Reviews of And Not to Yield (2004)
Review by blair (2005-06-28)
'And Not to Yield' is a fictional autobiography of James Butler Hickock, better known as 'Wild Bill'. As a Western, it is better than most in the genre- having won the Western Heritage Award for Best Western Novel in 2005.
It is a well-researched novel and Eickhoff does a good job of connecting the dots in making Hickock's life come alive. And what a life it was! From his humble upbringing by devout Abolitionist parents to his stint as a scout in the Civil War, from New York City's Broadway to the card tables of Deadwood, South Dakota, the author has done a fine job in taking us along for the ride.
The pacing of the story is slowed down a few times- once by an unnecessary dream sequence, and again by the inclusion of a lengthy excerpt from 'Harper's Weekly'(which does, however, serve to show us how his legendary exploits were, most times, distorted by overzealous writers)
But for the most part, it is a well-written, humorous homage to a fascinating man and a compelling time period.