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Moorman
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« Reply #150 on: January 27, 2017, 12:36:00 PM »

ENCYLOPEDIE DU WESTERN



I got this for christmas. It's by Patrick Brion, whose well documented and illustrated CLINT EASTWOOD and MARTIN SCORSESE books I've owned for years. I don't always agree with him but his heart is on the right side.

I would love to have these books, but not at $400 on Amazon...

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« Reply #151 on: January 29, 2017, 09:42:47 AM »

As I understand this one shares the same content as the cool box in a much simpler way (just 1 book, soft cover, no box) and at a more interesting (although still high) price:

https://www.amazon.com/Encyclop%C3%A9die-du-Western/dp/2753303150/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1485708087&sr=8-2&keywords=Encyclop%C3%A9die+du+western

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« Reply #152 on: March 12, 2017, 11:50:31 PM »



I don't know how much "true" these stories are. They're told in fictionalized fashion and the facts are diverging from those that can be read at wikipedia. Still they make entertaining reading and prod to check on some obscure characters like Ben Thompson or "Bear River" Tom Smith or the circumstances surrounding's Belle Starr murder. But the strangest item is the final story about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: nothing else than a short novelization of the movie by a certain Van Hetherly. I wonder how this came about. The book was published in 1971. 7/10

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« Reply #153 on: April 05, 2017, 06:23:51 PM »



Western Stories Omnibus ed. by William Targ

First published in 1945 it had some reprints, even in those Armed Forces strip format editions, but the content is really disappointing. Hard to dig how the 19 stories were selcted, but they're generally mediocre, with some exception (Mulford, Gruber, Lomax) which doesn't make though the "good" rank, just passable. 4-5/10

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« Reply #154 on: April 20, 2017, 10:45:12 PM »



Great Tales of the American West ed. by Harry G. Maule.

Published in 1945, it has a high literary level, as far as the genre can reach. But there's little of the boom-boom fare (the best being the Hopalong Cassidy story, the dud being the Tuttle's mediocre Sunset). I give it 8/10   with the recommendation to shy away from it if you're interested in actioin stories.

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« Reply #155 on: April 23, 2017, 12:27:24 AM »

There's a new book out called Dodge City, by Tom Clavin. About Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson and all the other characters in that legendary Western city. Here is a review of that book, from The Wall Street Journal. The review was written by Stephen Harrigan:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-ballad-of-wyatt-and-bat-1488576938?emailToken=JRrydP15Y3uUi9czaMwg1FBtZKAMD%2BaFA1TZaW/bM1TQ8XXTraerzrlw3ofn8T7wGxchtw%3D%3D

The Stuttering Kid, Stink Finger Jim, Squirrel Tooth Alice, Big Nose Kate, Cockeyed Frank Loving, Dirty Sock Jack, Cold Chuck Johnny, Deadwood Dick, Prairie Dog Dave Morrow, Mysterious Dave Mather, Dirty Dave Rudabaugh : When it comes to nicknames, has there ever been a more exuberant time and place in America than western Kansas in the 1870s and 1880s? Dodge City, the subject of Tom Clavin’s absorbing if moseying book, didn’t have a punchy moniker like some of its infamous inhabitants or passers-through, though it was neatly summed up by a Chicago newspaper editor in a famous phrase: “the beautiful, bibulous Babylon of the West.”

Wyatt Earp didn’t have a nickname either, and didn’t need one. His real name was already a kind of definition of the grimly determined Old West lawman. He is one of the two main characters in “Dodge City.” The other is the Canadian-born, bowler-hatted Bertholomiew Masterson, who under the shortened first name of “Bat” patrolled the streets of Dodge City with Wyatt Earp, where they perfected the art of “buffaloing” (i.e., rendering unconscious with a smart rap from a pistol barrel) troublesome Texas cowboys.

Mr. Clavin’s many books have included subjects as diverse as Louis Prima and Joe DiMaggio, but he is best known as the co-author (with Bob Drury ) of a sweeping history of Red Cloud’s War, “The Heart of Everything That Is,” and of the World War II Naval saga “Halsey’s Typhoon.” This book is different in concept and tone, not just because it’s a solo outing by Mr. Clavin but because there’s no climactic destination like a typhoon or an Indian battle. Mr. Clavin takes due notice of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral but gives it only a few pages, since it happened in Tombstone, Ariz., and not Dodge City. In fact, the book steadily builds to a “High Noon”-style face-off that evaporated before it could even happen. “For purely dramatic purposes,” the author notes with wry wistfulness of his non-climax, “it would be wonderful to describe the wild shoot-out that followed.”

This may sound like a problem, but it’s not. “Dodge City” is meant to be not a cycloramic narrative but a series of sketches and biographical tableaux that the reader encounters at an easy narrative gait. It’s fun and revealing all the way through. The main sketch, of course, is of Dodge City itself, the town that grew up around a U.S. Army fort on the Arkansas River and became the emblematic untamed American place. It was a frontier town of rampaging outlaws, “soiled doves,” rambunctious “waddies” just off the cattle trails and peace officers, like Wyatt Earp, whose commitment to law enforcement did not get too much in the way of their own casual criminality.

Dodge City emerged out of the prairie, Mr. Clavin writes, because of “three uncontainable forces that intersected there: buffalo, railroads, and longhorn cattle from Texas.” It was as close as any place to being the epicenter of the great bison slaughter of the 1870s, when hunting crews swarmed over the plains armed with Sharps rifles and skinning knives to satisfy a newly developed market for buffalo hides. The hides were shipped east on freshly laid railroad tracks, which also sparked the great trail drives that delivered cattle all the way from south Texas to Kansas railheads like Dodge City.

When the cowboys were in town, it was a busy time for Earp and Masterson and the other marshals and sheriffs engaged in the business of “lawing.” “It is hip-liiphurrali till five in the morning,” a Kansas City Times reporter wrote, meaning that the Long Branch and other Dodge City watering holes teemed with drunken trail drivers violently unwinding after escorting 3,000 head of cattle 700 miles through Texas and the Oklahoma Indian Territory.

Since the lawmen were paid $2.50 per arrest, the hip-liiphurrali times also meant a significant bump in pay, but lawing was hazardous work that drew men like Earp who were, in the words of his friend Masterson, “devoid of physical fear.” Before he was a Dodge City lawman, Earp was a horse thief, brothel bouncer, buffalo hunter, freight hauler and bereaved widower. (His next three wives, according to Mr. Clavin, would all be prostitutes.) He was also resolutely sober, the result of a nauseating, head-spinning first encounter with alcohol that he did not care to repeat.

Maybe the fact that Earp was both devoid of fear and devoid of drink was responsible for the laconic personality that helped slot him into the role of enduring American hero. Mr. Clavin gives Earp his due, but one of the virtues of his book is the welcome light it shines on its other protagonist, Bat Masterson, who comes across as much more interesting, human and fun. “Now in the legend of the West,” went the theme song to a long-ago 1950s western about Masterson, “one name stands out of all the rest.” That wasn’t exactly true then, and it isn’t exactly true now. Masterson’s name recognition is probably far below that of Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday (who is also one of the book’s westernis personae), but “Dodge City” should help give him a much-deserved boost to the A list.

Far from a sidekick to Wyatt Earp—“no one’s Walter Brennan, Andy Devine, or Slim Pickens”—he is a force in his own right in Mr. Clavin’s book, a “chunk of steel” who was in the thick of the action at the 1874 Battle of Adobe Walls, in which the Comanche chief Quanah Parker led a disastrous assault on a buffalo-hunting outpost in the Texas Panhandle. In the Red River War that followed, Masterson served as a scout for Col. Nelson Miles and was one of the men who negotiated the surrender of a Cheyenne band under Stone Calf; he also rescued two young girls, Katherine and Sophia German, whom the Indians had captured the year before. At the time he was only 21, with his whole reputation as a Dodge City lawman before him and after that—as Mr. Clavin relates—a whole other reputation as a popular sportswriter and man-about-town in New York. Indeed, the most eye-opening revelation in a book full of shoot-outs and saloon brawls may well be that Bat Masterson, former buffalo hunter, Indian fighter and frontier marshal, ended up being a mentor to gossip columnist Louella Parsons.

Such droll little fact-bombs abound in “Dodge City,” along with guest appearances by Frank and Jesse James, John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid, Tom Mix, Belle Starr, Theodore Roosevelt and other Old West marquee names who crossed the many trails of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Not on the marquee, but indelible nonetheless, is the dance-hall girl who went by the name of Prairie Rose and who bet a visiting trail driver $50 that she would walk naked down the main street of Ellsworth, Kan. “At five the next morning,” Mr. Clavin writes, “a naked Prairie Rose did walk down the street, but she held two cocked six-shooters and shouted out that she would put a bullet in the first cowboy face that appeared in a window.”

That’s what you call a showdown.

---
Mr. Harrigan is the author, most recently, of the novel “A Friend of Mr. Lincoln.”

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« Reply #156 on: April 23, 2017, 08:03:41 AM »

Are you gonna read this book?

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« Reply #157 on: April 23, 2017, 06:53:59 PM »

Probably not  Azn

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« Reply #158 on: May 02, 2017, 02:36:40 AM »





Dorothy Johnson published 2 collections of short stories, including 3 which spawned 4 movies. This one was originally titled Indian Country and then again as A Man Called Horse to exploit the movie's success.  There is little to say, the general level of the stories vary from good to excellent (of course, TMWSLV being one of these). What is amazing is the attitude towards Indians, not seen as devils or victims: and we were in the '50's. I can't but give it a 10/10 hoping to find soon the other collection.

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« Reply #159 on: May 04, 2017, 07:39:31 AM »


Any pulp fan knows very well the name of the editor of the pulp magazine Black Mask and probably even knows that he collected some stories from that american hard-boiled fiction arena in an anthology. But few, very few (in facts I never found it quoted in the dozens of essays in any form which quote him in some way), know he also collected this anthology of western fiction: this could happen only in internet times. How this collection came to be assembled is anybody's guess. At that time (1951) Shaw was a literary agent, having long gone abandoned the directorial desk of the magazine which made him famous and that  it was to fold in the same year. In spite of the good intentions explicated in the preface (you can read it here: http://davycrockettsalmanack.blogspot.it/2010/11/forgotten-books-spurs-west-edited-by.html), the level is quite uneven. At least 5-6 of the stories are mediocre; the 2 rodeo ones acceptable but too similar to other dozens of the genre. The Thompson story is probably the best one with the Haycox. The other two are good , but unoriginal, travel stories. 6/10

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« Reply #160 on: May 09, 2017, 07:51:51 AM »

Currently reading "Bloody Bill Anderson: The Short, Savage Life of a Civil War Guerrilla" also purchased "William Clarke Quantrill: His Life and Times" and "Bloody Dawn: The Story of the Lawrence Massacre"

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« Reply #161 on: May 11, 2017, 10:52:56 PM »



A very good anthology (1975) for the high school divided into three parts: history, fiction and criticism. Apart from a miss (Zane Grey's Canyon Walls) the level of contributions varies from good to excellent. 9/10

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« Reply #162 on: May 13, 2017, 11:42:00 AM »

Great Western Short Stories (1967) ed. by J. Golden Taylor



An excellent anthology of literary western literature. The problem with it is to understand what is meant by "western": stories set in the West, I'd say. That means that if you're looking for action stories you must steer away from it.  I was impressed though by a story by Van Tilburg Clark called Hook. If you can get ahold of it, read it. That story alone makes me give this one 9/10.

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« Reply #163 on: May 21, 2017, 05:33:24 PM »



I give this an undisputed 10/10. Sure, the quality of the 30 stories varies, but only from good to excellent. Each one of them possesses an originale twist or element which makes it interesting, the writing is never dull (and these are the very first things Leoinard ever published).

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« Reply #164 on: May 26, 2017, 03:55:08 PM »



The Mammoth Book of the Western.

Excellent anthology of literary and action stories. I give it 9/10 because a handful is vastly collected in previous releases.

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