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Robert Bausch Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

On The Way Home (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lives of Riley Chance (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Almighty Me (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Hole in the Earth (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gypsy Man (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Out of Season (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Fall They Come Back (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Legend of Jesse Smoke (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Far as the Eye Can See (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

The White Rooster and Other Stories (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

In Good Company(1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

Robert Bausch was an American author of fiction books. He authored nine fiction books and a collection of short stories. Besides writing, Robert was a professor of English at the University of Virginia, Northern Virginia Community College, among other universities. His book, A Hole in the Earth was a Washington Post and New York Times Book of the Year. Robert’s fourth novel was inspired by his dad, Robert Carl Bausch, a prominent Washington Entrepreneur who succumbed mysteriously.

Far as the Eye Can See

Robert Bausch novel, Far as the Eye Can See is one of the best historical novel narrated in first person perspective. It’s explanatory in revealing the hostility that exists between the whites and the Native American tribes, especially the United States Army in the West in the late 19th century. The story itself is character driven with some fine romantic elements.

The main character is a 29-year-old man we know him as Bobby Hale. Robert Bausch does a fantastic job of giving details about his character’s childhood, showing us how it was devoid of affection. His mother passed away from cholera when Hale was only nine. His father deserted him immediately after his mother’s death. Hale was raised by his spinster aunt in Philadelphia who would always look upon him with disparagement and impatience. During the civil war, Hale joined the Union army different times to get enlistment bounties. Each time he would join, get his bonus, leave the army, and move to a different city, change his name, and enlist again.

After the Civil War, Hale stayed in Richmond, Virginia for four years working laborious jobs and dreaming of a better life Far West. Hale would later buy a horse, a carbine and other important equipment and set out to Oregon.

Far as the Eyes Can See kicks off with a prologue. Hale has done something that caused him to leave his job and seek a position in the army whose mission is to move all the Indian tribes to specific areas. The act that he’s committed has him believing that both the Indians and the soldiers have a good reason to hunt him down. Traveling fast towards Bozeman, he realizes that he’s being followed. He hides and sees an Indian sneaking on him with intent to kill him. He wounds the attacker and discovers that it is a young woman. She informs him that she is a half breed escaping from a Sioux village and fears that her husband is tracking her down. Hale treats the young woman wounds, and they leave together to find a sanctuary.

What makes this story interesting is Hale’s commitment towards others. Because of what he has experienced in life, he has a jarring opinion of humankind justifiably. For example, at one point, Hale and other train members witness an eagle seize a puppy. The puppy, looking upon the humans below wages its tail, whimpers then howls. The train moves on. While we all know what happens to the puppy, Hale makes some comments relating the dogs to humans, how we all wait for the damn eagle to strike in our lives. There is so much aggressiveness that he experiences, so much hatred and so much stupidity. Life is a daily struggle for him, waking up every morning looking for trouble again.

The author gives us a story that spans across the west, covering from a few years after the first Civil War to the 1876 Custer massacre. We follow Bobby, a veteran traveling far west, to discover what awaits him over there. Hale is not his true name but just his latest. The story covers Hale’s time traveling in the wagon train, his partnership with Crow Big Tree, where he learns how to trap and live hooking with a pair of women headed west. Narrated in first person perspective, Far as the Eye Can See gives a consistent depiction of Hale’s as a man with little education. He is a man unfamiliar how to deal with common things, uses the wrong tense often, and at the time, his quick reaction often makes him make the wrong decision.

In the Fall They Come Back

Most teachers, despite how old you are when you join the profession, feels like the main character of this book does: you want to transform lives and make an impact. You want the type of teacher who affects your students positively and in capital letters.

It takes Ben about twelve months to realize that his goal is exceptionally effortful and futile on the best days. He tells us his story approximately 20 years after it all happened when he is working as an attorney, having quit teaching during his first two years. Ben doesn’t quit his job because of the events he narrates to us but quits because he always wanted to teach for some years before joining law school.

He makes many mistakes, and the author does a fantastic job of showing us Ben’s naivety and blind optimism. He does not so much select three particular students to impact. But instead, he finds himself drawn to them in ways he isn’t in other students. Unfortunately, it’s the blind optimism that makes him to make mistakes, particularly with one of the three students. He puts himself in an insecure position to the point that his good intentions to impact positive changes may not happen since he may not be around.

One of the favorite scenes in the story is when Ben reflects on the last time he lived at Glenn Acres. He thinks about the profession he left behind two decades ago and concludes that may that’s what a good teacher is; a woman or a man with the best intentions. As the author shows, Ben struggles to try to force some of his talents into something they aren’t. He sees himself as a savior, and he manipulates people and circumstances to make his visions come true even though his intentions are true. Teaching might have been a temporary job, but it’s one that he took quite seriously.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Robert Bausch

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