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The Melancholy Fate of Capt. Lewis book. Read 8 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. While writing a biography of his famous namesake .
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Lewis , the correlations between the two men of the story are there to be seen by the reader. Pritchett brings great perception, sympathy, excitement and edification to the modern-day experiences with depression and melancholy.

In addition, these sidebar-type characters provide intensity and realism even as the reader understands that they are reading a fictional narration. As we watch Bill struggle with his son who has an eating disorder, a pregnant student, a sexily tempting wife of a friend, and his own marriage, we sense that we are meant to see a pattern of history repeating itself.

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Pritchett comes out early on in the book as being of the belief that Capt. Lewis committed suicide, something that has not ever been fully proven.

Michael Pritchett

Nevertheless, the rhythm of the book focuses our attention on the long-term affects of depression and how, even in modern times, the world can seem so overwhelming as to make suicide seem to be a viable option. The clever crisscross of fact and fiction make The Melancholy Fate of Capt. Lewis exciting and dramatic reading, even though the elements of depression and personal trauma may make it a difficult book to finish.


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This modern Lewis is a high-school teacher and historian, writing a book about Meriwether Lewis and the Voyage of Discovery. It may kill him.

“The Melancholy Fate” | An exploration of madness

Bill Lewis is giving way to his own chronic depression; a deepening chill in his marriage; and a dangerous affection for one of his students, Joaney, who is smart, pretty and very pregnant. Someone, probably her lover, has blackened her eye.


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The contemporary Lewis is in his second marriage, to a wife who seems more faithful and understanding than he deserves. I will make you handsome, but also somehow offensive to women. Pritchett, in the voice of Bill Lewis, knows his stuff when it comes to the Lewis and Clark expedition, and offers disturbing revisions of the great American legend.

Authors 'Round the South - THE MELANCHOLY FATE OF CAPT. LEWIS: A Novel of Lewis & Clark

Show me one soul whose lot was improved. The Americans. Without the help of others, and guidance and temperance, he would perish, one felt fairly sure.

Lewis and Clark are vividly drawn against historical landscapes that the author expertly understands.