Master of Breath
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In the early 1930’s, a vicious criminal, alleged to be a prophet and the grandson of the great Seminole war chief, Osceola, escapes from a Florida prison along with two condemned black convicts, recruits a few reservation tribesmen sick of being “road stand Indians,” snatches a pair of young hostages and goes on an insanely tragic and doomed campaign to “take back this pointed land” or to kill as many whites as possible before defeat and death. The novel is a story of flickering madness and humanity, of loyalties and vengeance, of savagery and instinctive compassion, among both the band of killers and the posse that relentlessly pursues it through the Everglades, an awesome and inspiring landscape of reptile infested swamps, vast clouds of insects, stifling humidity, debilitating heat and sudden violent storms that reflects the savagery and possibilities of goodness of the humans that have invaded it. Both savagery and the possibility of goodness, it becomes clear, exist in the pursued and the pursuers and in nature itself.