Harry Whitewolf's Reviews > Wranglers' Canyon/Crash Walker

Wranglers' Canyon/Crash Walker by Andy Seven
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it was amazing
bookshelves: general-fiction, make-em-laugh

I’m generally not much of a fan of authors who restrict themselves to one genre, but having said that, I loved Andy Seven’s first two punk noir novels so much that I was a little hesitant at reading his latest, seeing as it’s a western – a genre that I quite like in film, but have never actually read. Still, if there was one author who could turn me on to westerns, I believed Andy Seven was the man for the job, and he didn’t let me down. I had no reason to be concerned in the slightest – this double-bill of novels is easily Seven’s best work so far.

The first person prose of Wranglers’ Canyon works perfectly and this is by no means your average western. Sure, it contains every element that you would expect from the genre, but it also tries – and succeeds – to do something different. The way the story builds through old fashioned cliff hangers, newly introduced charismatic or ugly characters, and development into stranger facets of supernaturalism and magic works brilliantly. I found it to be completely engrossing and compelling and loved every minute. Not only is the story great (cowboy Crash Walker runs out on a cattle drive job and through his charm and yodelling skills becomes the sheriff of Jonestown where trouble and complications ensue), the writing itself is highly engaging and funny as fuck. As with Seven’s previous books, it’s his use of wry humour and slap-in-the-face similes and comedic lines that make it so good. You’ll have a smile on your face all the way through.

But wait – that’s only the first book down, and this is a double-bill of novels (the like of which hasn’t been done in decades), so let’s get Mumblin’ Pete from Wranglers’ Canyon to describe the plot of the second novel: Crash Walker.

Ready Pete? It’s over to you.

“Yttfsdxferv vffsc lmlklm,” says Mumblin’ Pete.

Huh?

“Bgftsr hjhjbns rtvcgh!"

Hm, maybe I’d best take over the reins again Pete.


So, here’s where things get interesting. The first book, Wranglers’ Canyon, is actually the only western in this double-bill. The second, Crash Walker, is set a hundred years on from the first, and is a fantastic portrayal and satire of 1960s’ television and fame, at the height of the Bonanza-like bandwagon shows. The Z-list actor Crash Walker is the star of one of the worst western shows on the box, and he soon finds himself starring in his own real life TV episodic thriller. As the blurb says: “Unfairly accused of the murder of beloved right-wing cop show star Bill Flagg, Crash must prove his innocence. He’s also the target of an ominous conspiracy to exploit him as a puppet politician (and) through it all he films toy commercials, performs publicity stunts, visits his mentally insane missile designer father and dodges an even more mentally unstable ex-girlfriend.”

This novel, in many ways, is very different to the first in this double-bill (although it does have quite a few recurring themes and moments), but it’s equally as good. In fact, it may be even better than Wranglers’ Canyon if only because it displays a lot more depth.

Publishing these two novels together is what really makes this double-bill stand out from the crowd. The author is attempting to do something old-fashioned but also completely unique in this contemporary world of fiction, and he succeeds on every count.

The afterword to the foreword, found between the two novels, is as interesting as the novels themselves, and it sums up what Andy Seven is trying to achieve: “The western format is an extremely limited one. Most stories from that era are rigidly defined; they have to be, of course, since they are confined to a specific point in time. The standard western tale has been told countless times via literature, television, radio shows and motion pictures for over a hundred years. The biggest challenge for me was to write something fresh within that classic genre.”

Andy Seven succeeds in making Wranglers’ Canyon/Crash Walker into something both simple but epic, something that’s highly amusing and entertaining but also full of depth, something that’s all together uniquely Sevenesque. I can’t recommend this double-bill enough. It’s rootin’-tootin’ good fun, and I bet you won’t find anything else like it.

As Mumblin’ Pete would say: "Fdn johsn kirt fhr!"

Yeah Pete, I couldn’t have put it better myself.




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Reading Progress

December 17, 2015 – Shelved
December 17, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
June 24, 2016 – Started Reading
July 15, 2016 –
page 85
33.33% "I'm rootin-tootin loving this. :)"
July 22, 2016 –
page 134
52.55% "Wranglers' Canyon finished. Crash Walker to go. Yee-ha!"
August 4, 2016 –
page 255
100.0% "A rootin'-tootin' review to come..."
August 13, 2016 – Shelved as: general-fiction
August 13, 2016 – Shelved as: make-em-laugh
August 13, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Andy Sevenesque? Haha, thanks for the wild review, man!


Harry Whitewolf No worries dude. :)


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