Weekly Self-Published Book Review: Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review by Midwest Book Review:

 Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems

Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems

George RhoadesHowlett

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781432784997

Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson

George Rhoades’ “Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems” is a rather interesting collection of poems, divided into two very distinctive and extremely different parts.

Part One deals with the cowboy life, and life along the Chisholm Trail. The author’s voice here is very distinctive, and the poems encompass all facets of such life, which is definitely epic. As the author put it so well himself:

“No wonder the cowboys rode
Into the hearts and imagination
Of the world, and shaped forever
The endurin’ character of this nation.”

The range of emotions expressed in the poems in Part One is very wide, and the author dealt with the subjects with a lot of dignity and respect. It would have been quite easy to depict cowboys as somewhat cartoonish, but that did not happen even in the most light-hearted of the poems in this collection. While this way of life is not familiar to me in the slightest, I greatly enjoyed reading about it.

Part Two is less homogenous, and much more contemporary, and deals with all kinds of ruminations on life, many of which are truly thought provoking. Some are sad, some are wistful, some downright hilarious, and of all of them my favorite happened to be one of the shortest poems in this book. “At Wal-Mart” has barely thirty-something words, yet it perfectly captures so much of what one sees there. While I laughed out loud at first after reading it, I felt compelled to re-read it later, and discovered that it was actually quite serious.

George Rhoades’ “Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems” was quite a departure from what I usually read, but I am glad I took the time to read it. It opened my eyes to a world that was completely new to me, and also reminded me of many everyday things to cherish and remember.

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