Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Evolution of Linda / Linda Dark Horse and Neil Collins

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Fictional Autobiography

Approximate word count: 200,000+ words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Linda Dark Horse is a red-headeded, full-blooded Lakota Indian. Her childhood and early adult years were spent in South Dakota, where she was a deputy sheriff until forced to retire after being injured in a shoot out. Neil Collins is her friend and co-writer. For more, visit her website.


The subtitle of this book, The Emotional, Spiritual, and Sexual Journey of a Modern Lakota Woman, is an excellent summary of its content.


In our recent review of the memoir Right Now is Perfect,
I theorized that most people had a memoir in them, but not many had a life consistently interesting enough to be able to pull off an engaging autobiography. I still think that is true, but obviously there are exceptions, and Linda Dark Horse is one. Although presented as a “fictional autobiography,” it appears this is due to legal reasons related to the police work Dark Horse and her husband have been involved in. I believe that while some portions might have required changes of names or minor twiddling with the facts, this doesn’t materially change the story even though it is not always strictly true.

Born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (one of the most poverty-ridden areas of the United States), Dark Horse’s life through young adulthood was spent in Sturgis, South Dakota, where her father was a Deputy Sheriff. Her social life as a Native American, living in a community where she was a minority, provides plenty of fodder for interesting stories. There are numerous things that have happened in Dark Horse’s life, many hinted at in the bio and subtitle, which made for a gripping read. Coming to terms with her bisexuality, her marriage and subsequent widowhood, her work in law enforcement, and the influence of her medicine man grandfather are some of the high points.

I found the writing style kept me interested in the story and I didn’t notice any significant issues with grammar. Unfortunately (and surprisingly, given the last statement), there were numerous issues with typos and incorrect words. Typos were the kind you’d expect to find and (hopefully) fix in your own writing: missing or extra letters (“of” instead of “off” or visa versa) and transposed letters. Wrong words were typically sound alike words with different meanings, “roll” instead of “role” and “isle” instead of “aisle” are two examples that occurred multiple times. I found most of these issues to be less jarring than in other books I’ve read with this kind of problem, although it was still enough to disrupt smooth reading. However, they were numerous enough to have a significant influence on my overall rating.


Sexual content and some adult language. Were this a romance novel, I would recommend an age range of 17+.

Format/Typo Issues:

See discussion in the appraisal section.

Rating: *** Three stars

No comments: