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The storylines, frames, narrators (e.g., cats, an historical dog, a tuning fork, God) of Sadler's arsenal are unusual and can be shocking ("The Last Time Americans Agreed on Anything Was World War II"). The "history," always at least grounded in truth, includes Native Americans, the American Revolution (and the Welsh in North Carolina), the Civil War, the Quasi-War with France, Grey Wolf and Turkey, slaves and slave uprisings (not just in America but Austria and Cartagena), the Indus civilization, a take-over of the world (and Afghanistan) by a coalition of cats and horses, an old maid missionary/spy who gives the phrase "paper tiger" to Mao-Tse-tung, a follow-on to Jack Kerouac's last novel (Pic), animal abuse (a struggle to save the condors of Argentina, lemurs and other animals in Madagascar, and tortoises in the Encantadas/Galapagos), Operation Desert Story and Operation Iraqi Freedom, peacocks and the legacy of Pukka Sahib Ockenden, America's Twenties, Toby Jugs, and a husband-and-wife team who belong to The Company and communicate via a code based on Dodgson's Alice. Sadler's connections are amazing. One story combines the Old West, Lillie Langtry, Lash La Rue, Guru W. Edwards Deming, sweet potatoes, music, a World Crusade, Japan, and Ava Gardner; another offers up Hanukkah, Annie Leibovitz, Einstein, and "The Shamus Maccabeus." Sadler does her research before she writes, but she's also voyaged around the world five times, especially apparent in "Fresh Rice Ear of a Thousand Autumns." You'll often hear the "real" with new details. Wit and imagination also partner throughout this collection.
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