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Saddle Up, Readers

By Kari Geltemeyer in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 2, 2005 2:33PM

The Ox-Bow Incident from

Mayor Daley advised his book club followers yesterday to go forth and read en masse Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s classic 1940 Western saga The Ox-Bow Incident as the eighth in the city’s “One Book, One Chicago” exercise.

Since Lonesome Dove is the only Western we’ve ever managed to get through, we’re forced to shamefully pull from the flap via barnes & noble:

Set in 1885, The Ox-Bow Incident is a searing and realistic portrait of frontier life and mob violence in the American West. First published in 1940, it focuses on the lynching of three innocent men and the tragedy that ensues when law and order are abandoned. The result is an emotionally powerful, vivid, and unforgettable re-creation of the Western novel, which Clark transmuted into a universal story about good and evil, individual and community, justice and human nature.

"As the story plays out,” the mayor said, “it raises questions about the danger of do-it-yourself justice, the consequences of abandoning law and order, the duty of the individual to stand up to the majority when necessary. Those are issues that arise on a daily basis in Chicago and throughout the world." Of course we hasten to ask the inevitable question: if a modern morality tale was called for, would not Confessions of a Shopaholic also have fit the bill?

Semantics aside, you’re welcome to pick up your ONE FREE COPY at any of the following Starbucks starting at 8:00 a.m. this Friday (presumably they’d like you to fork over for some whole-hearted chocolatey goodness at the same time):
210 W. North Ave.
40 N. Clinton St.
180 N. LaSalle St.
1070 W. Bryn Mawr Ave

Citywide festivities, discussions, and readings will commence during National Library Week, April 10-16.

Image from