Wednesday, December 19, 2012



Max Brand is, as the cover of this novel states, the most celebrated western writer in the world. Hmm...
If this implies Max Brand is the best western writer of all time, I may have to disagree.
I've been reading a lot of Louis L'Amour lately and there is no comparison. This book was lacking the whole western atmosphere. The cowboy lingo, the descriptions of hot deserts, and the countless gunfights. It lacked the galloping pace L'Amour sets and is left in the dust.
For eg. Peter Blue is a legendary gunfighter whose draw hand has been shot. In an attempt to avoid future gunbattles, which he is sure to lose, he hides out in a shack overlooking some trees and a meadow. He ends up falling in love with the local sheriff's daughter and befriending a near senile old timer who likes to plow fields all day...where is the action I say? Eventually, after what seems like a hundred pages, there is a small skirmish that leads to a duel. The duel is to happen...oh, in another hundred pages. Finally, in the last few pages of this novel Peter Blue comes barreling into town shootin' with his left hand.
That's it. No dusty deserts, no saloon brawls, and only two small gun fights.
Not what I expected from a 'Western'. I expect more action, at least twenty shot up bad dudes, and maybe a mention of a cactus or a tumbleweed. Now, it's not that Brand is a bad writer, I wouldn't have made it through the book if he was, it's just that it lacked that Western flair. Maybe it was this particular book? Maybe it was me? I'll try more Max Brand at some point, but, I wouldn't recommend Peter Blue to any of my friends.


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