Well, after slogging through all of those..
why don't you give yourselves a break and consider
North to the Rails - 1971 work of Louis L'Amour?
The protagonist (Tom Chantry) is a man born in the West who
loses his father to (gun) violence at a young age. He is
subsequently raised in a comfortable environment in the East, but as
a young businessman goes West again to purchase cattle.
Philosophically against carrying a gun and branded a coward
for backing down from a fight over a trivial matter he finds
this greatly undermines his prospects for the business venture
(which has become critical to the survival of his employer's - and
fiance's father's firm) as no one that can drive his cattle
is willing to work for him.
Anyway, although L'Amour's books are in one sense formulaic,
they all deal with issues of ethics, law, liberty, ecology and
human nature (with lots of history and action thrown in)
This is one of five "Chantry" novels, the earliest chronologically
was "Fair Blows the Wind" set in 17th century Ireland, England and
If you're worried you might be blowing your cultural/intellectual
cool well, pick up a copy surreptitiously somewhere. It may not
be for your group, but you're unlikely to want to put it down...
Wish I had discovered LL years ago.
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