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Genre Challenge 2020-22 > Aug 2020 - The Western

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message 1: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Aug 29, 2020 03:02AM) (new)

Liz | 3468 comments Mod
So, it's the Western for August.

When I set up the first genre challenge a few years back, I dreaded reaching 'The Western'. I assumed it was not going to be my cup of tea, a prejudice formed from the John Wayne films that used to be on TV all the time when I was a kid...

Knowing that the whole point of a 'challenge' is to get out of your comfort zone, I forced myself to pick up that first one and it was not just good, but very good : (The Sisters Brothers - highly recommended). Having faced this quandary now several times, I may have even become a convert! (And I'm even partial to the odd film Western (just no John Wayne thanks) - 'The Good the Bad and The Ugly' and 'Unforgiven' are probably my favourites).

Recommendations would also include All the Pretty Horses, The Revenant, Little Big Man: A Novel and Days Without End.

This time around I might try either A Hanging at Cinder Bottom (great title!) or the mighty Lonesome Dove, which at over 1000 pages will certainly make it into the doorstop category! I have also had Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West on my to read list for ages, but I think I will save that one for another time - I need something escapist!

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1) by Cormac McCarthy The Revenant by Michael Punke Little Big Man A Novel by Thomas Berger Days Without End by Sebastian Barry A Hanging at Cinder Bottom by Glenn Taylor Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove, #1) by Larry McMurtry Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown


message 2: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 433 comments Some excellent suggestions there! As someone who grew up in the West, I do loathe this category. We'll see if I can force myself.

Here's an off-the-beaten-track option that tells a nineteenth-century tale through the lens of a more contemporary value set: When Water Was Everywhere by Barbara Crane. It's set in the area that is now Los Angeles, California, and starts conventionally enough from the point of view of a drifter. Then an indigenous woman picks up the tale, and finally an aged padre from one of the missions.


message 3: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1367 comments Mod
Oh good heavens! First Poetry then Westerns. Well its certainly a challenge! I was about to say I haven't got a single Western in the flat when I spotted a box set called 10 Great Westerns waiting to be Bookcrossed. So I can chose from:

Thunder in the East (The First Frontier, #1) by Mike Roarke Shadows on the Longhouse (The First Frontier, #3) by Mike Roarke Wyatt Earp by Matt Braun Blood River (The First Frontier, #4) by Mike Roarke Cimarron Jordan by Matt Braun Powder River A Jeston Nash Adventure by Ralph Cotton The Goodnight Trail (Trail Drive #01) by Ralph Compton The Western Trail (Trail Drive, #02) by Ralph Compton The Chisholm Trail (Trail Drive, #03) by Ralph Compton Lords of the Land by Matt Braun

If anyone has read any of these and can recommend one that would be great otherwise I'll pick one at random.


message 4: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Aug 18, 2020 06:55AM) (new)

Liz | 3468 comments Mod
I know what you mean, Kate, but at least we'll have got them out of the way, with plenty of other juicy genres to look forward to.

I'm not familiar with those authors, perhaps close your eyes and pick one ;)

I wanted to walk to the library today to pick up my copy of A Hanging at Cinder Bottom as it's just arrived, but it's raining cats and dogs. So, it looks as if I will have to go tomorrow instead...

A Hanging at Cinder Bottom by Glenn Taylor


message 5: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Aug 18, 2020 06:55AM) (new)

Liz | 3468 comments Mod
I have collected my copy of A Hanging at Cinder Bottom, now I just need to finish my current read...

A Hanging at Cinder Bottom by Glenn Taylor


message 6: by Mark (new)

Mark (richie0110) | 0 comments Not really familiar with Westerns but going to try The Revenant. O've not actually seen the film so interested to see what happens.


message 7: by Kate, Moderator (last edited Aug 01, 2020 01:51AM) (new)

Kate | 1367 comments Mod
Made a start this morning on Wyatt Earp by Matt Braun Selected from the boxset of 10 chiefly because it shows Wyatt Earp on the cover with a sheriff's badge and handily I need a book with a star on the cover for another challenge!
I've read the first 3 chapters and its ticking along nicely. Glad there's a map of Tombstone included!


message 8: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1367 comments Mod
And today I finished Wyatt Earp
Couldn't put it down! It prompted me to look up The Gunfight at the OK Corral and any book that makes me want to research its content is worthy of 5 stars!


message 9: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Aug 18, 2020 06:56AM) (new)

Liz | 3468 comments Mod
That's a good result, Kate! I am just starting A Hanging at Cinder Bottom...

A Hanging at Cinder Bottom by Glenn Taylor


message 10: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Aug 29, 2020 03:05AM) (new)

Liz | 3468 comments Mod
I'm over halfway through A Hanging at Cinder Bottom and thoroughly enjoying it. It's just the escapism I need.

I was worried when I started, that it wasn't going to fit the genre as: disaster! it's set in West Virginia, not 'The West' at all. However, as the plot involves small towns with exploitative business practices, corrupt law enforcement, mining, saloons, gambling, prostitutes, and of course, guns, horses and booze, it contains all the necessary tropes!

A Hanging at Cinder Bottom by Glenn Taylor


message 11: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2744 comments I was at my local ubs today so I picked up a western for this challenge. I'll be reading The Searchers by Alan Le May


message 12: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Aug 18, 2020 06:56AM) (new)

Liz | 3468 comments Mod
I finished A Hanging at Cinder Bottom last night. A highly enjoyable read that narrowly missed 4stars (I was disappointed with the ending, but I may just be being picky).

A Hanging at Cinder Bottom by Glenn Taylor


message 13: by Mark (new)

Mark (richie0110) | 0 comments I've finished 'The Revenant' today and I felt the same about that Liz. Really enjoyed it but the ending was a bit disappointing.


message 14: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Aug 18, 2020 07:00AM) (new)

Liz | 3468 comments Mod
How's everyone getting on with their westerns? I think I'm going to have to save Lonesome Dove for next time around - it's just too long. I'm already weighed down by Les Misérables and won't have time for another doorstop this month. I hope it's worth the wait...

Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove, #1) by Larry McMurtry


message 15: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2744 comments Liz wrote: "How's everyone getting on with their westerns? I think I'm going to have to save Lonesome Dove for next time around - it's just too long. I'm already weighed down by [book:Les Misér..."

Enjoying The Searchers so far. Very powerful.


message 16: by Mark (new)

Mark (richie0110) | 0 comments I've just finished The Revenant and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would! never would have picked up a western usually!


message 17: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 433 comments I'm afraid I failed this month's challenge. I live in the West--does that count? :-)


message 18: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3468 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "I'm afraid I failed this month's challenge. I live in the West--does that count? :-)"

Ha ha ha! Yes, a bit of a busman's holiday for you, Abigail. There's no fail in this challenge, just onto the next one....


message 19: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3468 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "I've just finished The Revenant and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would! never would have picked up a western usually!"

Glad you enjoyed it, Mark. I remember being totally absorbed by the descriptions of the unforgiving landscape and his gruelling experiences.


message 20: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3468 comments Mod
Bill wrote: "Enjoying The Searchers so far. Very powerful...."

Is it the same story as the film? How's it going?


message 21: by Stuart (new)

Stuart | 11 comments still playing catch up so I have just downloaded The sister brothers to my kindle


message 22: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2744 comments Liz wrote: "Bill wrote: "Enjoying The Searchers so far. Very powerful...."

Is it the same story as the film? How's it going?"


I don't know that I've ever seen the movie or if so, it's been a long time. There is a description in the book so the ending at least sounds different. I just finished today; gritty, stark... Powerful.


message 23: by Helen (last edited Apr 05, 2021 03:10AM) (new)

Helen (cooksbooks78) | 54 comments So Goodreads lists Stephen King'sThe Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born as fitting the western genre. I have already read that a few years ago, but I do have the graphic novel sitting in my tbr pile. As I am trying to play catch-up because I have joined at the end of October, I hope this is acceptable!


message 24: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3468 comments Mod
Good idea, Helen! Yes, it's allowed :)


message 25: by Helen (new)

Helen (cooksbooks78) | 54 comments Thank goodness - it was a very good adaptation and it looks as though the graphic novel series will differ from the original series in the way the story will be told.


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