by James Cox,
Editor-in-Chief at Midwest Book Review
Synopsis: Somewhere in an ancient stand of timber comes a request from an aging lumberjack. “I need me a will”, Paul Bunyan informs his camp’s scribe and bean-counter. “But a will ain’t just a will, Johnny. It’s a testament, too. What a man wants folks to remember ’bout hisself.” And so it begins, the story of Paul’s life resurrecting characters like Sourdough Sam and Shot Gunderson along with members of the Potawatomi and Ojibwe tribes whose dreams predict the legend of Bunyan and his blue-hided ox. The deep woods are redolent with beauty and mystery, but also peril. Paul is forced into a dreadful contest with Swede Sturleson, a timber baron emblematic of The Gilded Age. Paul will not emerge unscathed in the course of that long encounter. But something gets born in the interim, something akin to myth or hope, and in that place Paul Bunyan stands without exaggeration. Critique: “Paul Bunyan” is a thoroughly entertaining, page-turner of a read from beginning to end, and clearly documents author Darryl Wimberley as an exceptionally talented novelist of the first order. Very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Paul Bunyan” is also available in a Kindle edition.