Summary and book reviews of Museum of Human Beings by Colin Sargent

Museum of Human Beings

by Colin Sargent

Museum of Human Beings by Colin Sargent
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 2008, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2009, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A Shoshone woman, Sacagawea, leads Lewis and Clark to the Pacific at the turn of the 19th century. On her back is her infant son, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the youngest member of the Expedition - a child caught between two worlds.

A Shoshone woman, Sacagawea, leads Lewis and Clark to the Pacific at the turn of the 19th century. On her back is a tiny infant. He is her son, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the youngest member of the Expedition--a child caught between two worlds who is later raised by Clark as his foster son.

When the teenaged Baptiste attracts the notice of the visiting Duke Paul, Prince of Württemberg, Clark approves of the duke's "experiment" to educate the boy at court. A gleeful Duke Paul has Baptiste trained as a concert pianist and exhibits him thoughout Europe as a "half gentleman-half animal."

Eventually Baptiste turns his back on the Old World and returns to the New, determined to find his true place there. He travels into the heart of the American wilderness, and into the depths of his mother's soul, on an epic quest for identity that brings sacrifice, loss, and the distant promise of redemption.

1

"ARRIVE"

- hold your left hand ahead of you, fingers together, right hand against your chest. Strike your left palm with the edge of your right.



Christmas Eve, 1805

Sleet pierced the air like volleys of arrows. Having already eaten their horses and with packs nearly slack, the party looked like Romani in their rags as they stumbled up the crooked mountain trail. The little one, strapped to his mother's back, nestled his head into the curve of her neck. Needles of ice stung his cheeks, and the salty tang of the yet-unseen ocean that his mother called Paakate tickled his nose.

But Baptiste was not to giggle or cry, his mother, Sacagawea, whispered. He was to keep silent, be invisible - a lucky, if forgettable, witness to the great expedition to the Pacific.

He squeezed his eyes shut to hold his tears. The ground began to shake with the drum of approaching hooves. Suddenly his mother stopped short, and Baptiste opened one eye to see Captain William Clark ...

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!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Maine Sunday Telegram

One of the most satisfying works of fiction that I have read in years . . . Sargent sends the youthful Baptiste on a multi-leveled grand tour of discovery that never lets up or disappoints.

Denver Post

Strongly reflecting the author's ability as a playwright and poet, [this book] is rich with unusual historical detail. . . . It is a fascinating and ultimately tragic tale of a usually forgotten player in this country's story.

Publishers Weekly

With historical cameos ...and an impressively rounded portrait of the laid-back, introspective, nomadic Baptiste, this novel will satisfy fans of American history.

Library Journal

This memorable novel will captivate all who read it.

Reader Reviews

John Michael Cummings, author of The Night I Freed John Brown

A Wonderful Work of Fiction--Rooted in America’s Legendary Past
In Museum of Human Beings, author Colin Sargent focuses on the life of a relatively little known character associated with one of the most famous American sagas —the Lewis and Clark expedition—spinning a wondrous tale spanning more than six decades. ...   Read More

Write your own review!

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!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Museum of Human Beings, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
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!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Goodbye Days
    Goodbye Days
    by Jeff Zentner
    Guilt can be a heavy burden for anyone to manage, but it's especially difficult for teenagers. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    by Hannah Tinti
    Hannah Tinti follows her spectacular 2008 debut, The Good Thief, with a novel of uncommon ...
  • Book Jacket: Music of the Ghosts
    Music of the Ghosts
    by Vaddey Ratner
    Music of the Ghosts is about healing and forgiveness, but it is also about identity and the revival ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Manderley Forever
    by Tatiana de Rosnay

    Bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay pays homage to Daphne du Maurier.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Stars Are Fire
    by Anita Shreve

    An exquisitely suspenseful novel about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & 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.

 
Modal popup -