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The Hanging Tree

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The stories in this book consolidate Dorothy M. Johnson's reputation for authenticity and artistic integrity. 'Lost Sister' is based on the recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman abducted by the Comanche Indians. 'The Man Who Knew the Buckskin Kid' tells of two married people and an outlaw who share a secret. Fully as arresting are 'The Last Boast', 'Journal of Adv ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 0 pages
Published November 12th 1985 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1957)
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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryTrue Grit by Charles PortisBlood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthyBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Best Westerns
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James Thane
This collection of stories by Dorothy M. Johnson takes its title from the novella that opens the book. Set in the early 1860s in a rough and tumble Montana mining camp named Skull Creek, the story opens when Dr. Joseph Frail rides into town. Frail is clearly a haunted man with a mysterious past involving a fire and a dead wife.

Shortly after arriving in town, Doc Frail saves the life of a young sluice robber named Rune. Frail initially hides the boy while treating his wound and then forces him to
...more
Ron
The movie based on this novella would have you believe it’s mainly a story about a mining camp doctor (played by Gary Cooper). However, in her original version, Dorothy Johnson develops more fully the character of Elizabeth, the “lost lady,” who is brought to him for care.

Like Rance Foster, in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” she is a newcomer in the West, whose introduction to the frontier is violent and shattering. Each is the victim of a stagecoach holdup. Elizabeth’s father is killed, and
...more
Elisabeth
I previously read the title story, "The Hanging Tree," as well as "Lost Sister" in another collection which I reviewed here. The eight other stories that accompany them in this collection are every bit as good. Flawlessly written, gripping and entertaining. One thing I really love about Johnson is how adept she is at portraying a variety of different characters and viewpoints. In this collection alone she writes from male, female, adult and child's perspective—and very nearly mixes all four in " ...more
José Nebreda
Es una verdadera gozada leer estos cuentos de "indios y vaqueros". Los disfruto cual cerdo en su cochiquera. Me gustan todos, pero me he divertido mucho con "Bandido improvisado" o "El hombre que conoció a Buckskin Kid". Buenísimos "La hermana perdida", "El regalo junto a la carreta" y, claro, "El árbol del ahorcado".
Randy
A fine collection of western stories by a writer people may be more familiar with than they know. Several of her tales have been made into movies; THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, A MAN CALLED HORSE, and THE HANGING TREE.

She won the Spur Award for best short story for LOST SISTER, the first entry in the book. THE HANGING TREE takes up almost half the book, more of a short novel.

Not a bad story in the bunch.
Kristin
Amazing depth to the characters in such short stories and a fair-handedness to all the characters that I'm not used to expecting from westerns. Very very glad that I heard about this author on a little Montana history bit on the radio and decided to check her out.
Emily Mellow
I was not super into these stories, and since it was Jan's book I gave it back to her so she can read it to the kids if she wants. We only read the first couple of stories. They were interesting, but not my thing.
Trey Patton
5 for "The Last Boast"
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