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In 1870 the young San Francisco–based writer and editor Bret Harte 1836–1902 first compiled a single volume edition of his rousing stories of life in the Wild West Entitled The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches the book propelled him almost overnight from local celebrity to American literary lion Four of the most famous of those tales are included in this collection the title story The Outcasts of Poker Flat Tennessee's Partner and M'lissAdditional selections include A Protégée of Jack Hamlin and An Ingénue of the Sierras both written later in Harte's life and featuring lively casts of colorful characters in settings ranging from a stagecoach to a Sacramento River steamer They display the author's enthralling storytelling style at full strength ― crisply observant rich in ironic humor and offering an engaging mix of sentiment and wit Harte's style exercised a deep influence on the American short story genre and set a future course for writers of Western fiction including Owen Wister and Zane Grey


10 thoughts on “The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Short Stories

  1. says:

    It is a pretty sad tale that starts off tragically and ends in tragedy as well I'm not a big fan of stories that make you feel worse than you were when you started reading them


  2. says:

    The Luck of Roaring Camp is a prompt but interesting mid 1800s American short story that is really characteristic of Bret Harte's writing style Essentially it is a retelling of the Biblical nativity story as presented by a cast of characters from a small male dominated Wild West town After the birth of the first child in the town possibly ever and the view spoilerdeath of the child's mother the men of Roaring Camp are forced to channel their feminine sides and raise the child as their own hide spoiler


  3. says:

    'The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Stories' by Bret Harte is a series of stories all set in the Wild West of California during the 1800sThe title story is one I was familiar with from reading assignments in school A gruff group of prospectors finds a baby in their midst and names it Luck Other stories in the collection include stories of rescues and ingenuesI liked this collection but it does lean toward the melodramatic and melancholic I found the stories interesting reads as historic specimens and I'm glad I read the collection but I'm not sure it holds up to modern readersI received a review copy of this ebook from Dover Publications and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook


  4. says:

    The last batch of short stories I read must have been in high school reuired reading of course I'd never much paid attention to the genre because like poetry I wanted something longer substantial filling Not to say short stories and poetry don't have merit Edgar Allen Poe can keep me spellbound and The Lady of Shallot still reminds me of Anne Shirley I have a poet friend whose work delights me and who can forget Shakespeare's sonnets?Point being I usually read novels The Luck of Roaring Camp came into my possession by happy accident; my mother brought a pile of books to sell at our local used bookstore and she let me sift through them first to see if I wanted any I took three two mysteries set in Medieval Wales and one collection of Western short stories The short stories book intrigued me only because the introduction mentioned the author Bret Harte while American lived in London for many years and was greatly influenced by Dickens I love several of Dickens' books and anyone influenced by his writing needed to be readOh yes Harte was definitely influenced by Dickens His language sentence structure exposition and dialogue all reflect that master of satirical commentary but distinctly in a wild West setting I think this might be the first time I found a Western story enchantingThe only fault I could find with his stories is of course some of them were too short ten pages long and he had a habit of killing people off at the end But then I supposed that happened a lot in pioneer CaliforniaThis little book has awakened an interest in the short story genre as a whole both as something to read and as something to write I could see myself writing a collection of short storiesTo conclude if you love the classics you'll at least enjoy this romp through dusty backwater villages Support your local bookstore with this one it might cost you a couple bucks Dover Thrift books tend to be very inexpensive


  5. says:

    I’ve been curious about reading Bret Harte pretty well just because I love Mark Twain so much even though they evidently didn’t think much of one another and they’re often compared to one another Finally I was inspired to tackle this little collection of some of Harte’s most famous stories Reading Harte however was sort of an odd experience for me filled with uite a mixture of responsesI first of all just enjoyed Harte’s writing In fact that’s the chief comparison I think you could make between he and Twain; both have an incredibly charming and folksy wit and style Reading Harte’s prose was what I’ll certainly take away from reading these stories I copied down about a page of uotations and passages He creates interesting characters sets them in unlikely and humor filled situations and conveys his world with an irresistible style The frustration I had with the stories however was the plotting Over and over Harte creates his cast of characters in what seems to be a rather big hearted way for instance setting up a group of underdogs at the task of living through a blizzard or making a miners’ camp try to raise an infant etc He gets you rooting for these characters nearly delivers them to a satisfying not necessarily happy ending and then seems to kill the story andor the characters either prematurely or just absurdlyThese stories’ endings made me think again of Twain though this time for contrast Both Harte and Twain have a dark side to their writings But Twain’s vision seems to me to be of realism tempered by humor and a touch of hope or less depending on the book you’re reading Harte has the realism and the humor but if these stories are any indication he was a fatalist Harte’s a very good writer but I’d rather read Twain


  6. says:

    The edition I have of this book only contains three stories The Luck of Roaring Camp The Outcasts of Poker Flat and Tennessee's Partner I think that these stories are very well written and very easy to read They're very short around 5000 words each It took me one hour total to read all three of them and I read at an average pace Contrary to the statements of one reviewer these stories are not sad; they are realistic They are in fact touching in how real such things as love innocence and friendship are portrayed Tennessee's Partner is the story of a friendship between a man sentenced to death Tennessee and his partner There are some real moments of brilliance in this story especially towards the end when Tennessee's partner really shines as a character with depth and true love for his friend The Luck of Roaring Camp is the story of an orphan born into a hopeless town For me it's ultimately a story about innocence and how something very simple and pure can change even the darkest hearts Moreover it is a story of how easily that bond that connects the corrupt man to life can be broken All of these stories though are a celebration of the human spirit and a celebration of the sacrifices that people make for one another With this in mind the reviewer who argued that the stories were depressing has missed the heart of these stories These stories are essential for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of American short story writers but they're also really great stories that are enjoyable to read


  7. says:

    December 11 2010 I had forgotten that I had read this collection of 6 stories My first review was a one star My review today is 5 stars The difference is me I found the writing to be riveting The stories are not fast paced but they do hold the reader's attention The stories have a certain humor to them based upon the human condition and the settings of the story I started with M'lissa this time instead of the first story That I think gave me a new avenue into Brete Harte I found myself rooting for the school teacher and for M'lissa That change of perspective altered how I read the other short stories This part of the review was written April 14 2009 I am in my often revisited phase of reading those book I was supposed to read in school or as an educated young man To do that I have purchased over the years about 50 Dover Thrift Editions These I highly recommended since there is no sense in spending a lot of money to get edumacatedBret Harte I will never pick up again There are certainly enjoyable stories out there The stories are extremely depressing which is probably how the Ole West really was To read this man is like trudging through molasses in the dead of winter No It took me 5 days to read 90 pages or 6 stories And I love short stories


  8. says:

    For a reason I'm not uite sure of optimisitc romantic fiction is scoffed at when pessimistic romantic fiction is embraced Compare Harte's short fiction to Hawthorne's the contest won't be so uneven For another reason I'm not uite sure of American optimisitc romantic fiction is scoffed at when British optimistic romantic fiction is embraced Compare Harte's style to Dickens' there's a strong reason why the latter is uoted on the back of most editions of Harte It seems like literary studies then has a hard time dealing with romantic aspects of postbellum fiction; perhaps because of the outmoded belief that such aspects have no place in the period's self proclaimed realism Nonetheless Harte is both realist and romantic and in his best work self consciously so bringing the two together under different circumstances to prod at them with irony or humor or hopefulness In this sense Harte's work is all about the issue that continues to inspire prejudice against him how and where do the real and the romantic meet?


  9. says:

    I read this because I grew up close to Roaring Camp and wanted to hear some stories about the place even if they were fictional Not bad but not too exciting I can see how Bret Harte influenced and sometimes even created the exciting sterotypes of gold miners and other kinds of California settlers but I think I had my hopes set too high for the actual story content


  10. says:

    A college library had a twenty five volume collected works edition of Harte's work I read most of that collection and found a number of stories I thought were great little gems but were unknown to anyone save a Harte scholar a being I never found