Tag Archives: O. Henry

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

The Caballero’s Way by O. Henry

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of westerns book cover

Title: The Caballero’s Way
Author: O. Henry
In: The Mammoth Book of Westerns (Jon E. Lewis)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Westerns
Dates read: 20th April 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Go in and rest, and let me water your horse and stake him with the long rope.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Travelling along the Caballeros’ Way can be dangerous. Especially when even the woman you love betrays you.

Thoughts

I’m not really all that great on Western lore. But one thing that I do recognise / know is this name of the Kid. I’m not really sure if this refers to one individual, multiple, or what… but it was certainly nice to have a figure that I associate with Westerns appearing in the pages of this short story. I may not have quite known what this story was about, mostly because I kept fazing out throughout it, but I certainly appreciated the appearance of a well-known characterisation.

This was kind of a tragic little story. At first, I thought that the Kid was going to retire and live happily ever after with his woman. Particularly when it states that that’s exactly what he wants. But, alas, that was most certainly not meant to be. Instead, there is a sad ending filled with misunderstandings and manipulations. It worked well within the Western tale, but it was not the happy ending I kind of wanted.

So far in my reading of Westerns, I’m enjoying the simplicity of the stories. They’re nothing that I feel the need to rave about, but they’re a pleasant way to spend a few moments of time, just escaping the realities of day to day stressors.

<- A Sergeant of the Orphan TroopThe Bride Comes to Yellow Sky ->

Image source: Hachette Australia