Tag Archives: Conrad Richter

The Mammoth Book of Westerns edited by Jon E. Lewis

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of westerns book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Westerns
Author: Jon E. Lewis, Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Frederic Remington, O. Henry, Stephen Crane, Willa Cather, B.M. Bower, Jack London, John G. Neihardt, Hamlin Garland, Zane Grey, Max Brand, Owen Wister, Conrad Richter, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Ernest Haycox, Oliver La Farge, A.B. Guthrie, James Warner Bellah, Frank Bonham, Wallace Stegner, Dorothy M. Johnson, Steve Frazee, Jack Schaefer, Mari Sandoz, Thomas Thompson, Wayne D. Overholser, Elmer Kelton, Loren D. Estleman, Larry McMurtry, Edward Dorn, Leslie Marmon Silko, William Kittredge, Rick Bass & Christopher Tilghman
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Westerns (Jon E. Lewis)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Short story collections, Westerns
Dates read: 7th March – 22nd November 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: She teased him, and threw flour in his face and put vinegar in his coffee, but he took her rough jokes with silent wonder, never even smiling.

Synopsis

35 OUTSTANDING WESTERNS, FROM JAMES FREDERIC REMINGTON TO RICK BASS

The Western is one of the greatest genres of world literature – singularly American, but with a truly global readership. 88 Ever since James Fenimore Cooper transformed frontier yarns into a distinct literary form, the Western has followed two paths: one populist – Time magazine’s American Morality Play – able to fit any political philosophy from red to redneck, with a sentimental attachment to the misfit; the other literary – eschewing heroism and debunking many of the myths of the West.

The best of both are represented in this excellent collection which includes stories by Willa Cather, Stephen Carne, Hamlin Garland, A.B. Guthrie, O. Henry, William Kittredge, Mari Sandoz, Leslie Marmon Silko and Wallace Stegner.

Thoughts

This wasn’t a bad collection. But it also wasn’t my favourite… actually, thus far, it is my least favourite Mammoth Books collection. Nothing against the layout or the writing… I just don’t really love Westerns as I have now discovered. A new genre to try, but not one to necessarily fill my shelves with.

Since I didn’t fall head over heels for this, I think that it’s the kind of collection that I will read again. Once I’m a little older and possibly more mature… after all, my tastes in books and genres is constantly changing as I grow and change myself. But, for now, it will go back on my shelves and probably not be touched again for a little while.

One of my favourite aspects of this book is the mini bio at the beginning of each story. Not only did it highlight when and where the author lived, but some of their better-known books. A great bit of information if I had wanted to add any of these authors to my wishlist…

<- The Mammoth Book of the WestThe Outcasts of Poker Flat ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Early Americana by Conrad Richter

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of westerns book cover

Title: Early Americana
Author: Conrad Richter
In: The Mammoth Book of Westerns (Jon E. Lewis)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Westerns
Dates read: 17th June 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Their place was back in a gentler land where farmers hever heard of turning a furrow with a rifle lashed to the plough handles and where, on a Sunday morning, his mother used to say, she could still remember the peaceful sound of church bells drifiting across the blue-grass.

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Synopsis

Life on the frontier is not always easy. But there is always a beautiful, feminine light at the end of the tunnel.

Thoughts

I really loved the setting description in this short story. Again, being a Western, I wasn’t completely hooked on it. But it was so beautifully described, so that helped to draw me in in a way that many of the other stories in The Mammoth Book of Westerns hasn’t been able to.

I really loved the book ending in this story. It starts with a wedding, and ends with one. Alright, the first wedding has a bit of a tragedy surrounding it… but there is still that fantastic beginning and hope for the future. And you end up finishing this short story with the hope that even if the first wedding ending tragically… there will be a positive ending to the final wedding.

This is one of those short stories that really doesn’t try and glorify the trials of life on the frontier. It is brutal and cruel. And completely tragic. Although, there is a great sense of light at the end of the story.

<- At the Sign of the Last ChanceThe Wind and the Snow of Winter ->

Image source: Hachette Australia