Silk and Shakespeare

High jinks, close calls, and adventures worthy of Don Quixote abound in this light-hearted romp through the West from Win Blevins, winner of the Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Contributions to Western Literature.Shakespeare, a former actor of gargantuan proportions, and his sidekick, Silk, a rail-thin teenager with all the brains that Shakespeare lacks, are two of the most improbable mountain men ever to explore the Rocky Mountains.

Together, they get into flabbergasting scrapes, from wrestling bears to falling in love with off-limits women in Santa Fe.

Silk and Shakespeare are fictional, but they ride alongside real historical figures such as Antelope Jim Beckwourth, the biracial son of a Virginia plantation owner who became a warrior chief of the Crow Indians, and his lover, Pine Leaf, a legendary woman warrior.

This unlikely foursome gets into jams with dreaded enemies of the Crow and the Blackfeet—but that’s to be expected of characters who, like the man of La Mancha, dream of “enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds, wooings, loves, tempests, and other impossible follies.” 

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Professional Reviews

“Blevins ‘Silk and Shakespeare’ brims with good-natured fun!” — Publisher’s Weekly

“Win Blevins displays an antic imagination, not only in mingling actual and invented characters, but in melding gritty action-adventure with metaphysical musings.” — Dale Wasserman, author of Man of La Mancha

“Win Blevins is the best writer in America.” —John Milius, screenwriter of ‘Apocalypse Now’

“I haven’t had so much fun reading a book about the West in years.” —George Roy Hill, director of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Reader Reviews

A romp! The Adventures of Silk and Shakespeare is a fun house and roller-coaster ride in one. Blevins’s background is solid—he knows that mountain man stuff—but the good time here is the mismatched main characters. Tal Just sixteen, wants to become a man of the mountains, Unfortunately, he hooks up with Shakespeare, a refugee from a bad acting company, who is as inept as any man could have been in that dangerous time and country and still survive. Thanks to Shakespeare’s talent for getting them into trouble, they have a wild time of it, and so does the reader.” — Meg Mathews, Boston, USA

This was a really fun book, and I like that they were real characters and fictional characters. This book is one of a kind!” — Roy Peterson, Chicago, ILL

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