WESTERNS OF THE 40's: Classics from the Great Pulps by Damon--Ed. Knight

WESTERNS OF THE 40's: Classics from the Great Pulps

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sixteen crackerjack Western tales from Dime Western, Wild West, Star Western, and other pulps of the Forties. These tales consistently depend on strong story hooks and in no way imitate each other in tone or mood. Unlike the purple penmen for the weird or fantasy pulps, the Western short-story masters were seldom moved to indulge in fine writing, even in the stripped Dashiell Hammett Black Mask sense. The writing here never stands out; only the titles alliterate. The most common event in these tales is the hero's homecoming--from a war, or the penitentiary, or even from death--and a consequent exercise in homefeelings, for kin and dead family members, for the land, for old friends now aged. Standouts are Tom Roan's bareknuckled ""Gun-Devil of Red God Desert"" (which reads a lot like one of Robert E. Howard's Conan fantasies), two humor pieces about booze, Roy M. O'Mara's ""Bearhide's Moonshine War"" (about a marauding elk that drinks corn mash), Murray Leinster's ""Teetotal and the Six-Gun Spirits,"" and Tom W. Blackburn's ""Deadman's Derringers."" ""There was something tense here tonight. Tense and deadly. Men talked, very quietly and very grimly. . . .

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1977
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill