The Legend of Colton H. Bryant by Alexandra Fuller

In these days, the wild west of Wyoming has been tamed by teeming hoards of oil rigs that drill for Colton natural gas as fast as the metal making them can be bolted together.  It takes a tough-minded group of people to run these operations, as the pace is relentless – and highly dangerous.  It’s hard to put a human face on these workers that seem so distant, but in this book, Fuller succeeds wonderfully, in this retelling of Colton Bryant’s life, as child of the rolling plains, rig worker extraordinaire, with a heart the size of…well… Wyoming.

Colton and his brother would be third generation oil rig roughnecks.  Colton grew up in a tight-knit family in Evanston, Wyoming, and idolized his father, who personified the cowboy image for him – stoic, soft-spoken, and good-hearted.  Although picked on constantly by other kids, to family and friends, Colton was a rare gem – light-hearted to a tee, daring to a fault, and a true friend to anyone who got to know him.  For the oil rigs that hired him, he turned out to be a tireless worker, and kept his amazing sense of spirit about him, even as the 12 hour shifts and long distance work sites put a hard strain on his personal life.

It’s almost a cliche to say that someone with this sunny a disposition sets himself up for tragedy, and unfortunately, it does happen, although I won’t give away anymore than that.  What amazes me about this book is how well Colton jumps off the page – I felt fortunate to encounter such a great soul. 

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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