Sunday, May 19, 2019


TWENTIETH CENTURY WESTERN WRITERS published in 1991 by editor Geoff Sadler manages to insult both Adult Western readers and writers in the preface to the second edition.

"The final transformation-perversion might be a better word-of the Western was the birth of the adult Western, known to the publishing industry as the "wicked" or "porno" Western. Time magazine had noted the existence of the type and called it by name in 1959 ("The American Morality Play," 30 March), but it really began to flourish in the 1970's. Its elements were brutality for its own sake and explicit sex in large quantities. The paperback editors discovered that there was a tremendous appetite for these commodities and began producing them for the mass market. Most of the books came in series named for the central character, and a house name was used for the author. Since titles in a given series appeared as often as once a month, a battery of writers was needed to tum them out. For money, established craftsmen toiled anonymously to give bloodthirsty or sex-starved readers what they wanted."

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Review: Coyote Courage

Coyote Courage Coyote Courage by Scott Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very solid and well written traditional western introducing Brock Clemons, a young man traveling the West by himself, in search of something that is explained much later in the book. Brock is not a typical gunslinger, more altruistic and sympathetic than violent. Supporting characters are well drawn, especially the love interest Sophie, the valiant boy Huck, and the main villain Kurt. A story told with enough tension to keep my interest, and a satisfying ending that neatly wrapped up the loose ends. My only qualm is that it runs a bit long after the climax and it can be a bit wordy at times.

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Saturday, May 4, 2019

Review: Boot Heel Range

Boot Heel Range Boot Heel Range by Edwin Booth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Edwin Booth was another respected author of pulp westerns who turned to paperback originals when the pulp market died. This early novel tells the story of a young rancher trying to fill his dead older brothers shoes in the eyes of his crippled father who fears losing the ranch, since he has little respect for his younger son’s ability to manage the ranch and lead a cattle drive. I like that the young man uses smarts instead of guns to dig himself out several perilous situations as a deadly range war brews and then bursts, throwing the cattle drive into turmoil. This book is really good. Too bad that Booth is virtually unknown these days. He's a fine writer.

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