Thursday, March 28, 2019
A Western Primer
By David Nemeth
Like everyone, I have gaps in my reading, one of those gaps is Westerns. Given the long relationship between Westerns and Crime Fiction and that I've loved Western movies, I've put together a To Be Read list of Westerns. You'll notice that my view of Westerns is more than cowboys and I limited the list to books published last century. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
I've never read Willa Cather. I know I should. It's either "My Ántonia" or "Death Comes for the Archbishop" (1927).
"The Ox-Bow Incident" by Walter Van Tilburg Clark (1940)
I read this in high school which was a long time ago.
"Deadwood" by Pete Dexter (1986)
"Love Medicine" by Louise Erdrich (1984)
Read in college. Not as long ago as high school, but long enough that it'll be new to me.
"God's Country" by Percival Everett (1994)
Described as "a wonderfully strange and darkly hilarious brew of Kafka and GarcÌa Marquez, of Twilight Zone and F-Troop, with cameo appearances by Walt Whitman and George Custer thrown in for good measure." I'm sold.
"Riders of the Purple Sage" by Zane Grey (1912)
The first Western and he lived up the river from me.
One of the many books I've never heard of but discovered in my search. So, why not?
"Warlock" by Oakley Hall (1958)
Considered a classic. Thomas Pynchon loved this book, but I won't let that deter me.
"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" by Ron Hansen (1983)
It's either this or "Desperadoes" (1979). Probably both.
"Legends of the Fall" by Jim Harrison (1979)
I've read this before . . . before the movie, I swear. "Dalva" (1988) is another choice.
"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" by Dorothy M. Johnson (1953)
Okay, this is a short story, but I loved the movie. Johnson also wrote another short story that was made into a movie, "A Man Called Horse" (1952). Decisions.
"The Fast Red Road: A Plainsong" by Stephen Graham Jones (2000)
Not the previous century, but Jones is someone I need to read.
Another classic that's on everyone's lists.
"Hondo" by Louis L'Amour (1953)
This L'Amour book is on all the lists even though it's a novelization of a film based on his short story "The Gift of Cochise" (1952). Maybe I'll read the first Sackett book instead.
"Hombre" by Elmore Leonard (1961)
"Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy (1985)
I've never read this book from McCarthy.
"Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry (1985)
Saw the mini-series.
"House Made of Dawn" by N. Scott Momaday (1968)
Read in college. Time to do so again.
"Nightland" by Louis Owens (1996)
Crime fiction by a Native American.
I've seen both movies.
"Close Range: Wyoming Stories" by Annie Proulx (1999)
Short stories including that famous one, "Brokeback Mountain".
"Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down" by Ishmael Reed (1969)
I did not know this book even existed.
"Shane" by Jack Schaefer (1949)
Another movie and supposedly a great book, though there is "Monte Walsh" (1963) too.
"The Shootist" by Glendon Swarthout (1975)
Another book, another movie.
"The Virginian" by Owen Wister (1902)
Still trying to figure out how this is a Western.
"Riders to Cibola" by Norman Zollinger (1977)
Showed up on several lists.
Posted by David Nemeth at 6:09 AM