I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company: Book summary and reviews of I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company by Brian Hall

I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company

A Novel of Lewis and Clark

By Brian Hall

I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2003,
    432 pages.

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Book Summary

Brian Hall's compulsively readable novel vividly re-creates Lewis and Clark's extraordinary journey into the unknown western frontier. Focusing on the emblematic moments of the participants' lives, the story unfolds through the perspectives of four competing voices-from the troubled and mercurial figure of Meriwether Lewis, the expedition leader who found that it was impossible to enter paradise without having it crumble around him, to Sacagawea, the Shoshone girl - captive and interpreter for the expedition, whose short life mirrored the disruptive times in which she lived. Bringing the day-to-day life of the expedition alive as no work of history ever could, Hall's magnificent novel fills in the gaps and provides a new perspective on the most famous journey in American history.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In I Should be Extremely Happy in Your Company, Mr. Hall tries to penetrate and examine Lewis and Clark lore by creating strong narrative voices for the major players in this much-examined event. In the process, he is able to fill in gaps. The brooding character of Meriwether Lewis, as evidenced by Lewis's abundant letters and journals, is constructed here with particular verve, even if Mr. Hall sometimes seems to be shoehorning actual written observations into Lewis's conversation. Readers can judge for themselves." - The New York Times, Janet Maslin.

"Though it joins a crowded field of Lewis and Clark narratives, this formidable third novel by Hall is not to be dismissed." - Publishers Weekly.

"The result is a compelling if sometimes difficult-to-follow tale that can be well recommended to all fans of serious historical fiction. It is particularly suitable for public libraries, though as a word of caution, it should be pointed out that these Native Americans are not bashful about using graphic terminology to describe natural functions." - Library Journal.

"Not easy, but a serious, ambitious, complex and greatly worthwhile book. Just like the trip." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Author Information

Brian Hall Author Biography

Photo: Madeleine Moss

Brian Hall is the author of three novels: The Saskiad (1997), I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company (2003), his acclaimed story of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Fall of Frost (2008), about the life of Robert Frost; as well as three works of nonfiction.

His journalism has appeared in publications such as Time, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. He lives in Ithaca, New York.

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