Saturday, September 10, 2022

Wrangling Westerns again

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In a Western mood...
The Thicket
by Joe R. Lansdale
Western, Coming of Age | Published: 2013 | Goodreads

Jack Parker thought he'd already seen his fair share of tragedy. His grandmother was killed in a farm accident when he was barely five years old. His parents have just succumbed to the smallpox epidemic sweeping turn-of-the-century East Texas -- orphaning him and his younger sister, Lula.

Then catastrophe strikes on the way to their uncle's farm, when a traveling group of bank-robbing bandits murder Jack's grandfather and kidnap his sister. With no elders left for miles, Jack must grow up fast and enlist a band of heroes the likes of which has never been seen if his sister stands any chance at survival. But the best he can come up with is a charismatic, bounty-hunting dwarf named Shorty, a grave-digging son of an ex-slave named Eustace, and a street-smart woman-for-hire named Jimmie Sue who's come into some very intimate knowledge about the bandits (and a few members of Jack's extended family to boot).

In the throes of being civilized, East Texas is still a wild, feral place. Oil wells spurt liquid money from the ground. But as Jack's about to find out, blood and redemption rule supreme.


Stay tuned: movie pre-production is in the works directed by Elliott Lester and starring Peter Dinklage as Reginald - perfect! He is the one I imagined in that role when I read the book.

Spaghetti Western by Carol Ostberg
Piecework (1,000 pcs)

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Alice's Trading Post: A Novel of the West
by Kerry Dean Feldman
Historical, Western | Published: 2022 | Goodreads

Alice's Trading Post is the story of an untamable, unforgettable woman with a wry wit who lives 103 adventurous years. She survives all the west could throw at a woman, fights to be herself, live free, and find love. Treat her with respect, you walk away safe. If not, there will be consequences. Alice never met her young Army of the West officer father stationed in Oregon Territory, 1860s. She's raised like a boy by her Canadian trapper stepfather and lovely, feisty, Indian mother alongside the Columbia River. She can shoot a beaver eye at a hundred paces, doesn't know how to cook or sew, can fight blade up with knives, hunt bear on her own, never wears a dress. This idyllic life in the Willamette Valley ends when she begins her woman moons, and her family travels across the Mullan Road to wild Fort Benton on the Upper Missouri, Montana Territory. Circumstances force her mother to trade her to an old fur trader. Young Alice must learn how to become a woman on her own, wonders if she's Indian like her mother or white like her father. She longs for family, love, and knowing where she fits in a violent Plains era. Alice's stories are found, as recorded by her grandson, under her burnt-out trading post in South Dakota, then transcribed by the Buffalo Gap Historical Society.

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Vengeance (2022)
Director/Writer: B.J. Novak
Stars: B.J. Novak, Boyd Holbrook, Issa Rae
Mystery, Thriller, Comedy | imdb | my rating: 5
Western-ish, with thoughts on modern day connections

A writer from New York City attempts to solve the murder of a girl he hooked up with and travels down south to investigate the circumstances of her death and discover what happened to her.

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* image source: The Onlooker by Gray Malin (here)

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