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Moontrapby Don Berry
Synopses & Reviews
Following Trask in Don Berry's trilogy of novels set in the Oregon Territory, Moontrap is a book of remarkable beauty and power about a man caught between his vivid past and an uncertain future. The year is 1850, a transitional period in the new Oregon Territory, with settlers and lawmakers working to subdue the untamed, uncivilized region. Johnson Monday, a former mountain man, has been living on a bend of the Willamette River near Oregon City with his Shoshone Indian wife for seven years, struggling to make a place in settled society.
One summer morning, Monday's old friend Webster T. Webster, a raucous, unrepentant trapper, arrives for an unexpected visit. With his earthy humor and stubborn adherence to the simple life, "Webb" leads Monday through adventures that flirt dangerously close to lawlessness, while helping him to rediscover his moral center. Through defiance, triumph, and tragedy, Moontrap follows Johnson Monday as he comes to realize that relinquishing the stark honesty of mountain life for the compromises of civilization is too high a price to pay.
Nominated for a National Book Award and winner of the Spur Award of the Western Writers of America for best historical novel, Moontrap recounts the conflict one man faces in keeping with his old ways or forging a new life. The OSU Press is proud to reissue this richly comic and intensely poignant portrayal of pioneer life in the Northwest.
About the Author
Don Berry (1932-2001) considered himself a native Oregonian, despite the fact that he was born in Minnesota, with a lineage from Fox Indians. After attending Reed College, where his housemates included poet Gary Snyder, who shared his interest in Eastern metaphysics, Berry began a lifetime of pursuing his many passions: playing down-home blues and composing synthesizer music, sumi drawing and painting, sculpting in bronze, exploring theoretical mathematics, and writing for prize-winning films.
In addition to his three novels about the Oregon Territory (Trask, Moontrap, and To Build a Ship) published in the early 1960s, Berry wrote A Majority of Scoundrels, a history of the Rocky Mountain fur trade. An early Internet pioneer, he also created a remarkable body of literature that exists now only in cyberspace.
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