Swift Dam, available at your local bookstore!
Last Best News review of Swift Dam. "Sid writes of veterinary medicine, and much else, with a poetic voluptuousness, as in this description of the aftermath of a cesarean birth: “The new mother heaves a sigh of relief as the calf exits her incised womb. Doc elevates the calf to drain her wet lungs, and lays the neonate out and revives the baby, too long inside. He clamps her umbilicus to make her inhale, and inhale the little creature does, taking in first air, continuing to inhale, gestating nine months to inhale. Fingers threads his needle with catgut suture and the newborn sits to her sternum and issues a faint bawl. He stitches the mother back together, the newborn flapping her ears, stars singing hallelujah.” Sid also knows the Blackfeet, whom he grew up around up on the family ranch. He writes of Blackfeet past and present with a clear understanding of the indignities they have suffered, but also with an unsentimental appreciation of what they might teach those who care to listen. One important lesson is the persistence and power of water, which can be dammed and obstructed only temporarily and always wins in the end. Like Norman Maclean, the people in this book are haunted by waters.
Swift Dam, a novel, literary fiction
Between Dog and Wolf
Swift Dam, a new novel, Purchase from the Publisher, rather than Amazon, say! Silt happens, you know.
Open Books Publishing, champion of Independent Press
Last Best News review of Swift Dam
Last best novel review by Ed Kemmick, Montana journalist
Outside Bozeman review of Swift Dam
Local author (and veterinarian) Sid Gustafson's latest book, Swift Dam (Open Books, $15.95), is set against the real-life tragedy of the Swift Dam collapse in 1964, when 30 people died in damcollapses and flooding in northwest Montana. Gustafson tells the story of a veterinarian and hislife, work, and relationship with the Blackfeet Nation. The doctor, Fingers Vallerone, mourns the losses of not just the individuals but of a culture. Gustafson embodies the storytelling culture in his distinctive style of prose. The discourse is at times sparse, and yet at others curiously insistent. Itis a fast read, but tantalizing threads leave you picking through them long after you have finished. Gustafson uses landscape as the language of the Blackfeet Nation, and his intimate knowledge and sense of place shines through. Gustafson's text seems to be a man's book about men, with a masculine, almost patriarchal tone that probably reflects its characters. --DEBBIE DREWS
Backstory of the novel Swift Dam
Historical fiction, any resemblance to persons living or dead are mere happenstance
The Moby Dick review
Prairie Mary provides a provocative book discussion guide for Swift Dam
The long ride of Alphonse Vallerone DVM