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Author Topic: Western Books  (Read 68103 times)
The Firecracker
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« Reply #105 on: March 12, 2011, 12:16:10 AM »

There are two parallel series to this, you noticed?

The regular and "giant book" series?
Is that what you mean?

There are other "Adult Westerns" put out by the same publishing house that sometimes feature Longarm as a guest.
Gunsmith and Lonestar are two of them but I haven't caught up to these.

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« Reply #106 on: March 12, 2011, 09:56:37 AM »



There are other "Adult Westerns" put out by the same publishing house that sometimes feature Longarm as a guest.
Gunsmith and Lonestar are two of them but I haven't caught up to these.

That's what I meant.

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« Reply #107 on: March 13, 2011, 12:52:18 AM »

I've read Longarm is the best of these and since I just got into them I have a lot of ground to cover so I have very little interest in the other series at the moment.

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« Reply #108 on: March 20, 2011, 10:11:50 PM »

More of these great covers (and back)



















« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 10:13:45 PM by The Firecracker » Logged



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« Reply #109 on: August 20, 2011, 01:57:14 PM »



Ford's book is almost a Everson's french version, as it devotes half of its pages to pre-Stagecoach movies and serials. But it gives new informations about them, though I have the impression they're all second hand. He dedicates little space to european westerns but then with some informations I hadn't found before, like the early century french series about "Arizona Bill". He also gives some hints about little known movies, like The Command. He is very fair towards Leone and he's not afraid to talk of "grand cinema" about OUTW; that wasn't so usual in 1976. 7\10




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« Reply #110 on: October 02, 2011, 07:51:41 PM »

I used to know a professional editor who used to do contract work for commercial publishers. He claimed he wrote some of the Lonestar novels on a contract basis. He didn't care what he had to write so long as he got paid.  

Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian -- about the scalphunters who ostensibly invaded Texas for bounty paid by the Mexican government in the 1840s -- is a horror western that rises above every western ever written. McCarthy creates an atmosphere of hell on earth under the bright sun.

Recently I discovered the Hopalong Cassidy novels by Clarence E. Mulford. He wrote 28 novels steeped in lore and authenticity between 1906 and 1941. Mulford was the real thing. There are no other western novels quite like his. Forget the movie series. The movie series trivializes and diminishes Mulford's stories. They couldn't be further apart. Literary critics credit Owen Wister with starting the western novel with The Virginian (published in 1906), but I think Mulford started what we know as the western novel with Bar 20 (also 1906) and continued to build on the foundation until he stopped writing. He sustained the genre throughout the 1910s and 1920s and saved it from all those Zane Grey romances. He's one of those writers that other writers go to for inspiration. Now that I'm reading Mulford, I see his influence everywhere in western fiction.

Everybody, read Mulford.


Richard

« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 07:56:13 PM by Richard--W » Logged

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« Reply #111 on: October 02, 2011, 08:44:12 PM »

Thanks for the tip  Afro

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« Reply #112 on: November 24, 2011, 11:38:22 PM »

The western history I recommend most often is ...



Includes all the stuff Dee Brown left out of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

Bloodthirsty as hell, and it's documented fact.


Richard

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« Reply #113 on: November 25, 2011, 06:17:37 AM »

Thanks Richard W, I'll have to check it out  Afro


Some Historical Narratives that are great (though they deal mostly East of the Mississippi) and are not just dry history and are derived from historical documents, journals, letters, diaries, etc., etc., are those by Allan W. Eckert, he really hooks you in to the Colonial History of North America, once hooked you just go to the bibliography he used and launch from there.




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« Reply #114 on: November 25, 2011, 01:12:04 PM »

I've heard good things about Allan W. Eckert historical fiction narratives. I've been wanting to read them, but there's so little time for reading. Right now I'm busy trying to make footnotes match the text so I can't focus on reading for entertainment. However, your post does raise a question that often comes up regarding the geography of the west.

To simplify, the American west took place -- and still takes place -- west of the Mississippi river. If a story happens east of the Mississippi, it's not a western. Why? Partly because the landscape changes, and the landscape largely determines the experience of exploration and discovery and conflict and settlement and the distinct culture that arises from it. There is a middle-ground, however. For example, Mark Twain's historical and autobiographical novels Tom Sawyer (published in 1875) and Huckleberry Finn (1884)  take place on both sides of the river. In real life, Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett spent their lives in the southeast but traveled some to the west. The same frontier conditions took place in the east at an earlier time; the Colonial period along the Atlantic coast, and the antebellum south with the Civil War. So Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), The Fighting Kentuckian (1949), Johnny Tremain (1957), Revolution (1985), April Morning (1988), Last of the Mohicans (1992), and The Patriot (2000) from the Colonial period, and Birth of a Nation (1914), Gone With the Wind (1939), Friendly Persuasion (1956), Shenandoah  (1965), Sandburg's Lincoln (1974), Mandingo (1975), Roots (1977), Glory (1989), Gettysburg (1993), and Gods and Generals (2003) from the Civil War period, are not westerns although they operate on all the  elements of the western in a different geographic location and a distinctly different culture. Technically, the period of discovery and conflict and settlement in the American west came to an end in 1912 when the savages were finally penned up and the last of the western territories achieved statehood. In the absence of frontier conditions, western culture continued, so that a movie that takes place in the American west and that is observant of western lifestyles like Arena (1953), The Misfits (1961), Urban Cowboy (1980) and Lone Star (1996) qualify as a correlated genre, the contemporary western. I know that more explanation is required in such a discussion, and I invite you all to discuss it, but you're not going to get it from me.


Richard

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"I am not afraid to die like a man fighting but I would not like to be killed like a dog unarmed."
William H. Bonney to Gov. Lew Wallace, March 1879.
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« Reply #115 on: November 25, 2011, 01:50:10 PM »

I personally break it down this way, any film set between the settled edge of the Atlantic seaboard colonies (French, English, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish I guess we should include them all to be accurate) and the Pacific Ocean, and Hudson's Bay South including Mexico prior to the advent of the revolver I call Frontier Films/Epics.
So the time line would be from the early 1600's to say when the percussion cap revolver was (invented by Samuel Colt in 1836) beginning to become widespread say the 1840's.

So a film like Black Robe would be an example of a very early Frontier film.  Another early one would be Hudson's Bay about Radisson & Groseilliers taking place between 1660-1680's. Then a bookend film to these would be say The Alamo, Kit Carson, and Jeremiah Johnson.

Once the revolver came into play then I designate the films Westerns but  the boundary changes from the Mississippi to the Pacific and then in the North Alaska the Yukon, & the Northwest Territories South to and including Mexico to 1920. After roughly 1920 I'll call them Modern Westerns.

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« Reply #116 on: January 04, 2012, 09:45:06 AM »

I got myself one yesterday, and managed to read most of it (only skipping parts) already.
Not exactly the cleverest thing to do when you need to catch up on your sleep. Whatever.

Karel Jordán: Tenkrát na Západě - Český průvodce světovými westerny. I.e. "Once Upon A Time In The West - A Czech Guide to the World's Westerns"
And most probably the first one to date. Published last year, a bit too hurriedly it seems (so that it could serve as a Christmas gift), because it seems the editor did a sloppy work; the most glaring instance being the author claiming that Riga, the birthplace of an "eastern" actor, is in Estonia (pah!). That sort of mistake makes me feel a little bit less inclined to believe anything the author writes, but as far as I can tell, most of the Western-related stuff is correct.
The sub-title says it all. It's quite a brief but all-encompassing look through the history of westerns (and red-westerns, and easterns). Probably nothing special for people used to the likes of Frayling (whom I still have not got a chance to read, but whom Jordán lists as a source), but quite a revelation in the Czech Republic. Karel Jordán is very obviously a dedicated fan, and very obviously a fan of spaghetti westerns, too. There's a lot about red-westerns and western-like films from countries such as Romania that you don't normally learn on the internet (at least I have not, which does not necessarily mean anything). And it is, also, very obviously Czech, which I love. Fun to read overall. (Might not be such fun for people who are not Czech, because he quotes Jára Cimrman, among other things...)
Oh, and there's a photo of Harmonica and Frank on the cover, and he lists this site among his useful websites.

« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 09:52:46 AM by marmota-b » Logged


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« Reply #117 on: January 26, 2012, 09:19:59 PM »

I'm only halfway through it (I'm reading a handful of bricks at the same time) but this book is very fascinating.



Unfortunately I don't think it was ever translated, so it's only for people who can read german.

Hembus traces an history of American West by chronologically enumerating the most important facts and figures of the period, sometime critically discussing the most important ones. At the same time he includes a list of all the western movies (both hollywoodian and not) which dealt with the same topic, giving some short informations on the plot. You end up having a good (and, most of all, systematic) representation of reality vs. filmic myth. The number of movies (even recent ones) I didn't even hear of (let alone watched)  is endless. Unfortunately the author died a few years ago and the most recent edition of the book (first appeared in 1981) was published in 1996. 9\10

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« Reply #118 on: January 27, 2012, 02:40:36 AM »

Joe Hembus died 1985 in the Alps in an avalanche.

He is still sadly missed. All his books about film were very beautifully written and very thoughtful.

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« Reply #119 on: January 27, 2012, 05:15:16 AM »

sounds very interesting.

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