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Old 05-30-2011, 01:12 PM   #1
outlander78
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Westerns?

One genre I have never read is the classic western. I gather they sat alongside pulp and mystery novels for decades, but unlike the other two, I can't find a good way to get into western novels. Can you suggest some good ones, please - either authors or titles to look for? Perhaps even a publisher similar to Hard Case Crime, but for the western genre?

thank you,
Andrew
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:39 PM   #2
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One genre I have never read is the classic western. I gather they sat alongside pulp and mystery novels for decades, but unlike the other two, I can't find a good way to get into western novels. Can you suggest some good ones, please - either authors or titles to look for? Perhaps even a publisher similar to Hard Case Crime, but for the western genre?

thank you,
Andrew
Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour are generally regarded as the masters of the genre.

One book I read lately and hugely enjoyed was 'Log of a Cowboy' by Andy Adams. Adams actually was a cowboy, and writes from experience.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:17 PM   #3
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Thank you - I'll check them out.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:20 PM   #4
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J T Edson and his Dusty Fog series is worth checking out as well
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:38 PM   #5
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Louis L'Amour is the consummate Western writer. Every place he wrote about, he had either been to or knew through his conversations with old-timers that it existed at the time of the story. He painted with words. Pick any book. My first was Comstock Load and still one of my favorites. It's a longer one, though. Haunted Mesa is more modern day. It is a very good book, but not one you would choose if you want to see if you like the genre.

Kiwi, thanks for the heads up on the JT Edson.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:58 PM   #6
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Andrew, I believe that the first western best seller was The Virginian by Owen Wister, published in 1902.

I suggest you start with that one.

Among modern authors, I can recommend Elmore Leonard.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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You might also be interested in our discussion of Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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You might also be interested in our discussion of Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
That book seems to be universally loved amongst Western readers. It comes up every time I ask for a good place to start reading Westerns myself. I should get around to it soon.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:20 PM   #9
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That book seems to be universally loved amongst Western readers. It comes up every time I ask for a good place to start reading Westerns myself. I should get around to it soon.
You'll see from our discussion thread that it has some major flaws, but that it is still a generally enjoyable read. I am certainly glad that I got round to finally reading it - at least I know what the fuss is all about .
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:11 PM   #10
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I love the classic stuff, too, but don't overlook some of the fantastic more recent works either. Robert B. Parker's (of Spencer fame) westerns starring Vigil Cole and Everett Hitch are excellent (Appaloosa, Resolution and Brimstone). I can also recommend James D. Best's Steve Dancy stories. The first book (The Shopkeeper) is available for $4.99 - $5.99 pretty much anywhere ebooks are sold.

I'd also feel remiss if I didn't mention Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove.

Blue Heaven by C.J. Box is a modern day thriller with a classic western subplot that might serve as a nice transition from crime/mystery to westerns.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:04 PM   #11
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I love the classic stuff, too, but don't overlook some of the fantastic more recent works either. Robert B. Parker's (of Spencer fame) westerns starring Vigil Cole and Everett Hitch are excellent (Appaloosa, Resolution and Brimstone).
My favourite author of all time .
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:35 AM   #12
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*Lonesome Dove* is by far my favourite ever western novel, Outlander. Must have read it half a dozen times. I did see the TV series and it was excellent, but no movie could ever do justice to the book itself. Cheers. Neil
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:53 AM   #13
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I never read the "pulp" westerns much but I remember seeing Louis L'amour, Max Brand, Luke Short and Ray Hogan on the paperback shelves.

Larry McMurtry is a favorite of mine and a step above the standard western fare.

Also check our Dorothy Johnson's short stories (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, A Man Called Horse), Thomas Berger's Little Big Man, The Ox-bow Incident by Walter van Tilburg Clark, Shane by Jack Schaeffer, and The Way West by A.B. Guthrie.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:46 AM   #14
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Of all of those so far, Shane is the only one I've read. I studied it in high school and I can remember really enjoying it.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:26 AM   #15
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Also Zane Grey's _The Lone Star Ranger_:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=99817

(said to be the inspiration for _The Lone Ranger_, but don't hold that against it)

William
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