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The Standing Rabbit

I Should be Extremely Happy in Your Company: A Novel of Lewis & Clark by Brian Hall

I Should be Extremely Happy in Your Company: A Novel of Lewis & Clark by Brian Hall

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I Should be Extremely Happy in Your Company:  A Novel of Lewis & Clark by Brian Hall is a 419-page hardcover published by Viking, the Penguin Group, 2003.  The condition of both the dust jacket and book is very good.

Book Summary

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's expedition to the Pacific Ocean and back in the early nineteenth century is the most famous journey in American history.  But its very fame has obscured its oddness.  Its public image of discovery and triumphant return has veiled its private stories of longing and loss, of self-discovery and mutual ignorance, of good luck and mischance and fortunate misunderstanding.

Having been interested in Lewis and Clark for years, novelist and journalist Brian Hall became convinced that these half-hidden personal stories could best be told in the intimate, revelatory voice of fiction.  Rather than concentrate exclusively on the expedition, Hall has chosen to focus on emblematic moments through the whole range of the lives of its participants.  Ever present as the backdrop is the violent collision of white and Native American cultures, and the broader tragedy of the inability of any human being to truly understand what lies in the heart of another.

Hall has written the novel in four competing voices.  The primary one is that of Lewis, the troubled and mercurial figure who found that it was impossible to enter paradise without having it crumble around him.  Hall brings this enigmatic character to life as no historian ever has.  A second voice is that of the Shoshone girl--captive Sacagawea, interpreter of the expedition, whose short life of disruption and displacement mirrored the times in which she lived.  Other perspectives are provided by William Clark and by Toussaint Charbonneau, the French fur trader who took Sacagawea as his wife.

ISBN:  0-670-03189-5

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