Best Western books

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Doc Dan
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Best Western books

Postby Doc Dan » Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:09 pm

Do any of you like to read westerns? I do. I also like to watch old timey western movies. Since the lockdown, I have been reading a lot. I have read The Lady of the Lake and Lochinvar by Sir Walter Scott. I have read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and a lot more. But, I love westerns and I have read a lot of them lately. Louis Lamour is a favorite author. I like Reilly's Luck, Brionne, Hondo, and many more. My favorite western used to be Shane, by Jack Schaefer. It is still in my top two. However, I read the Virginian by Owen Wister, again, after more than 45 years. He had consulted Theodore Roosevelt on the book, repeatedly. I laughed so hard in some places, that I had to stop reading. The whole story is majestic and beautiful. It has action, of course, and it has a long drawn out romance. The scenery it describes is beautiful. I think it may be my favorite. I think I am old enough to appreciate it, now.

Which ones do you all like?
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Re: Best Western books

Postby James Y » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:28 am

The only western books I’ve read or am reading now are nonfiction. A few months ago I read Wild Bill, by Tom Clavin, and I have been reading The Troubled Life and Mysterious Death of Johnny Ringo, by Kevin Hogge. The latter book I’ve been reading off and on for awhile now.

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Re: Best Western books

Postby ChrisinHove » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:07 am

Shane is an absolute classic in my .. err.. book!
I also adored or at least enjoyed:
Cormac McCarthy’s All The Pretty Horses trilogy.
The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt
Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
The Son, Philip Meyer

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Re: Best Western books

Postby ChrisinHove » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:24 am

True Grit, Charles Portis. Excellent!

I recall revising several Thomas Eidson western novels years ago and loving them - St Agnes Stand was one of them. Hannah’s Gift another.

Once I get through Max Hasting’s Vietnam history, which is increasingly depressing, I am definitely going to read another Western novel! The Virginian will be top of the list.

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Re: Best Western books

Postby SpyderGrill » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:51 pm

Years ago when I was in school I really liked reading Louis Lamour books. I only read 4 or 5 but really liked them.

Here lately I have been watching Gunsmoke on MeTV. Really enjoying it, when I was a kid my dad tried to turn me onto it.

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Re: Best Western books

Postby wrdwrght » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:34 am

Not my preferred genre, but I’ll second McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. As good as the TV miniseries is, the book is better because of the writing.
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Re: Best Western books

Postby bearrowland » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:12 am

I've always enjoyed Louis Lamour and Zane Grey. I absolutely love Gunsmoke.
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Re: Best Western books

Postby Doc Dan » Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:42 am

Some of these newer westerns I could care less for because of their lack of good values.

I may need to dig out some Zane Gray.

Open library.org is free and it has a lot of these books.
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Re: Best Western books

Postby z4vdBt » Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:22 am

True Grit by Charles Portis

No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy

The Revenant by Michael Punke

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Re: Best Western books

Postby ChrisinHove » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:56 am

Doc Dan wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:42 am
Some of these newer westerns I could care less for because of their lack of good values.

I may need to dig out some Zane Gray.

Open library.org is free and it has a lot of these books.
It’s certainly true that the mores of the age coming through strongly can destroy the a book for later generations.

It’s disappointing, though, that the fantastic Laura Ingalls Wilder books, arguably proper westerns, seem to have somehow become tarnished.

Others, though, really are terrible. The Centurions novels come to mind, about the French IndoChina and Algerian wars.

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Re: Best Western books

Postby Skidoosh » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:30 am

Kenneth Robert's books, especially The Northwest Passage is great. I'd also throw in Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose. Out west but not a "western" as you are envisioning it.

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Re: Best Western books

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:03 am

ChrisinHove wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:56 am
Doc Dan wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:42 am
Some of these newer westerns I could care less for because of their lack of good values.

I may need to dig out some Zane Gray.

Open library.org is free and it has a lot of these books.
It’s certainly true that the mores of the age coming through strongly can destroy the a book for later generations.

It’s disappointing, though, that the fantastic Laura Ingalls Wilder books, arguably proper westerns, seem to have somehow become tarnished.

Others, though, really are terrible. The Centurions novels come to mind, about the French IndoChina and Algerian wars.
The Wilder books got tarnished falsely by people with an unhealthy agenda. I’ve been all through the various areas where she lived. Some of those little “towns” probably still look the same, with dirt main streets, a few false fronted buildings built in the 1800’s,and few people.
I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on ALL that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof! (John Adams regarding the White House)

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Re: Best Western books

Postby A.S. » Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:56 pm

The Ox-Bow Incident - Walter Van Tilburg

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Re: Best Western books

Postby MichaelScott » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:20 pm

The Big Sky - A.B. Guthrie
Lonesome Dove - McMurtry
Leaving Cheyenne - McMurtry
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Re: Best Western books

Postby z4vdBt » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:54 pm


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Re: Best Western books

Postby Red » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:38 am

This is right up my alley. Voracious reader and lover of Western history. Lonesome Dove is my grail go-to novel about the West but I can recommend a few newer authors with western flare that are just awesome.
Craig Johnson-Longmire series
C.J. Box-Joe Pickett series

Both awesome👍

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Re: Best Western books

Postby Naperville » Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:25 pm

I was poking around Archive DOT org, and for those of you so inclined, you can get most if not all of the books, and most of the Shane comics online for FREE. I saved quite a few of them.
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Re: Best Western books

Postby Cambertree » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:42 am

Good recommendations - I'll check out The Virginian. That's a cool story about Theodore Roosevelt being consulted for it.

I also like Cormac McCarthy. Blood Meridian hasn't been mentioned. I liked The Crossing best out of the All The Pretty Horses trilogy.

The Revenant was great.

There's an excellent audiobook reading of Portis's True Grit by Donna Tartt. It's clear she loves the book.

It's not really a novel, more of a prose poem, but Michael Ondaatje's Billy The Kid is pretty cool, if you can find a copy.

I grew up reading the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Annie Proulx's Barkskins has epic western style elements in the early parts of the generational saga,

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Re: Best Western books

Postby ChrisinHove » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:16 pm

I’m loving “The Virginian”

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Re: Best Western books

Postby Doc Dan » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:25 am

ChrisinHove wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:16 pm
I’m loving “The Virginian”
I told you so. It is so well written and a lot of that is how these guys acted. It has some really funny stuff in it. (Along with shoot outs and girls)
I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on ALL that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof! (John Adams regarding the White House)

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(Roy Rogers)


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