I had never read this author before, but I’m so glad I finally decided to give this one a try! I loved it so much, and if you’re like me, an 1860’s read is perfect! So, let’s dive into this old treasure!
The Dog Crusoe and His Master
By R. M. Ballentyne
About the Book: Travel with Dick Varley and his dog Crusoe on a Mission of Peace with Western Tribes that have been on the warpath. And what an exciting time they have! From escaping violent Tribes to catching a wild horse to recovering captured companions, this book digs into the life and times of American trappers, Indians, and settlers of the 1800’s west. All with a dog hero.
My Review: Wow! This was a wild ride! Poor Crusoe had a rough start, almost becoming supper for a family before being rescued by his future master. The relationship between Dick Varley and Crusoe is so sweet and definitely my favorite aspect of the story. While I’m not exactly sure if a New Foundland Dog is capable of everything Crusoe did in the story, it wouldn’t surprise me.
Warning! There are some words used to describe other races in a manner that I personally wouldn’t since, in modern times deemed they are offensive. Also, there were some references to alcoholic beverages (not much and not lingered over) and native garb…so watch for that. They also mention that some believe stars (or planets) have life on them. I only have an ebook version of the book, so I couldn’t censor it out, but if you have a physical copy, it is easy to do.
This book was a wealth of information about doing things the old-fashioned way: hunting game, catching wild horses, and surviving on the land. There are also detailed profiles of prairie animals. Though an adventurous read, it wasn’t too audacious for my taste. It was nicely broken up with some calmer sequences. And while I wish the Christian notes in the story had been stronger, it was natural and well written.
I would recommend this for readers 12 and up, or read as a family (omitting the topics mentioned above)! I think all would enjoy it!
The dog Crusoe was once a pup. Now do not, courteous reader, toss your head contemptuously, and exclaim, “Of course he was; I could have told you that.”
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
King James Bible
Have a Blessed Day!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.