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Sunday, November 5, 2017

WESTERN MUSINGS

WESTERN MUSINGS

On his Western Musings blog, Western fan and aficionado Mark Hatmaker posted the following praise for 52 Weeks • 52 Western Novels...Scott and I appreciate his comments...
52 WEEKS
• 
52 WESTERN NOVELS

“There is a power and beauty to a good ol’ fashioned Western that is hard to find in any other genre.” 
~ Scott Harris

“There is blazing six-gun action on every one of the following pages. Hopefully, you will be reminded of some old friends and intrigued and excited by some new discoveries.”
~Paul Bishop

The quoted salvos from the co-authors’ introductions to this book sum up what you will find within. The full title of the book is 52 Weeks 52 Western Novels: six-Gun Favorites and New Discoveries and that about nails it.
Hardcore Western fans, and I am wagering all genre fans in general, love a good recommendation, love a new list. We love the finger that points to a what is, hopefully, a brand-new piece of reading gold.

Often such “Best Of…” lists, no matter the genre, are mighty familiar. There are acknowledged classics to be touted and so often the heft of the list is taken up by works the devout reader has already consumed, and we are left with hopes of finding fresh titles lurking way down the list.

Here, there is a refreshingly different approach. Lonesome Dove is not listed. Not because of any perceived antipathy to Mr. McMurtry, but rather the authors seem to be saying, “We all know Lonesome Dove is brilliant, right? But how many times can we read it? What else is there?”

This approach allows the list and recommendations to breathe with fresh choices, with picks that often fall by the way side. Here, the hardcore Western fan will mostly be confronted with, “Hmm, I’d forgotten about that one” or, “Wait a minute, I never heard of this title” that sends you scrambling to the mighty Amazon or the used book store of choice.

I will not spoil what the authors have done by giving away their picks, they did the work, allow them to reap the rewards. I will add that the book’s design makes this one not only a pleasure to read, but one to browse merely for the art.

With that said, the volume is an easy no-brainer pick for all hardcore Western fans.




6 comments:

  1. I'm seriously looking forward to reading this. I see that one of the covers is from an Amos Flagg novel I'm reading right now, and I recently discovered the Al Conroy series. I'm hoping you have some Constiner and Garfield and (clearly) some Ben Haas in there and I can hardly wait to see what other lost treasures you might have found.

    Incidentally, did you see that the author who wrote the movie tie-in for Rough Night in Jericho was Richard Meade... which is one of the pseudonyms for Ben Haas?

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    1. Howard...Thx for your comment...I think you will find a lot to like in the book...Ben Haas is my favorite western writer, so I did indeed know Richard Meade was one of his many pen names...Here's another blog post with info about Haas...http://www.paulbishopbooks.com/2016/08/the-good-bad-and-very-bad-part-one.html

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  2. Oh, great post.

    He's one of my favorite writers, and arguably the reason I got interested in finding other good westerns. I'm pretty fascinated by your book because it's been extremely challenging to find any sorts of definitive lists of best westerns that actually mentioned the kind of hard-hitting, lean prose (a la Gold Medal) that I crave. I've found Donald Hamilton, and Merle Constiner, and Brian Wynne Garfield and Marvin Albert and a couple of others that seem promising and beg for further reading.

    Anyway, as to Haas, I covered him a few times over on my blog as I was reading my way through old Haas paperbacks, and RIGHT before the e-books came out.

    http://www.howardandrewjones.com/uncategorized/celebrating-the-work-of-ben-haas

    I've popped by your site a few times over the years but need to make it a more regular stopping point. Seems like a great place to get the lowdown on a lot of the kinds of fiction I love.

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    Replies
    1. Howard...If you are on Facebook, first send me a friend request...
      https://www.facebook.com/paul.bishop.338211
      Second come on over a join the Men's Adventure Paperbacks of the 60s and 70s group...
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/59340773918/
      There you will find a tight community of guys very much interested in the same types of novels. Daily, there are posts on Westerns, and I think you will find a lot to enjoy...

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  3. Amazon is out of stock . Anyone know where I could go to buy one.

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  4. Amazon will have them back in stock in the next day or so. We reloaded a new interior file with a couple of minor tweaks and are now waiting for the approval from CreateSpace...Thx...

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