Share this with friends
A refreshing tale told with imaginative short stories
By George Bowering
New Star Books
253 pages (sc)
Review by Chereise Morris
Shoot! Is set in the late 19th century in British Columbia and focuses on the little known McLean gang which was notorious in their day.
Shoot! begins with the McLean boys' parents background, going on to pieces of the boys lives, then illustrating how their hatred for rich ranchers and ‘land grabbers’ eventually leads them to their execution.
The McLean gang consisted of three McLean brothers Allan, Charlie, Archie and one friend Alex Hare; they are all Métis and come from abusive or negative parents. Raised with no real place in the world the boys seek to carve out their own place with lives full of crime and bragging.
They rampage across the high Chilcotin ranch country of British Columbia in the 1870s, cattle rustling, stealing and eventually murdering two men in cold blood; this act sparks the change from wanted posters to a posse of over 100 men giving chase. At the time of their execution the youngest of the gang was 14 years old.
With approximately 60 books under his belt the British Columbian, award-winning author George Bowering began writing fiction novels in 1967. Born in 1935 with a B.A. in history as well as a M.A. in English literature, Bowering has been recognized as one of the foremost Canadian writers of his generation.
The book has so many threads of different ‘side’ stories, readers will have to pay close attention to grasp the complexities of the tale. At random, the book will wander from the McLean’s to provide imaginative short stories in the same premise of the times, further illustrating the machinations of the storyline.
Shoot! is a book of historiographic metafiction filled mainly with examples of the prevalent prejudice of that century and followed closely by injustice, greed and violence.
The book is loaded with examples of racism in part when referring to the Mclean brothers. Near the end of the novel, when the judge is ‘explaining’ to the courtroom the ‘epidemic’ of ‘half breeds’ and states that the mixture of the white man with an Indian woman provides the offspring with a level of ‘training’ from the fathers blood but still not up to the ‘father's grade’.
Shoot! is made interesting by the detailed attributes of each member of the gang, provided or imagined by Bowering, which when mixed with the little published facts about the gang makes for a refreshing tale.
- Community Access
- Contact Us
- Our History
- Archives Search
- In Depth
- Subscribers Only
- Aboriginal Community Events
- Aboriginal Links
- Aboriginal Scholarship Guide
- Book Reviews
- 2014 Review: Medicine Walk
- 2014 Review: We Are Born with the Songs Inside Us
- 2015 Review: A Cree Healer and His Medicine Bundle
- 2015 Review: Autumn Leaf
- 2015 Review: Bearskin Diary - A novel
- 2015 Review: Languages of our land - Indigenous Poems and Stories from Quebec
- 2015 Review: My Story: The Riverton Rifle
- 2009 Review: Meshom and The Little One
- 2009 Review: Motorcycles and Sweetgrass
- 2009 Review: Shedding Skins
- 2010 Review: America's Gift
- 2010 Review: Everything You Know About Indians is Wrong
- 2010 Review: Fatty Legs, a true story
- 2010 Review: she walks for days inside a thousand eyes
- 2011 Review: Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools—A Memoir
- 2011 Review: Gabriel Dumont: Li Chef Michif in Images and in Words
- 2011 Review: Louis Riel: The Heretic Poems
- 2011 Review: Midnight Sweatlodge
- 2011 Review: Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers
- 2011 Review: UnSettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling and Reconciliation in Canada
- 2012 Review: Discovering Totem Poles: A Traveler’s Guide
- 2012 Review: Finding A Way to the Heart
- 2012 Review: First Nations 101
- 2012 Review: Hope Faith & Empathy
- 2012 Review: Indian Horse
- 2012 Review: Jordin TooToo: The Highs and Lows in the Journey of the First Inuit to Play in the NHL
- 2012 Review: Louis Riel and the Creation of Modern Canada: Mythic Discourse and the Postcolonial State
- 2012 Review: My Mother Is Now Earth
- 2012 Review: Original People Original Television: The Launching of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
- 2012 Review: Outcasts of River Falls
- 2012 Review: Racialized Policing: Aboriginal People’s Encounters with the Police
- 2012 review: Hook Up
- 2013 Review: Aboriginal Rights are Not Human Rights
- 2013 Review: Blasphemy
- 2013 Review: Brighter Days Ahead
- 2013 Review: Creative Subversions: Whiteness, Indigeneity and the National Imaginary
- 2013 Review: Disinherited Generations: Our Struggle to Reclaim Treaty Rights for First Nations Women and their Descendants
- 2013 Review: For King and Kanata
- 2013 Review: Healing Histories: Stories from Canada’s Indian Hospitals
- 2013 Review: Stories in a New Skin: Approaches to Inuit Literature
- 2013 Review: The Inconvenient Indian
- 2013 Review: The Manager
- 2013 Review: The Strength of Women: Ahkameyimowak
- 2013 Review: Tilly, A Story of Hope and Resilience
- 2014 Review: Ghost Detective
- Buffalo Spirit: Recommended readings
- Rare Intellect - Recommended Readings
- Review: Shoot!
- Review: Traditional Narratives of the Rock Cree Indians
- Classroom Edition
- Health Information
Share this with friends
- Truth and Reconcilliation Commission Final Event and Recommendations
- Relationship between Canada's Justice System and Aboriginal People
- Play Radio Bingo to win!
- Buffalo Spirit Foundation
- Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters (WAAB)
- June Windspeaker - May 18
- June Raven's Eye - May 18
- June Saskatchewan Sage - May 18
- June Ontario Birchbark - May 18
- June Alberta Sweetgrass - May 18
- Free Digital Edition of Windspeaker!
- Download AMMSA media kits for:
* Windspeaker - Alberta Sweetgrass
* SK Sage - BC Raven's Eye - ON Birchbark
* CFWE-FM - Alberta Radio Network
- Advertising online: www.ammsa.com
Subscribe & Donate
- Order a Windspeaker or Sweetgrass digital subscription
- Make a donation to assist Windspeaker via gofundme