So, the other day I had a nice lunch at the local Mexican restaurant and was headed back to my office when I spied a new book store. Even though a little pressed for time, I cannot help but stop at a place selling books. They were, literally, just setting up. By they it appeared to be a mother and daughter team (a woman a bit older than me and another much younger.) Then I saw a shelf with nothing but dozens upon dozens of westerns. Most were Louis L'amour, but there were many others. (Then an inconvenient little voice said "you have much work to do, so go be doing it" and I left after thanking the two women with a slight bow.)

To be candid, I have not read many western novels. Mainly, I've enjoyed films in the genre. My eldest brother and my boss have probably read almost every Louis L'amour book ever published and sometimes both men talked to me about it. When I am not so busy, I wouldn't mind reading more.

So, on that score, what are you favorite western novels, authors, and series? Thank you. :D

User 1234

Mark Twain’s Roughing It.

Also “Western” in its era is Life On the Mississippi. I took the latter book on one deployment where we had an old dead orchard on base, probably polluted by the Soviets for decades. Whenever I could spare 30 minutes I would go sit against a dead tree and escape to the America of the 1800’s.
Shalako by Louis LaMour

Sort of funny reaction; I kept seeing "Shaniko" when scrolling through. I'm tired, wife and children are down, but I'm still up. I couldn't help but think of the tiny town I traveled through on occasion whilst living in eastern Oregon. (Populate 36 according to the Intratubes, which comports to my own, albeit dated, analysis.) :s0112:
Shaniko is calling to you
Your spirit guide is there

Not sure what a "spirit guide" is, really, though the phrase dimly rings a bell. I do, at times, miss our sojourn in eastern Oregon. It was some of our happiest days in young adulthood/married life. :)


Likewise I have not read many.

This was surprising - but is a Western
Dragon Teeth
"The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America's western territories, even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape, and two paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils while surveilling, deceiving, and ...more "
It was OK, certainly not the best.

This is on my want to read list, as I love the author.

These 3 are great - a shorts not a full novel tho.
Pronto, Riding the Rap, Fire in the Hole

followed up by:
Robert B. Parker has written some great western novels and now that he's dead, there are some pretty good writers following in his western vein - they use his name, but declare who they really are, like Tom Clancy copy cats...pretty good copy cats I might add...


I have a large series of Zane Gray's from my childhood. Not sure if it is a complete set or not, but there are a lot of them. Completely enthralled at the time, I read and reread them, but hadn't touched them since.
Old movies from the 40's to 60's no longer held the same interest and excitement as when they were new.
Made me wonder though, since time, experience and maturity changes folk, if those books would hold the same fascination for me now as an adult. I picked one up the other day, I lost interest part way through, never got back to it. As a voracious reader constantly looking for something to read of interest, it was not lack of reading time and desire.
I can't say, but likely overfamiliarity was to blame over the quality of the read.
Still, at one time for me, Zane Gray, in excellent prose, defined life on the western front, and in some cases paralleled actual life and events as told to me by my grandparents so long ago.
Like most movies made from books I have seen, read the book first, something is always lost in the translation and quality.

Hop Sing

Not for the faint of heart: "Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy. Loosely based on the Glanton gang, who were scalphunters.

Note: reading McCarthy takes some getting used to, as he rarely uses punctuation other than periods.

Again, a very violent and brutal book.
Ah a book thread...YAY...! :D

Life in the Far West ...George Ruxton
The LongRifle... Stewart Edward White
Mountain Man...Vardis Fisher
The Big Sky , The Way West and Fair land , Fair land ...A.B. Guthrie Jr.
Wolf Song...Harvey Fergusson
Lord Grizzly...Frederick Manfred
The Professionals....Frank O'Rouke
Bugles in the Afternoon...Ernest Haycox
Gone to Texas...Forrest Carter
The Last Ride...Tom Eidson

Any book by Douglas C. Jones
Any western by Elmore Lenoard
Tangential question; any favorites in the genre of the "Weird West"? Wikipedia defines said as:

"Weird West is a subgenre that combines elements of the Western with another genre, usually horror, occult, fantasy, or science fiction."​
A couple film examples I can think of are El Topo (1970) and Pale Rider (1985).

Thanks. :)

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