Andrew's Reviews > The Buntline Special

The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick
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M 50x66
's review
Feb 03, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: fantasy, western, steampunk
Read from February 02 to 03, 2011

I had been really looking forward to The Buntline Special. I love Weird Westerns in general. I had also read on the publisher's blog that they didn't just want to publish steampunk novels, but wanted something with a twist. So when this book turned out to be a disappointment for me, it was a pretty big disappointment indeed.

For a 300+ page book, The Buntline Special felt pretty slight. The characters, outside of Doc Holiday, didn't feel particularly developed. It's hard to emotionally invest in characters you don't get to know. And if I'm not invested in the characters, I'm also not invested in their conflicts. And if I'm not invested in the conflicts, there's not a lot for me to care about.

Even worse, the "weird" elements just felt layered on top of a fairly lackluster standard Western. None of the fantasy elements were necessary. Electric powered stagecoaches? Robot prostitutes? Zombie gunmen? All window dressing. A character gets transformed into a giant bat, and absolutely nothing is done with it. If the fantastical elements of a story aren't going to be important, then they shouldn't be there at all.

So, overall, a wasted opportunity.

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Reading Progress

02/02/2011 page 189
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