Book Talk: Bobcat by Jim Campbell
Winston Churchill said that history is written by the victors—and any popular entry in every bestselling book list today can attest to that. As humans, we’re wired to give our ears to the winners, those who’ve seemingly come out on top and lived to tell the tale, but in reality, it’s often the defeated who have much more interesting tales.
Enter Jim Campbell’s ‘Bobcat,’ a historical narrative that follows a Quapaw Native American man of the same name. The novel is an 1800s tale of self-discovery as Bobcat journeys West to find himself deeper after a devastating tragedy. Equipped with his sharp wit and quick fighting skills, Bobcat traverses roads in the middle of a history-changing event between the American colonizers and his own people.
The 26-chapter read turns the typical Western narrative on its head. We witness the circumstances unfold before the eyes of the captors, as we gradually see them more than the typical victim narrative. Through the novel’s action-packed scenes and beautifully written dialogue, readers can grow to understand that there’s so much more to the human condition than we thought.
Author Jim Campbell himself felt awakened when writing ‘Bobcat,’ as he wrote the novel to right the long-established historical wrongs: “I wrote the novel because I have always heard how aggressive, mean, and terrible, the ‘American Indian’ was. But, as I have traveled and lived all around the United States, I have come to believe otherwise.”
“The Native Americans welcomed the first Europeans-even to bring them food and help them shelter in winter. Then more Europeans came and began forcibly displacing the local tribes – then raping their women, killing their men and stealing their children for slave work.”
Campbell eventually understood the reparations that weren’t—and still haven’t been—given to minorities today. With American history born out of blood, he furthers, “No wonder the Native Americans got mad – and stayed mad. Later they signed treaties to secure land that was already theirs—and the treaties were broken—even today.”
At its core, ‘Bobcat’ is a compelling piece of prose that focuses on those commonly shunned by society, the everyday casualties who wanted to live a regular life just like the rest of us.
To dispute Churchill’s long-standing quote, the victors may write history, but it’s ultimately molded by the survivors.
Reviews and What Readers Say
" This would be just another story if where not bases on the way life and governments where at the time. Bounty or rewards for killing Indians, governments and tribes at war for the control of people and the wealth that land has to offer. Gods will or a great spirit is their justification for their unjust actions. Bobcat is a small man, mix of Indian and white, who's anger and skill finds a reason to go on living after people have been slotted for their scalp. This is a good book that shows us the need for honest law strong enough to control it's lawless people."
— WD70, Amazon Reader's Review
" Loved the book. Fast moving. Jim Campbell's detail of places and events take you there. His portrayal of the interaction of the Indian tribes transport the reader to visualize the events. A very exciting and educational tale of Indian survival in the 1800."
— Mr. D, Amazon Reader's Review
" Bobcat by Jim Campbell is an exciting suspense historical novel with each chapter presenting researched factual data intermingled with a sense of 'The Fugitive' type of cat and mouse action. It is an adult novel that inspires me to create drawings that explode with emotional furor."
— Connie Webber Hunter, Amazon Reader's Review
Review by Bianca L
Disclosure: This article is a personal endorsement of the professional reviewer. The BookWalker is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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