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A Congregation of Jackals

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  23 reviews
One of Oswell's old bank-robbing gang is getting married out in Montana Territory, and the rest of the boys are all invited. But someone else will be there too. Quinlan. He was part of the gang once, but betrayal turned an ally into a bitter enemy, one who will stop at nothing to get his revenge. He and his gunmen will be at the wedding out for blood and to revenge the bet ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Leisure Books
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Steve Rosenstein
Readers who already enjoy westerns will recognize this as the height of the form, and readers usually dismissive of genre fiction will have to rethink their prejudices. This is one of those novels that "transcend the genre", in that it takes every stereotype associated with genre fiction (i.e., one-dimensional characters, depth sacrificed in the name of moving the plot along, implausible situations, contrivances, asinine dialogue, cartoonish events) and obliterates them. What you have here is a ...more
William M.

Let me first start off by saying that while I am an avid reader, I do not have a lot of experience with Westerns. However, the ones that I have read are not even in the same league as this book. And to be honest, neither is every other book I've read in the last few years, regardless of genre. I expect this book to be on most people's top 10 list of the year, and on some people's top 10 of all time. "Congregation Of Jackals" is that damn good.

What a tremendously groundbreaking and powe
Mar 11, 2011 William rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to William by:
Violent and gruesome, "A Congregation of Jackals" is as modern a take on the Western as No Country for Old Men but one that overlays the standard tropes of the genre with a barbarism that seems believable for its mid-19th century setting and that gives readers a sense that the "lawless" West may have been far less romantic than they imagine. The novel is essentially one long draw toward a brutal climax, but characters along the way are exceptionally well crafted -- particularly the womanizing Di ...more
I can describe this book in words: astounding, horrifying, gripping, grotesque,redemption, bravery, savagery.

My head is still reeling.

There was a line in the book by a Mrs. Meredith Everston that sums it up perfectly; "That is an extraordinarily evocative chiller."
This book is difficult to rate and review. I don't usually read westerns (those were for my grandfather) however when I originally saw this on goodreads, something kept drawing me to it. It is definitely not your typical western. It is brutal, savage, & graphic. This story had major potential. The premise behind the final product was brilliant. The delivery was decent however it could have been much better. Here's my opinion... (which you must want to know because you are reading my review, ...more
David Mcintire
Wow...what a book. During the first few chapters you notice the rich prose and I almost thought the author was trying a little to hard, but soon you just fall into the story and are enveloped in the wonderfully gritty and and in some cases grotesque scenes. The story moves fast and gripped me from the start. Truly one of the best page turners I have read in a long time. I have heard virtually no hype for this book and was so lucky to come across it. If you want a disturbing, gritty western that ...more
Don't let the cover fool you. This is not your father's western. It is violent, thrilling, gritty, realistic and very evocative of 'new' western movies like The Unforgiven and Appaloosa. Very heavy with atmosphere and an almost palpable feeling of dread and helplessness. Highly recommend it though it won't be available until September.
Katherine Tomlinson
This is a solid tale of a vengeance ten years in the making. The characters are solid, if not exceptionally original, and the story builds smoothly to the final, fatal confrontation. It is a classic western, and if the genre truly is back, would make a good movie. The writer draws on a lot of iconic western stories (HIGH NOON comes to mind) and it’s clear he has a love of the genre, but the material isn’t as iconic as his sources. It feels … familiar and more than a little predictable
John Mccormack
Ribose,clack,impacted,perspicacity,obfuscate,diaphanous ,descry,sussarating,obfuscation .Stephen King said to never use a thesaurus when you are writing.Zahler obviously never read that,or knew better.He used the above words SEVERAL times!People don't walk or mosey or amble,they circumnavigate.There is no laughter,but lots of cacchinations(at least four times).It seems the author was given a bucketful of obscure words and promised to use them several times.Nails have siblings,and there are parox ...more
What to make of this book...extremely violent at times and bit slow in the middle, but the characters are interesting and the story had a lot of potential. Set somewhere around 1850 or 1860, four members of an old bank robbing gang are reunited for a wedding after decades of being apart. All have reformed their ways and have been nice family men for the most part. One former associate however has plans for brutal revenge at the upcoming wedding. A bit violent in the beginning, the book mellows f ...more
I felt that it started off slow, but when it got going I must say that it was the most exciting book I have ever read, because there was no way of knowing what would happen next, normally you have some idea of what might happen or what you might like to happen. I read a lot of books and was pleased that I never knew what would happen next, like you would with most books. Any slow parts were just setting the scene.
great great great. I haven't read a whole lot of Westerns but this one grabbed a hold of me from the very start. It is very violent but it has a great sense of humor, an engaging plot and fantastic characters. Zahler apparently has a film in development based on a Western screenplay he wrote and I can't wait to see it.
This was quite a story! It was a very good western but almost too violent for me at times. I had to keep reading though to see how it was going to end. I'm going to buy it for my husband, he likes westerns but doesn't want to read on my NC. If you like westerns, it's a must read.
This story includes plenty of action, a few plot twists, revenge, explosions and a posse.
I like this new generation or western novels. They have taken a genre and elevated it to something more than cowboys, Indians, ranchers, homesteaders and sheriffs.

Mr. Zahler is a strong storyteller with COJ keeping me anxiously turning the pages. The tale is horribly violent but not gratuitously. In fact, the power of the violence comes through in the sense of reality. I look forward to more of his work. ...more
Tale of 4 cowboys whose criminal past catches up to them. Had to skip over some mundane passages and some particularly graphic descriptions. Another Nook Friday freebie so I ain't complaining too much.
David Bjorne
Cold, hard, merciless and f****ing awesome. I've found a new writer to keep tabs on. Just got his new book in the mail; I start reading it... now
Jan 31, 2011 W.E. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
Great book in an unusual genre (Western Horror). Well thought out, well written, and meatier than the standard hack-and-slash fare.
I found this book difficult to read. Too raw and gruesome for my taste
Brutal take on Westerns. Very enjoyable...if you have the stomach for it.
Good Western. Hope writer continues to write more of them.
Excellent, but very brutal!
Jan 18, 2011 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-new
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Mean Business on North Ganson Street earns starred review from Booklist and praise from Kirkus Review.

"Whether writing westerns, science fiction, or crime, Zahler (Corpus Chrome, Inc., 2013) always manages to bring something new to the genre.
"Zahler’s mean streets are bizarrely mean. But Mean Business is often mordantly funny, too—and not to be missed." Booklist, starred review

From Kirkus Review:
More about S. Craig Zahler...
Mean Business on North Ganson Street Wraiths of the Broken Land Corpus Chrome, Inc.

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