Posts Tagged ‘cowboys’


September 26, 2012
Author: Robert B. Parker
Title: Brimstone
Genre: Western
Publication Date: May 5th 2009
Number of Pages: 304 pages or 5 hours and 5 minutes on 4 CD’s
Geographical Setting: Texas, United States
Time Period: 19th Century American West
Series (If applicable): Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch; book 3
Plot Summary: The third book in the Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch series, followings the two gun-men for hire to Brimstone. After finding Virgil’s sweetheart Allie French in a brothel the three decide to start life over in the town of Brimstone. Cole and Hitch are hired on as two deputies to keep the peace in town. Things get shaky as Brother Percival sets out to shut down all the saloons in town and help Allie become a changed woman. A strange Indian appears and kidnaps two women. Pike the owner of Pike’s Palace (the best saloon in town) is not taking any of Percival’s nonsense and intends on staying in business. Can the two deputies keep the peace before anyone gets hurt? Or is murder and gunfights inevitably in the near future? With deals gone wrong, lovers gone astray and men working for both sides, this western novel has something in it to please everyone.
Subject Headings: Former Lovers; Contract Killers; Triangles (Interpersonal relations); Houses of prostitution; Redemption; Change (Psychology); Murder; Violence in men; Gunfights; Protectiveness in men; Small town life—The West (United States); Cole, Virgil; Hitch, Everett
Appeal: Gritty, Fast-paced, Lawmen, Cowboys, Indians, Small Western towns, Gunfights, Men-Friendships, First-Person Narrative, Dialog Driven, Character Detailed, Detailed Setting
3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Gunfights, Character Detailed, First-Person Narrative
Three Fiction Read-a-likes:
1. The Sisters Brothers (May 2011) by Patrick deWitt
This fast-paced, darkly humorous western follows the two guns for hire, Eli and Charlie Sister on a mission to kill Herman Kermit Warm. As told through Eli’s narration, along the way the men encounter many adventures some involving a bear and Indians. Like Brimstone this novel is told in First-person narrative and involves the story of two guns for hire.
2.  The Virginian: a horseman of the plains (Apr 2002) by Owen Wister
The first true western written, this story follows the life of a cowboy on a cattle ranch in Wyoming. With episodes of violence, hate, revenge, friendship and romance, you get a feel of what life was like back in the 19th century. Containing many of the same elements as Brimstone it would be an interesting look at the first western written and how it paved the way for future stories to unfold.
3. The Palo Duro Trail (Nov 2004) by Jory Sherman
A man hired to move 4,000 cattle along the Palo Duro Trail faces many obstacles along the way, including; harsh weather, Comanches and a hired killer. Like Brimstone both characters in these books deal with Native Americans and others who want to kill them.
Three Nonfiction Read-a-likes:
1. Wyatt Earp: the life behind the legend (Sep. 1997) by Casey Tefertiller
Using primary sources and personal accounts by people who knew Wyatt Earp, Casey Tefertiller tries to tell the true story of the legendary lawman. What really happened at Tombstone, Arizona during that famous gunfight? With elements of true history involving real men of the law, you can see first hand what a marshal would be up against, just like what Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch experienced.
2. Draw: the greatest gunfights of the American West (2003) by James Reasoner
In this book myths and legends of Hollywood do not apply. Only the truth on how those who lived to serve the law, fight the law and died by the gun are told. Like the gunfights in Brimstone this book details real life gunfights of the west.
3. Tough towns: true tales from the gritty streets of the old west (Nov 2006) by Robert Barr Smith
Citizens living in small western towns banned together to fight against lawbreakers and protect their towns. Like Brimstone this books tells the tales of small towns and the people who became heros in their own time.
Name: Madison Gailus


March 11, 2009

Author: Jack Schaefer

Title: Shane

Genre: Western

Publication Date: 1949

Number of Pages: 151

Geographical Setting: Wyoming

Time Period: 1889

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Told from the viewpoint of Bob Starrett, a young boy growing up on a farm in Wyoming, this is the story of Bob’s father, Joe Starrett, a proud hard-working farmer, who struggles to provide a good life for Bob and his mother, Marian. Its hard work and Joe knows that it isn’t going to be easy, especially when Luke Fletcher, a greedy, land grabbing antagonist, continues to intimidate Joe and all the rest of the farmers.

There is a lot of excitement for Joe and his family when Shane, a mysterious stranger, suddenly rides into town and accepts an invitation to stay and work the Starrett’s land with them. Joe and the family are happy that this peaceful man has come to join them and Shane is happy in his new life. Yet, Fletcher doesn’t think much of the stranger and sends a few of his hired guns to scare this peaceful man off. Shane makes quick work of these cowboys and it is revealed that the mysterious stranger looking for peace is in fact a slick gunfighter with a killer instinct and a bloodlust for fighting. Now the conflict of good and evil, between Shane and Fletcher, and within Shane himself, are on a collision course and in the end, only one can remain.

Subject Headings: Frontier and pioneer life — Wyoming — Fiction, Conduct of life — Fiction, Vendetta — Fiction, Wyoming — Fiction, West (US) — Fiction.

Appeal: easy, engrossing, steady, unhurried, compelling, inspiring, introspective, sympathetic, gunslingers, well-drawn, first person point of view, cowboys, ranchers, character-centered, thought-provoking, small-town, rural, American old west, redemption, inner struggle, life lessons, young narrator

Similar Authors and Works:

Non-Fiction Works:

Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank – Told from a young girl’s perspective, this is the introspective, thought-provoking, and inspiring story of girl who must deal with the evils of the world while at the same time considering how she fits into it.

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, by Edmund MorrisThe biography of Theodore Roosevelt, a controversial, powerful man who grew from a sickly child into, among other things, a rancher, a policeman, a cavalryman, and a U.S. president. A heroic tale of a larger than life character who both inspires us and captures our imagination.

The Cowboy: An Unconventional History of Civilization on the Old-Time Cattle Range, by Philip Ashton Roston – An encyclopedia-like collection of tales and customs of the old west. Topics in the book include how life was like as a cattle rancher, how the importance of a man’s character contributed to life in the old west, and the fraternity-like code of the cowboys.

Fiction Works:

Where the Long Grass Blows, by Louis L’Amour – An easy tale about Bill Canavan, a cowboy from the old West who just wants to settle his land and be with the woman he loves. But when the other ranchers around him begin a war, Bill Canavan realizes that he’ll have to fight back to keep the things that he’s worked so hard to obtain, his pride, his land and his love.

Walk Proud, Stand Tall, by Johnny D Boggs – Ex-lawman, Lin Garrett has hung up his badge and retired to a life of peace and quiet. But when an old nemesis pulls off a daring train robbery, Garrett must return to have one final showdown with the outlaw in this action-oriented story from the American West.

The Ox-Bow Incident, by Walter Van Tilburg Clark – This thought-provoking novel begins with three innocent men who are lynched by an angry mob after being wrongfully accused of stealing another man’s cattle. When the mob realizes that their actions were unjust, they must deal with their conscience and peer into their own humanity.

Name: Mike