What I've noticed so far of Joaquin Murieta is the rapid pace and lack of chapters. Still, the reading is refreshing in a way. I know Murieta's past and encounters thereafter seem crude and inhumane: they are shockingly violent and simple--I like this. In Blithedale we're confined to perceiving a more withdrawn and upright reality where the tension lies in developing character relationship. Here, the scope is much-much broader as we see men being cut down and shot--each who have their lives ended at the whim of Murieta. As a reader I'm glad to encounter this kind of writing. Where as we're often forced in perceiving the subtle and simple as novel ideas, there is equally as much to gain from novels of larger proportions because they force us to consider our mortality within the context of existence as a whole: thoughts of the sublime get stirred up, and there's a feeling of awe spurred on by the heavy contrast of circumstance. I'll have to say that characters like Murieta have always intruiged me. He's a Zorro type of ruffian who actually lived a life that most of us would deam foolish, inhumane, and terrible. Often, people like Murieta aren't born like this--fate leaves them no choice in the matter. I'm looking forward to seeing where this book ends up. The pace is a welcome change.