Saturday, January 26, 2008

Robert Shea's SHAMAN

Robert Shea's SHAMAN is a historical novel about the Black Hawk War and the days when the state of Illinois was a frontier. It's very different from the ILLUMINATUS! trilogy Shea wrote with Robert Anton Wilson. Written in straighforward prose, the book details the adventures of a man who is half Native American, half white and who has a foot in both camps. (I knew I was nearing the end when he finally had to choose between his white wife and his Indian wife.) Allowing for lots of writerly invention, the book does have accurate details on the war, and it's also a really good read, although I suspect the exploits of one sharpshooter in the book have to be taken with a grain of salt. I'm curious whether some of the other books bear a closer relation to ILLUMINATUS.

The official Robert Shea site is here. For my interview with his son, Mike Shea, who maintains the site, see here.

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