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The Western Lonesome Society

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In this hilarious, poignant, over-the-top Western, readers are introduced to Jim O’Brien who is writing a quixotic saga of his ancestors who grew up with a tribe of Comanche. As his grip on reality loosens, O’Brien weaves into his tale an RV trip through the soul of the west and includes a whole host of characters such as modern day stalkers, drug dealers, secret agents, ...more
Paperback, 132 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Conundrum Press
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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PattyMacDotComma
2.5
This novella is novel indeed. I can’t think of anything to compare it to except maybe well-written brain-storming notes. Interesting scenes and characters and observations.

I enjoyed the author’s style, the various tones and the flow of each bit. I’m not sure which parts were intended to be real and which were imaginary. It’s like excerpts from different stories strung together on a very fragile thread by someone during a hallucinatory episode.

I think the protagonist is a troubled professor,
...more
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
I received a copy of The Western Lonesome Society from its publisher, Conundrum Press, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

I was attracted to this novella by its quirky title and by the mentions of similarity to Cormac McCarthy and Kent Haruf - both favourite authors of mine - in the blurb. I really should stop reading blurbs, or at least believing them, as both names were somewhat misleading. McBrearty's previously published books have apparently been short story collections and I
...more
Susan
Aug 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly had no idea I was already finished reading this until I tried to swipe to the next page and there simply wasn't any more story. This was a lovely little novella, I liked how the plots were interwoven, the reader gets two stories/ two separate plots. I was slightly confused by the therapist character, and think the novel would have worked fine without that added oddness. In fact, that element took me completely out of the narrative, but it was a minor hiccup within the overall arc.
Rachel Stansel
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
The description of this short novel doesn't really encapsulated the story. Yes, we follow at times the story of his ancestors who were kidnapped and held for 6 years by Comanches. The story is written by our protagonist (if we can think of him that way) Jim O’Brien. We also follow Jim through the rabbit hole. He tells us about being kidnapped by his mother's stalker, molested by a friend's father and about his first love. As it goes on, it gets more difficult to follow, as is intended I think.

I
...more
Patricia
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it


When I started reading this book I didn't know what I was getting into. But as I started reading I got sucked right into the story . This is one quirky funny read that will have you laughing out loud at some of the things that happen . I love the main character in this story and how he weaves the story of his ancestors in with the story of his life.

The main character Jim O Brien is a college professor who has been one upped by a student . His literary aspirations are getting the better of him
...more
E Vikander
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In The Western Lonesome Society, O’Brien interweaves stories of his abduction, family vacation, and work life with that of his ancestors who were captured by the Comanche in the 1870s. Brilliantly absurdist and frequently funny, the problem with this book is that it ended way too soon. Refreshing, original, and unexpected—read The Western Lonesome Society just for the sheer enjoyment of stories well told.
Tom LaMarr
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Can this master storyteller produce a novel as unique and enjoyable as his idiosyncratic short stories? With The Western Lonesome Society, the question has been answered. This is a fun, fast, satisfying read, and I highly recommend it to others. His short story collections are worth picking up, too.
Lisa Boyd
Nov 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015, abandon-ship
I dnf'd this one after about 65% of the book. I really had no reason to keep reading. I really couldn't follow it for some reason and had no connection with the characters.

I received a free egalley of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Steve
Sep 29, 2015 added it
McBrearty has written a careening romp that somehow evokes both Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds and the richly American paranoia of Don DeLillo (in many fewer pages!). Exuberant, tragically sad, hilarious, and sobering: the author packs a wicked punch.
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