Excerpt from The Gates of The Alamo by Stephen Harrigan, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Gates of The Alamo

by Stephen Harrigan

The Gates of The Alamo by Stephen Harrigan X
The Gates of The Alamo by Stephen Harrigan
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2000, 580 pages
    Mar 2001, 580 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

The road out of Béxar led past a series of crumbling, desanctified missions, their old irrigation ditches clogged with leaves and their apartments inhabited by ragged Indian laborers who huddled within the broken walls at night in fear of Comanche raids. The Spanish friars had left behind mouldering aqueducts as well, and here and there Edmund spotted the crosses they had carved in the trees a century ago to mark the route of the Camino Real. Age had blurred and weathered the crosses, but at the place where the La Bahía road took leave of the old imperial highway the markers were fresh -- a series of pointing hands sharply chiselled into the bark of the live oaks.

He followed the hands urging him southeast, toward the Gulf of Mexico a hundred and fifty miles distant. After a while the hands disappeared and the road itself grew faint, as if deferring to the greater authority of the river. Edmund retained an animal alertness as he rode along, but a part of his mind was lulled into hypnotic contentment. He watched kingfishers and herons sweeping along the bright river, the hawks perched with brooding detachment in the bare trees. He sighted the terrain ahead through the markers of Cabezon's bristly ears, and found himself entranced by the powerful sweep of her neck, the cascading hair of her cinnamon mane. He had bought the mare a year ago from a Lipan who had captured her in the Wild Horse Desert. The creasing scar still showed, a deep furrow in her neck that marked where the mustanger had expertly disabled her by tickling her spinal column with a rifle ball. Edmund rubbed the furrow idly now with his thumb, feeling the taut, vigilant muscle in which it was buried. Cabezon's scar saddened him whenever he considered it. It was the mark of her servitude, the sign that he would always be her master and never, as he strangely craved to be, her comrade.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from The Gates of the Alamo by Stephen Harrigan Copyright© 2000 by Stephen Harrigan. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.