The Buffalo Commons

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Thorndike Press, 1999 - Adventure stories - 676 pages
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The High Plains of eastern Montana are the setting for this riveting contemporary novel about good people warring over their ideals. The battle is between those who hope to restore the vast Western prairie lands to their former grandeur, where buffalo and wolves roam freely, and the ranchers who have sunk roots in the soil and wrested a living from it. Laslo Horoney is a billionaire with a dream to convert the High Plains into a national grasslands, to restore damage done by farming and overgrazing; the Nichols ranching family see this effort as a threat to a way of life that has sustained them for over a century. The Buffalo Commons is a tau, beautifully conceived drama about what happens when people of good intentions and noble dreams clash over what the earth is for and how life must be lived on it.

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Multipublishable Montanan Wheeler, who apparently writes with three hands at once (over 30 novels, and see below), and who won the Spur Award for Sierra (1996), now gets doubly serious in treating a ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Richard S. (Shaw) Wheeler was born in Milwaukee in 1935 and grew up in nearby Wauwatosa. Wheeler spent three years in Hollywood in the mid-50s, where he worked in a record store and took acting lessons while struggling as a screenwriter. He eventually returned home, and attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He spent over a decade as a newspaperman, working as an editorial writer for the Phoenix Gazette, editorial page editor for the Oakland, California, Tribune, reporter on the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, and reporter and assistant city editor for the Billings, Montana, Gazette. In 1972, he turned to book editing, working in all for four publishers through 1987. As an editor for Walker & Company he edited twelve Western novels a year. Sandwiched between editing stints, in the mid-70s he worked at the Rancho de la Osa dude ranch in Sasabe, Arizona, on the Mexican border. There, in the off season, he experimented with his own fiction and wrote his first novel, Bushwack, published by Doubleday in 1978. Five more Western novels followed Bushwack before Wheeler was able to turn to writing full time: Beneath the Blue Mountain (1979), Winter Grass (1983), Sam Hook (1986), Richard Lamb (1987) and Dodging Red Cloud (1987).

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