- Max Brand -
Found this vintage book at the local Bibles for Missions store. I believe it was only $1...which, since it was originally only $.75 means it has increased in value about 30% in the past 30 years. Maybe these old paperback westerns are a good investment opportunity?
Tenderfoot has a blurb on the front cover describing itself - Red Anthony had the lazy look of a tenderfoot and the lighting draw of a devil.
My invented blurb - Red Anthony is a naive newbie on the Western frontier. Although, he may appear to be a no-brained dunce he is in fact a smart, fearless, fast drawin' gunslinger who takes no time at all to unseat a long time bully of a two saloon town.
The story is a take on the classic unlikely-hero-saves-town-from-tough-as-nails-outlaw. Anthony is the unlikely hero, raised in the circus he picks up many useful skills from knife throwing to horse stunt riding. Great things to know if you ever find yourself in a tight spot with some dusty cowboys about to turn you into pigfeed. He follows a girl, who has stolen his naive young heart, out to Dodge city. His first day searching for her he inadvertently makes a few enemies with the local criminals. His good natured kind heart manages to get him into all kinds of trouble with these fellows. In no time flat they are ganging up to find him and 'shoot him dead'. Unfortunately for these outlaws Anthony does not know the customs of the West, or criminals, so he does some surprising things - like casually walks into the Badguy's hideout and tells off the big boss, he breaks his friend out of the well guarded jail, he makes friends with a band of rebel natives...stuff like that.
The story slowly progresses, as I find Max Brand's writing to do, until the last dozen pages of the book when all of the fast paced action happens. It ends on a cliff hanging moment when Anthony meets Diamond Jack in the final showdown - you don't know what unconventional thing Anthony will do. Will he die? Will he kill? Will he strike a deal? I'll let you find out.
Personally, I found the book lacked much action, save the end. It progressed slowly and predictably. No great literary work, but, for a $.75 paperback what do you expect? The ending saved the book. You are left with your blood racing and a slightly shocked feeling running through you...that's worth the $.75 and the couple of hours put into reading the book. If you are a fan of western books, go ahead and give this one a try. If you are not a western fan, or not sure if you are a western fan...there are better books to read first.
RATING : READ