If you are a fan of the western genre, chances are you have heard of Lonesome Dove. Likewise, if you follow award winning books, you may have seen it on a list for its 1985 Spur Award or its 1986 Pulitzer Prize. Some of you may have even watched the CBS miniseries from 1989 starring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones. Lonesome Dove is not an obscure novel and it has received a great deal of praise, but coming in at a whopping 843 pages it can be daunting to those of us more used to a book in the 200-250 page range.
Logan is first and foremost another chapter in the X-Men comic book series of popcorn movies, but it is also one of the best Western films I've seen made in recent years. Unlike any of its predecessors, it has a quiet elegance about it. While there is still plenty of gripping action, it is filmed with great care and the cinematography is gorgeous. Much like a traditional Western, the film is also pretty gory (it contains the most violent sequences of any X-Men film to date).
An instant best-seller when published in 1968, True Grit has also been made into film. Twice. These facts alone should recommend it, and I am here to back it up with a solid vote for a place on your nightstand.
Quietly understated, leaving much unsaid under the surface, yet visceral, tangible, and intense--Smith’s storytelling in Ghost Medicine is like his characters.
A shout out to a nearly forgotten genre, the Western! In prep for an upcoming book club I picked up Louis L'Amour's Mustang Man, a simple story about a lone cowboy making his way in the West who gets wrapped up in a chase for gold. This is a fast-moving story with strong characters who live by a simple code.
It is 1865 and the country is going through many changes. The Civil War is over. The Emancipation Proclamation has given freedom to millions of slaves. Conflicts continue between the Native Americans and settlers. In the midst of all this change, the Union Pacific is pushing westward to complete the first transcontinental railroad.
Nat Swanson didn't expect his flight from Texas to California to be easy, not with the friends of the man he recently killed (in self-defense) on his trail. He certainly wasn't expecting, in the middle of the desert, to find three nuns and seven orphans holed up and surrounded by Apaches (who have already brutally murdered a nun), and then to be regarded as their savior.
Nat struggles between his conscience and his desire to escape alone, all the while devising a daring plan to get them all to safety.