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A masterwork of American fiction. The story of a forgotten America, a bittersweet sepia-toned exploration of the intertwined plights of Edward Curtis, a real-life frontier photographer, and the American Indian. To Catch the Lightning is an engrossing novel based on Curtis’s, passion to photograph and document every Indian tribe on the continent. Through Curtis’s sojourn around the Western states, this stirring saga reveals the double-edged sword that is the frontier spirit, a remarkable tale of a quest made all the more powerful because of its historical roots. Bankrolled by J.P. Morgan, befriended by Teddy Roosevelt, and a towering figure in his own right, Curtis’s epic work consumes his life. Cheuse skillfully portrays the mounting tension as Curtis’s quest to keep the Native American presence alive threatens to destroy his own family. It’s a story of the disintegration of the Indian people, seen through the eyes of one white man, and how his determination to make a difference, to somehow save them, could mean the end of his family as he knows it. With the ear of a poet and the eye of a historian, Cheuse has crafted a masterwork of American historical fiction. Lyrical, beautifully written, and impressively researched, To Catch the Lightning is a novel of the American spirit, sure to engage and enlighten.
Praise for To Catch the Lightning
An engrossing tale of sacrifice, passion, and devotion to purpose not often exhibited by any man… To Catch The Lightning will, once again, bring both fame and immortality to Edward Curtis and Alan Cheuse.
Four pages into the new Alan Cheuse novel and you’ll know you’re reading a Great American Novel. The Real Deal, not some publisher’s-hyped product of the season. To Catch the Lightning is where you should plan on spending your lingering fall afternoons, watching the leaves turn.
-Rick Kleffel, book reviewer and radio host on KUSP-FM Santa Cruz