The King of Taos by Max Evans
Max Evans’ love for Taos, and Northern New Mexico as a whole, runs deep. His numerous published works have garnered Spur, Wrangler, and Owen Wister awards, the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts as well as film adaptations.
His latest novel, The King of Taos, drips with terminology and description that would make any local swoon like a strong bowl of green chile stew on a cold winter day. Evans’ love of human experience in general is even deeper, as exemplified by the various characters who strive for meaning, for something more than the habituation, mundanity and other pitfalls of daily life throughout the course of the novel.
Inspired by past personal experience, The King of Taos is New Mexico storyteller Max Evans’ ode to the place he loves most, and to the colorful personalities and stereotypes who inhabit it. Set in Taos and the surrounding areas in the years following World War II, The King of Taos is a brief glimpse at Max’s life in a evolving, post-war small town, full of dusty, bawdy individuals, each living their lives to the fullest.
In the face of life’s obstacles, the inhabitants of Max Evans’ Taos are full of aspiration, never ceasing to believe that ‘today will be the day’, that they’ll become the famous artist, that they’ll get that payday, find that treasure, fall in love; you get the idea. Regardless of the circumstance, Evans has faith in the perseverance of people, and it is beautiful and sad and uplifting all at the same time.
The notion that there is always another hustle around the corner, that the enterprising nature of the human spirit can and will triumph motivates each character. This hope dances off the page, the ability to dream is communal and inspiring and tightly bonds the reader to the various troubled souls of Evans’ world. At the end of the day everyone has their own struggle that they are trying to overcome, and sometimes a little optimism never hurts.
Review by Joel
The King of Taos is in stock at the bookstore, you can order it online or call us at (505) 988-4226.