The Man Called Teacher

Fiction - Western
234 Pages
Reviewed on 03/18/2020
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Author Biography

David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, teacher, professional rodeo cowboy, football coach, stage and film actor and—most of all—writer. While his latest book (and his first western), The Man Called Teacher, was released in January by BWL Publishing Inc., David’s writing career began in earnest when The Welcomin’ won the 1984 Alberta Culture Short Story Competition. Now the author of 27 books, the UBC Creative Writing alumnus and former Writer in Residence at the Saskatoon Public Library, made his debut in the world of adult crime fiction in 2015 with Serpents Rising, the first book in the best-selling Cullen and Cobb Mystery series. The fourth book in the series, None So Deadly, hit bookstores in May of 2019.
But David wears another hat, this one a Stetson, in keeping with his career as a rodeo announcer/broadcaster. Canada’s Cowboy of the Year for 2015—the first announcer ever to receive that award-- David has enjoyed four decades behind the microphone at rodeos across North America and is closing in on 3000 performances over that time span. These include six appearances at the Canadian Finals Rodeo and thirty-three consecutive years at the Calgary Stampede. His television credits include TSN Television Sports, CTV's Wide World of Sports and CFCN's regional Calgary Stampede coverage. And he has appeared in several episodes of the popular CBC television drama, Heartland. David lives with his wife Barb on a small ranch in the foothills of southwestern Alberta where they raise barrel racing horses.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sandy Masia for Readers' Favorite

The small town of Kecking Horse in Montana needs a teacher. An advertisement is placed, and T.I. Morgan answers the advertisement. Both the placing of the advertisement and T. I. Morgan answering it lead to an enthralling series of events. The Man Called Teacher by David A. Poulsen is a story of those events and more.

Westerns have a bad rap; they are often portrayed as action over substance thrillers with nothing more to show for it. The Man Called Teacher defies all that while providing us with plenty that will please traditional Western lovers. It is a multifaceted book. The true-to-era colloquial language pulls the reader in immediately. It is lighthearted and often humorous, but what it does very well is surprise you with moments of depth, beauty, and passion. I did not expect that at any moment in this book I would cry or even feel very moved, although I was very entertained and engaged. Such is the talent of David A. Poulsen; the ability to craft something so easy to digest and yet so powerful.

The story is a good one, but the way it is told is exceptional. The style, both colloquial and historical, puts this book into its own realm, treading seriousness and fantasy. Playing with our impulses to mark things as either real or hearsay, David A. Poulsen explores a world where both things are true – a matter of accepted record. The Man Called Teacher is a book that is sure to stay with you long after the last page is read, yearning to go back there. You never want to say goodbye. Terrific!

K.C. Finn

The Man Called Teacher is a work of fiction in the western action and drama genres and was penned by author David A. Poulsen. Recommended for more mature readers due to some moderate scenes of violence and a few sexual situations, this intriguing novel shows how the arrival of a mysterious stranger in a small Montana town can shake things up. The man they call Teacher is true to his name as he takes a position at Kecking Horse School, but he’s got a lot of lessons to deliver to certain townspeople than just those regarding horses. What follows is a deep and complex drama with plenty of thrills and social tensions.

Author David A. Poulsen has done a fantastic job in creating a compelling interpersonal small-town drama that would appeal to a lot of contemporary readers but also keeping the whip-cracking and hard-edged spirit of the traditional western novel alive as well. For me, Virgil Watt was by far the most interesting character, with a lot of frank and eye-opening conversations caused by his presence wherever he went. I found the social issues of the novel really well handled and contrasted against the tough world of which Poulsen paints a vivid portrait, and there were also plenty of atmospheric and historical details to keep you firmly rooted in the period whilst you’re reading. Overall, The Man Called Teacher is an intelligently penned western to rival any contemporary read for its depth, action, mystery and complexities. A highly recommended read.

Trudi LoPreto

The story of The Man Called Teacher is told to us by William Dearing through his memories of what happened in his Montana town, Kecking Horse, four years ago. When the new teacher arrives, it is a great surprise to find out he is not a woman but a man wearing a gun and not at all whom they expected. Teacher is a man who comes to town as the new school teacher but is there for reasons other than teaching. He arrives by stage with his friend Virgil Watt, who is the first black man to ever come to Kecking Horse and he is not a very welcome addition. With Teacher’s arrival comes fighting and gun battles and men dying. It appears that someone wants Teacher dead and will do whatever is necessary. Teacher has the same idea and the only thing he is really interested in is seeing the man he came to seek out dead as well. The final battle in the new schoolhouse is the deciding factor of who lives and who dies.

The Man Called Teacher by David A. Poulsen is a different western book than just the old wild west story but more a story of retaliation for a wrong and Teacher wanting to make it right. It was hard to think of him as a gunman because he was a smart, likable character. It was all told as a story that happened and was being written by someone who had shared in the adventure. This was a little different and interesting approach by author David A. Poulsen. I enjoy reading western stories and The Man Called Teacher did not disappoint.