Posts Tagged ‘Western’

The Proving Trail

September 26, 2012

Author: Louis L’Amour

Title: The Proving Trail

Genre: Western

Publication Date: 1978

Number of Pages: 215

Geographical Setting: The main character travels through multiple states, including Texas, Colorado, and Kansas.

Time Period: Late 1800s

Plot Summary:  This is a suspenseful tale of crime and corruption in the American West. Kearney McRaven was only a teenager when his father was killed after he had won a lot of money while gambling. He was determined to solve his father’s murder and keep his father’s winnings. This lead McRaven on a cross-country journey of self-discovery to search for information related to his family history and why it seemed like his father was previously running from someone that had attempted to kill him.  Through out this journey Kearney McRaven had to learn to stay alive while out running these same outlaws that had murdered his father.

Subject Headings: Western stories, Outlaws, Murder

Appeal terms:  action-oriented, investigative, menacing atmosphere, fast-paced, chilling, gritty, plot-centered, explicitly violent, tragic, foreboding, details of frontier life, well-crafted

Three appeal terms: action-oriented, investigative, menacing atmosphere

Similar Authors and Works:

Fiction:

West Texas Kill by Johny D. Boggs: This work is about fighting outlaws and corruption in Texas.

Hard Luck Money by J.A. Johnstone: This is a tale about solving a murder and fighting outlaws.

The Badger’s Revenge by Larry D. Sweazy: This story questions why outlaws want to seek revenge against the main character while he tries to stay alive.

Non-Fiction:

Big Trouble: a Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America by J. Anthony Lukas: This is a non-fiction book about a real murder in America’s west.

Sacagawea’s Nickname: Essays on the American West by Larry McMurtry: This is a non-fiction book of essays written by a well-known author of Western fiction.

Gunfighter Nation: the Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth Century America by Richard Slotkin: This is a non-fiction book that examines the influence of the frontier myth on American culture and politics.

 Name: Rachel Fischer

The Ridgerunner

September 30, 2009

Author:  Ray Hogan

Title:  The Ridgerunner

Genre:  Western

Publication Date:  1960, 2009

Number of Pages:  183

Geographical Setting:  Western United States

Time Period:  The Old West

Series (If applicable): NA

Plot Summary:  John Locke is heading to Wyoming to get a job as a ramrod at the Walking W ranch.  He decides to stop in and visit his old hometown of Three Forks and his foster brothers Starr and Bert Whitcomb and also his old love Sally Dean.  Sally and Bert were to be married when John left Three Forks, but John still had some old feelings for her.  All is not the same in Three Forks when John arrives.  He is quickly arrested for what the marshal thinks is his involvement in a robbery and murder on this morning’s stage coach.  John is surprised to find Starr and Bert are the main suspects and he does not believe it.  He escapes from jail to find his brothers and find out just what has happened to them and prove their innocence.

Subject Headings: Western Stories, Outlaws – The West (United States), Gunfighters, Large Type Books

Appeal:  Fast-paced page turner with suspenseful story.  The main character is a man of integrity with a clear sense of right and wrong.  The story is told from the point of view of the main character.  The dialogue is simple and fun and reminiscent of the Old West.  There are some great shoot-outs and the story is resolved in the end.

3 Terms that best describes this book:  Quick, Western, Justice

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Non-fiction Works – True stories of the Old West which is when  the book took place.

Ridgerunner: Elusive Loner of the Wilderness by Richard Ripley

Wanted!: Wanted Posters of the Old West by Martin J. Kidston

True Tales and Amazing Legends of the Old West: From True West Magazine by Editors of True West magazine

3 Fiction Works – Stories with heroes that have integrity and a clear sense of right and wrong.

The Shopkeeper by James D. Best

Walk Proud, Stand Tall by Johnny D. Boggs

The Last Way Station by Kent Conwell

Name: Chris S.

Hondo

March 19, 2009

Author: Louis L’Amour

Title: Hondo

Genre: Western

Publication Date:  1953

Number of Pages: 179

Geographical Setting:  Southwestern Arizona

Time Period: Post-Civil War (1870’s)

 

Plot Summary: Hondo Lane is a quick trigger, part Indian cowboy that travels alone across the deserts of Southern Arizona.  Occasionally picking up some work scouting for the military he occasionally will have run-ins with the Apache Indians, who are at this point trying to clear out all white men from their territory.  As a reader you get a sense of a lone man in the desert with his rough looking lone dog both dangerous as all get out, yet in need of settling down with a woman and in one permanent place.  Testosterone and tension fill the story with bar fights, Indian confrontations, battles, surprises and a little bit of love.  Danger is constant throughout the book as the woman that Hodo Lane meets lives on dangerous Apache territory and he needs to try and convince her to move to safety.  Unable to direct all of his attention to her due to his business for the army and also his own feelings of independence, he continues on to his destination.  Hondo wants to make his way back to the woman, but there will be Indians, a robber, and also the woman’s husband in his path.  Indian capture, vengeance, death, and the unforgiving desert lie in Hondo’s path to save the woman’s life and get his life onto the right path.

 

Subject Headings: Cowboys, Apache Indians, Arizona, Western Stories, Pioneer women, Insurgency, Ranches, Lone men, Gunmen, Indian raids, Desert tracking, Indian Tracking. Post-Civil War West, Army Scouts, Man and Dog relationships.

 

Appeal: intriguing; adventurous; fast-paced; suspenseful; character driven; dramatic; plot twists; resolved ending; scenic; dangerous; ruthless; traditional; accurate; historical details; details of Indian territory in the West, Army moving into Indian territory, surviving in the desert, living on a Ranch, Indian lifestyle, gambling, Indian/Army battles.

 

Similar Authors and Works:

Fiction: Comanche Moon by Larry McMurtry.  Western takes the view point of an Indian point of few, 19th century, Texas rangers, trackers, pioneer life, desert, little bit of love.

Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey.  Western, Rangers, Gunfighters, Woman ranchers, vengeance, strong male character.

Centennial by James A. Michener.  History of Native Americans and white settlers, descriptive of the land, homesteaders, pioneer life, western story, historical. This book is more about the place than any character.  A different perspective on the world Hondo lived in.

Non-Fiction: Cochise: the life and times of the great Apache Chief by Peter Aleshire.  Story of the only Native American to win a battle against the Americans.  Historical details of the Apache and the white settlers.

George Scarborough: The life and death of a lawman on the closing frontier by Robert K. DeArment. Story of a frontier gunmen and his role in settling the New Mexico and Arizona territories.

American nomads: travels with lost conquistadors, mountain men, cowboys, Indians, hoboes and bull riders by Richard Grant.  Story of a British journalist recounts his life wandering throughout the U.S. and realities of America’s nomads and other characters.

Name: Emily