Must Read the Book an Easy Death

Lizbeth Rose is a “Gunnie”, a Crack shot with his Winchester bolt action rifle and a pair of Colt handguns who makes a living protecting people during their madly wandering wanderings between the desert cities of Texoma. With the United States government in ruins after the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the continent subsequently swallowed up by Canada, Mexico, England and Imperial Russia, life is not easy. When her crew has finished their run, Lizbeth is forced to take any job, even if it means following a pair of grumpy Russian wizards in search of Rasputin’s recent offspring. As her search leads her south, Lizbeth is getting closer and closer to a part of her past that she prefers to forget. At least she won’t be unarmed if she finds it.


In An Easy Death, Charlaine Harris’s fictional North America is seductively mid-century. Although she does not win any awards for her eloquence, her boring prose serves the self-narrative because it corresponds to Lizbeth’s personality and language. Seen through the eyes of the Gunnies, what was once the American southwest is brutal and ruthless, but wrapped in a kind of honesty that the reader must respect. The descriptions of Lizbeth’s wizards, or “Grigoris,” as she mockingly calls them, are diligent, sometimes strange, devoid of flowery language. She is content to call her methods of action “creative” and leaves it to the reader’s creativity to fill in the gaps.


The plot is predictable, of course, but it is frankly refreshing to read an alternative story that does not score philosophical points and focuses on telling a complete story. Likewise, It is Lizbeth’s desire to maintain the status Quo, both to support her protégés on their journey and to return to the life she left behind to accept this job. For them, it would be a triumph if not a few things changed.

 

 

 


In a Genre dominated by rags-to-riches stories about world domination and the great evils conquered and ancient Magic mastered, there is more than enough room for a good story about ordinary people who are just trying to stay alive.

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