Will Andrews is no academic. He longs for wildness, freedom, hope and vigour. He leaves Harvard and sets out for the West to discover a new way of living.
In a small town called Butcher's Crossing he meets a hunter with a story of a lost herd of buffalo in a remote Colorado valley, just waiting to be taken by a team of men brave and crazy enough to find them. Will makes up his mind to be one of those men, but the journey, the killing, harsh conditions and sheer hard luck will test his mind and body to their limits.
"His Stoner is the book that has garnered the attention, but I prefer this earlier take on the Western genre...it has some gory, visceral passages that are not for the faint-hearted" Kate Atkinson Irish Times
John Williams was born on August 29, 1922 in Clarksville, Texas. He served in the United States Army Air Force from 1942 to 1945 in China, Burma and India. The Swallow Press published his first novel, Nothing But the Night , in 1948, as well as his first book of poems, The Broken Landscape , in 1949. Macmillan published Williams' second novel, Butcher's Crossing , in 1960. After recieving his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Denver, and his Ph.D from the University of Missouri, Williams returned in 1954 to the University of Denver where he taught literature and the craft of writing for thirty years. In 1963 Williams received a fellowship to study at Oxford University where where he received a Rockefeller grant enabling him to travel and research in Italy for his last novel, Augustus , published in 1972. John Williams died in Arkansas on March 4, 1994.
"One of the finest books about the elusive nature of the West ever written. It's a graceful and brutal story of isolated men gone haywire" Time Out "Harsh and relentless yet muted in tone, Butcher's Crossing paved the way for Cormac McCarthy" New York Times Book Review "This story about the hunt of one of the last great buffalo herds becomes a young man's search for the integrity of his own being.The characters are defined, the events lively, the place, the smells, the sounds right. And the prose is superb" Chicago Tribune "Butcher's Crossing is like a western by Joseph Conrad...wonderful...beautifully written" -- David Nicholls "It is the novel's immense visual power and tangibility of material detail, its fully realized sense of time and place, its telling incidents, its nimble and subtle resonance with the Bible, and its fleshed-out characters, that make it a very great work" Boston Globe