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Reader reviews and comments on News of the World, plus links to write your own review.

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News of the World

by Paulette Jiles

News of the World by Paulette Jiles X
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2016, 224 pages
    Jun 2017, 224 pages


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There are currently 35 reader reviews for News of the World
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Audrey M. (Overland Park, KS)

News of the World
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I was caught up in the relationship between Johanna and the Captain. The book brought the era and location to life. I plan to recommend it to others.
Tilli F. (Holyoke, MA)

News is Still Good
This is a delightful book. That may seem a strange adjective to use about Texas after the Civil War. But the author manages to mix tales about the region and time to bring it to life, and to portray he characters, particularly Johanna, so that they walk off the pages.

And periodically she uses language that makes the reader sit up and take notice. Two that struck this reader are "a shy and obsequious road that dodged every bank and lift and wound through the pecan trees and never insisted on its own way" and "He looked as if he had combed his stiff yellow hair with a skillet."

It was a period that this reader knew nothing about, and a social habit about how people in small towns in rural Texas got the news. Fun to read and informative.
Arlene M. (White Oak, PA)

News of the World by Paulette Jiles
News of the World got me from the first page. I am not much of a fan of westerns, but this is more than a western; it's a story of an elderly man, Captain Kidd, who makes his living telling news in a townhall-like setting to the outback Texans who are eager to hear what's going on in the world.

His routine is interrupted when a young girl who was captured in a Kiowa indian raid that killed her parents is traded back. She now needs to be returned to her relatives but they are 400 miles away. For a $50 gold piece Captain Kidd takes on the responsibility and their adventure together begins. (The map provided with the book was very good to help show the route of the journey.)

Miss Jiles has written a poignant story of learning to trust and in the end love.
Sharon R. (Deerfield, IL)

Messages of Life
News of the World is an amazing compact novel full of historical insights into post Civil War Texas. The area is still untamed, full of Indians and Military - many without leadership. There is a governor, but most people live by their own rules, self governing their spot on earth.

The residents are fascinated by the world outside Texas, but do not seem to understand that change is coming. The two worlds - Military, Captain Kidd and Indian, Johanna, collide in this haunting story. You will end up cheering them on as they forge through seemingly unbelievable circumstances to form a family bond.

The beauty of unformed and wild Texas comes through in the author's stark descriptions of the landscape in every chapter, but as the leaves burst forth and the sun again warms the earth, the two travelers are also reborn and enter a new life phase. Highly Recommended!
Jeanne B. (Albuquerque, NM)

A Little Gem
I'm not a big fan of historical fiction but News of the World is as compelling as any contemporary novel I know. 1870's Texas - what a seething cauldron of issues and peoples! (Not unlike our own time.) How interesting to view it through the wry voice of a senior citizen war veteran and a damaged but plucky 10-year old girl. Top-notch author Paulette Giles deftly spins a tale of adventure that asks big moral questions while it entertains. She also describes the beauty of the land with the eye of a true naturalist. Her prose is really lovely. Also lovely: the nifty map of Texas enclosed with the book. I highly recommend this book and think it would be especially suited to book clubs. The Ten Cent Shootout alone is worth the price of the book!
Ruthie A. (New York, NY)

Wonderful Historical Fiction!
Army Captain J.K. Kidd is a man in the waning years of his life. Having joined the Army at age 16, he fought in 2 wars, and later lost everything; his home, his wife and his beloved printing press. Now, in 1870, he travels the northern towns of Texas, holding "Readings" where he shares news of the world with those who do not have access to newspapers or the ability to read.

Kidd is approached to deliver a rescued orphan to her remaining family. The young girl was abducted by a Kiowa tribe after they killed the rest of her family. Raised by a Kiowa family, she has forgotten her past life, speaks no English and only wants to escape. The trip is treacherous as Texas is now a lawless domain. Kidd must use his skills and knowledge to keep his charge safe. Along the the way he starts to teach her English and some "civilized ways". A touching, trusting relationship builds.

This is a beautiful and spare novel. The landscape comes alive, as does the almost constant sense of danger and the desperation of being on the road in during such dangerous times. The author has a true gift for description, we see, smell and feel the conditions the pair experience.

What really shines is the characters and their relationships. With few words, none superfluous, Jiles manages to capture the full essence of each person the pair meet on their journey. Some are nasty, some are surprisingly good hearted. None are stereotypical. Captain Kidd himself, is that reserved, moral, loving character we all need in our lives.

This is a rather short novel. I could not put it down so it was a quick read as well. I was sorry when it ended and look forward to delving into Paulette Jiles' past works. This is well researched historical fiction at it's best!
Pam M. (Lake Mary, FL)

Wonderful story, wonderful read
I thoroughly enjoyed this hard-to-put-down story of a ten year old white girl, taken captive by the Indians that killed her parents, then taken back and returned to her family some four years later. I remember enough of my Oklahoma and Plains Indians history courses to know the events ring true, related in such a way to have genuinely touched my heart. I would not hesitate to read another work from Paulette Jiles, and highly recommend this book.
Marcie M. (Chantilly, VA)

I have found a new author
This is my first book by Paulette Jiles. I have found a new author to love. Historical fiction is my favorite genre, but no normally this time period. I was fascinating about the relationship between the characters in the book. Captain Kidd was entertaining and I loved hearing about hi. Throughout the book. This was one of those books that you are thinking about when your not reading it and want to rush home and finish it.

I'm so excited I got to read this and will be recommending it for my book club.

Beyond the Book:
  Late 19th Century Texas

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