong' woman at the beginning of the last century

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ethan Mcquown

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carly

  16. 5 out of 5

    D. E.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Murry Shohat

  18. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tawnni

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

  21. 5 out of 5

    Yinzadi

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jo

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Angelica

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steve Foote

  27. 4 out of 5

    Keeley

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kim Dodson

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

  30. 4 out of 5

    David Smith

  31. 5 out of 5

    Malachi

  32. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  33. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  34. 5 out of 5

    Jim Stout

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