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Author Topic: Any Good Western Novels?  (Read 8016 times)

Offline Jonny_Anonymous

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Any Good Western Novels?
« on: May 01, 2014, 10:39:02 AM »
I've always loved watching a good western as well as reading the comics like Jonah Hex and Loveless but I've never actually checked out any of the novels. Does anybody know of any good ones? After some internet sleuthing I kept seeing a book called The Shootist popping up but unfortunately it's not available on kindle.
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Offline Jonny_Anonymous

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Re: Any Good Western Novels?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2014, 11:46:36 AM »
Nope?
“There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for ever should we fail- should we fall- we will know that we have lived.”


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Offline Ashes

Re: Any Good Western Novels?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2014, 01:19:21 PM »
I've read some Louis L'Amour. Flint, Hondo, The Burning Hills and Killroe. After reading an interview by David Gemmell where he said he was one of his biggest inspirations.
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Any Good Western Novels?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 12:12:19 AM »
I've always loved watching a good western as well as reading the comics like Jonah Hex and Loveless but I've never actually checked out any of the novels. Does anybody know of any good ones? After some internet sleuthing I kept seeing a book called The Shootist popping up but unfortunately it's not available on kindle.
I never knew there was a book called The Shootist. I've seen the film with John Wayne and Ron Howard. It was Wayne's final screen role. Lauren Bacall and Jimmy Stewart are also in it, so a pretty decent cast. It's worth seeing.
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry was a decent western book, it was also made into a mini series. James Michener's Centennial has some great western stuff in it. Even Flashman and the Redskins by George MacDonald Fraser has some good western type stuff as seen through the eyes of an Englishman. It's the 7th book of the series, but largely standalone. They're both fantasy, but Joe Abercrombie's Red Country is a fantasy western as is R.S Belcher's The Six-Gun Tarot. Of the two I'd probably go for Belcher, because while Abercrombie is great, the book is set in a secondary world, whereas The Six-Gun Tarot takes place in a silver town in Nevada.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Jamie Maltman

Re: Any Good Western Novels?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 12:43:05 AM »
Not likely what you're looking for unless you have a bent sense of humour and like to put together all your interests at the same time, but

Unicorn Western

is a tongue-in-cheek epic fantasy western homage mash-up that I quite enjoyed. It started as a joke, but it ended up a pretty big and interesting story. 9 novellas in the first volume, and I haven't read the prequel or sequel series yet.

Offline pornokitsch

Re: Any Good Western Novels?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2014, 07:10:56 PM »
Elmore Leonard's Westerns are great - and you can get collections of them pretty cheaply as paperbacks or on Kindle. Another good one is Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove.

Offline Overlord

Re: Any Good Western Novels?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2014, 11:26:11 AM »
Elmore Leonard's Westerns are great - and you can get collections of them pretty cheaply as paperbacks or on Kindle. Another good one is Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove.

I did an interview with Joe Abercrombie a few years back and he agreed with this:

'Currently I’m reading a lot of western fiction and non-fiction partly by way of research for my next book, I’ve been especially enjoying Elmore Leonard, that man can sketch a character. I’ve just finished Charles Portis’ True Grit, and very much looking forward to the Cohen brothers’ film adaptation of it. I’m also watching the complete Deadwood. Hell, yes.'

I loved A Red Country and if Joe picked them up, likely he'd been pointed to them as great as examples so I'd start right there :)
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Any Good Western Novels?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2014, 01:32:18 AM »
Elmore Leonard's Westerns are great - and you can get collections of them pretty cheaply as paperbacks or on Kindle. Another good one is Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove.

I did an interview with Joe Abercrombie a few years back and he agreed with this:

'Currently I’m reading a lot of western fiction and non-fiction partly by way of research for my next book, I’ve been especially enjoying Elmore Leonard, that man can sketch a character. I’ve just finished Charles Portis’ True Grit, and very much looking forward to the Cohen brothers’ film adaptation of it. I’m also watching the complete Deadwood. Hell, yes.'

I loved A Red Country and if Joe picked them up, likely he'd been pointed to them as great as examples so I'd start right there :)
I think he also read The Unforgiven as preparation for Red Country. I should have also mentioned James Michener's Texas as having some really good Western sequences, especially the life of Oscar McNab.The story of Nevada Smith in Harold Robbins' The Carpetbaggers is classic Western as well. It was later made into a film of the same name starring Steve McQueen as Nevada.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline RemadeGold

Re: Any Good Western Novels?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2015, 05:09:12 PM »
Not sure you're still looking, but my dad's read Luke Short, and I know we enjoy the Longmire TV series but haven't read all of the books.  Lots of good Westerns already mentioned. 0=)
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Any Good Western Novels?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2015, 01:51:48 AM »
I'm not sure if it'll interest you, but I can recommend a book by one of my fellow game designers (actually, the lead writer at my job) called The Bone Feud. It's a short read but based on some actual history.

http://www.amazon.com/Bone-Feud-Wynne-McLaughlin/dp/1502799200/

From the back cover:
Quote
2015 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Award Winner for "The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book: Fiction" At the height of the American Wild West, two friends and scientific colleagues went to war. Each scrambled to out-wit and out-discover the other in a race to unearth the skeletal remains of dozens of previously undiscovered species of dinosaurs. What began with spying, bribery, and theft, quickly exploded into a bitter feud involving hired gunfighters, secret deals, and sticks of dynamite. Scientist-adventurers Edward Cope and O.C. Marsh inadvertently unleashed “dinosaur fever" across the globe, and their amazing discoveries became the subject of bidding wars by universities, museums, and even the great showman P.T. Barnum. Their story has never been told, until now. THE BONE FEUD is an action-packed Wild West adventure based on real historic events.

Not sure if it's one you're looking for, but Wynne's an excellent writer, so I'm comfortable suggesting his book.

Offline Shay_Fox

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Re: Any Good Western Novels?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2016, 10:29:28 PM »
I think you have to check it "The Longest ride" Its amazing western novel.

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Re: Any Good Western Novels?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 12:39:36 AM »
Love Western novels. Elmore Leonard is fantastic for dialogue. Larry McMurtry is excellent for a western version of a BFF (Big Fat Fantasy) novel and at eight hundred and forty something pages can break a toe if you drop it. Definitely worth reading but can be a little stale.

As for favourites, you can't beat Cormac McCarthy for sheer literary brilliance such as 'The Blood Meridian' with arguably the most sinister and terrifying 'bad guy' in print form to have ever graced a page.

Donald Ray Pollock is another fantastic writer, 'The Heavenly Table' is a western but his two other books 'Knockemstiff' and 'Devil All The Time' are beauties. Beautiful writing of people with little or no moral lines left to cross.

'The Winter Family' by Clifford Jackman is a fantastic ride along with a family of outlaws and psychopaths through three decades of the American West that I whole heartedly recommend.

'Beyond the Horizon' by Ryan Ireland was like lightning from a blue sky delivering a beastly western with strong horror leanings.

'Smonk' and 'Hell at the Breech' by Tom Franklin are essential reads for anyone wanting to write and be worth their salt, a master wordsmith creating dark tales with prose that can bite.

And last but not least, 'Lonesome Animals' by Bruce Holbert, a dark western-noir loosely based on the authors grandfather, again written with beautiful prose about truly reprehensible human beings.

Hope these help. Should keep you busy burning the midnight oil.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 01:17:56 PM by MASTODON »