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The Western Star

Book Notes

Really now, the previous book I read cured me of my current non-fiction streak (of five books! wow!). I really needed a good, fun read to put the enjoyment back in my obsessive daily reading. I had little surprise that Johnson's Longmire would do the trick.

I enjoyed the book. I read a few reviews of the book where the readers were complaining about the cliff-hanger at the end. It didn't bother me. There were two intertwined plots happening in the book, one from 1972 on the Western Star, a train, and the other in contemporary time, which was a continuation of the previous arch-nemesis Longmire books. The first plot's mystery was clever, with a few good misdirections. That Longmire knew more than the reader is fine. The modern-time plot is fine, nothing terribly surprising.

There were fewer hit-you-in-the-gut quotable lines in this book, which is also fine. I enjoyed the book. I'll keep reading the Longmire series. The TV series? Garbage, not watching that any more, as it ruins the book Longmire.

“I can reconcile my devotion to the law and the knowledge that a lawful course can sometimes be immoral.”
Page 144

“You want to know what I learned in Vietnam? I learned that if you’re lucky, I mean really lucky, you find the one thing you want in life and then you go after it; you give up everything else because all the rest of that stuff really doesn’t matter.”
Page 151

“Then what should I do?” He dropped the remains of his unsatisfactory sandwich into a brown paper bag and wiped the corner of his mouth with a folded paper towel.

“The hardest thing in the world—nothing. The wheels of justice grind slow but exceedingly fine.”
Page 157

“You may not always win the war, Walt, but it’s good to know you fought the battle.”
Page 158

“Trees teach us patience, but grass teaches us persistence.”

“And what did grapes teach you?”

“Wine, which assists with both.”
Page 168

“Where you headed, and what are you gonna do?” I stood there for a moment and then forcefully placed the star in his hand, before walking away.

“Nowhere and nothing.”

He called after me. “Well, there ain’t no hurry about nowhere and nothing—they’re always out there waitin’.”
Page 177

“In my limited experience with politicians, I have learned that you do not have to be right all the time, but that it is absolutely essential to never appear wrong.”
Page 192

“Was he a good guy?” I leaned against the side of her truck and studied her.

“Your grandfather?”


I glanced back at Vic and Henry, leaning on the fender of the rental car parked just behind Pamela’s trailer. “Yep, he was one of the best.”
Page 217

“My mother hardly ever talked about him.”

“Sometimes that’s the way people deal with the pain of losing a loved one.”
Page 217

“Would you like to call her?” Vic pointed at the utility. “There’s a phone with a cord but it is nonrotary—do you need me to push the buttons for you?”
Page 233

They filed out after giving me hard looks, but I’d had hard looks thrown at me before and had found they bounced off pretty easily.
Page 240

I remembered my father telling me that you knew you were a man when everything went bad and suddenly all eyes were on you for help.
Page 269

I’d found that few people give up the chance to explain themselves, no matter what the reason or environs.
Page 276

“Most people go through their lives doin’ whatever it is that comes along, but every once in a while we stumble onto what it is we’re supposed to do.”
Page 288

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