Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Whiskey Traders or Moonshine Bandits - Book Review

My trustee whisky sidekick was in the local community library last weekend and walking down a random isle she came across a book entitled The Whiskey Traders by Wade Everett. It was an older style hardcover book without a description on the back. At a whim she thought, cool, my hubby might like to read this and hastily added it to the borrowing pile. Upon seeing the book, I also thought, cool, I might like to read this.   Could it be about a history of whisky trading in Scotland or could it be set during a period of whisky prohibition. Regardless, what a find, and I was really glad she borrowed it.

As it turns out, Wade Everett is a fairly well known writer of ‘wild west’ pulp fiction.  Fairly well known, but not to me or whisky sidekick. The Whiskey Traders tells the story of "half-indian" Brent Bargen. Conscripted by a US Federal Marshal, Brent is sent as an undercover agent north into Canada to infiltrate the notorious whiskey traders and outlaws at Fort Whoop-up.

This book has absolutely nothing to do with whisky except the name. The “notorious” whiskey traders at Fort Whoop-up are taking purely distilled alcohol, colouring it with tea, flavouring it with molasses and then selling it the local Indian population as whisky. The title should more appropriately be “The Moonshine Bandits”.

The American Indian’s, unable to control their addiction to the stuff, are trading anything they have of value, weapons, furs, horses.  Hence, the whiskey trading gang are making enormous profits at the expense of the local indigenous population. They obviously need to be stopped and Brent Bargen is just the man to do it.

All-in-all, this is an easy, enjoyable read. It deserves 4 lightning bolts out of 7 and I’m glad I got to read it.  I have since hired out a couple more of these wild-west style of stories which I am thoroughly enjoying reading at the moment.

I thought this amusing incident was worth a blog too.

El Capitan