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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: And a Man Called Horse, the Hanging Tree, and Lost Sister

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  82 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
All lovers of westerns know these four great stories. The Western Writer's Association of America ranked them as four the best short stories of the 20th century, but these classic tales have never been collected in one book until now. This edition is destined to earn a place in every western library. In 2005, Dorothy Johnson will receive a star in the Gallery of Outstandin ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published March 15th 2005 by Riverbend Publishing (first published March 2005)
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My first experience of Dorothy Johnson's work—and it was excellent. These four Western stories are wonderfully well-written, and not run-of-the-mill, either; the concept of each is original and attention-holding. My favorite was "The Hanging Tree," a novella-length story set in a gold-mining camp, with its unique, carefully-drawn characters and slowly but surely unfolding plot. I've never seen the movie, and now I don't really feel I want to; I believe it's considerably different from the origin ...more
Oct 09, 2011 Jacob rated it really liked it
Four Western stories--well, three stories and a novella--about people trying to live in places where they don't belong. "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" is about a U.S. Senator's very humble beginnings in the lawless towns of the West; "A Man Called Horse" tells of one man who, captured by Indians, must learn to survive as property, whereas the woman in "Lost Sister" who returns to her family after forty years in captivity finds she's still a prisoner. In "The Hanging Tree," three lost people- ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Becky rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Months and months ago, before I even started talking about how I had to go to Montana, my mother gave me this book. "You have to read it!" she said, a recommendation which confused me greatly. Why did my mother, who generally picks books for me pretty well, think short stories from the Wild West were something I should be reading? I read the first story and felt uncomfortable about colonialism and put it down.

But then I went to the Wild West and picked it up again. And it resonated a little more
Theo Logos
`The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' is a republication of some of the best stories of Dorothy Johnson, America's most unrecognized genius of short fiction. Two of these four stories are taken from `Indian Country' (later published as `Man Called Horse'), a brilliant collection of Western tales that deserves to be back in print. Three of them were made into successful movies. All four of these tales show the mark of genius that was typical of Johnson's work.
Time Magazine compared Dorothy Johnson's
Annemarie Donahue
Apr 16, 2011 Annemarie Donahue rated it it was amazing
Shelves: western
I had to study this book with the worst teacher I've ever had (very few people will actually make fun of someone because they are going through pre-cancer treatments, but this guy is a standout). That aside, this short story was excellent! Very cool story about developing Western culture. The main character is attacked and robbed by local bad-guy Liberty Vallance. He tries to go the legal route only to discover that the lawless west without this particular avenue. So the real hero (John Wayne) s ...more
Travis McClain
Jun 26, 2010 Travis McClain rated it liked it
At the risk of redundancy, this is a collection of four western short stories: "A Man Called Horse," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "Lost Sister" and "The Hanging Tree." These stories were originally published between 1947 and 1959; the afterward credits Johnson with not imposing 20th Century values on 19th Century characters, and you can well imagine the difference between even the values at the time of Johnson's writing and reading these stories today. They are unapologetically racist and ...more
Feb 15, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
This book was EXCELLENT! I am only sorry it took me so long to read these classic short stories (and one novella): "A Man Called Horse" (much different than the movie version I saw), "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (also different from the movie, why the name change to Tom Doniphon?!), "The Lost Sister" (made me think of Quanah Parker, though he did not get captured or die young), and finally my favorite of the four, "The Hanging Tree." I have not see the movie version of this last one, but i ...more
Feb 15, 2015 Mrs.Crumpett rated it it was amazing
This book is wonderful! I can't believe I let me distaste for the movie version of "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (I mean, really, who does choose Jimmy Stewart over John Wayne anyway??) keep me from reading anything by Dorothy M. Johnson. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of western, good story telling, and fabulous characters.
Mar 17, 2015 Jane rated it it was amazing
I don't usually read short stories, but "A Man Called Horse" is one of my favorite fictional works of any type. Amazing, powerful and unforgettable.(ignore the movie with the same name)
Jan 27, 2010 Rob rated it liked it
Johnson writes westerns with a conscience. Characters struggle with questions of self-worth and responsibility. Her favorite characters seem to be those who give selflessly, quietly, and without shooting.
Sep 10, 2013 Michaela rated it really liked it
I had very low expectations for the Western genre but these stories were really well researched and written. I'm going to track down the movie versions now.
Marcia Chapman
Apr 25, 2014 Marcia Chapman rated it it was amazing
The Man Called Horse is on of the finest short stories I've ever read and I could hardly put down the rest. Read them all!
Janis Blimling
Sep 29, 2013 Janis Blimling rated it really liked it
The Hanging Tree gets five stars. It may just be the best novella I have ever read.
Fernando León Olalquiaga
Nov 07, 2013 Fernando León Olalquiaga rated it it was amazing
Traducido por Valdemar. Una obra maestra
Aug 27, 2007 Bob rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Wonderfully written short stories.
Apr 27, 2014 Jill rated it it was amazing
I was stunned to learn that a woman wrote A Man Called Horse, surprised that she also wrote The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and flabbergasted at how poetically written they (and the two other short stories in this collection) were.

Masterful, succinct storytelling that expresses big themes without rubbing your face in them. Set in the West.

Love, love, love.
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