Journal of the Gun Years

Richard Matheson, Author M. Evans and Company $16.95 (204p) ISBN 978-0-87131-689-9
This nicely executed western takes the form of annotated diaries by legendary gunfighter Clay Halser, first met as a minor hero in the Civil War. The taste of excitement sours upon Halser's return to his bucolic home town, and he is forced to leave in haste after an argument over cards leads to a shooting. In the charming, picaresque tale that follows, Halser plays virtually every archetypal role the Old West has to offer: barman in a cow-town; shotgun-rider on an often-robbed stagecoach; hostler under a sadistic Prussian overseer; unwilling but effective--and ruthless--desperado; no-nonsense, much-beleaguered lawman; and, finally, burnt-out gambler. As Halser moves from one familiar Western town to another, and from one corpse to many, his legend grows. Dime-novels and newspaper articles are written about him, children idolize him, young men challenge him and he begins to rely on his legend to define his identity. Carefully structured set pieces clearly trace Halser's emotional evolution, as he slowly degenerates into a paranoid mess, short-tempered and murderous. The author, who wrote a number of original Twilight Zone episodes, gives his story a credibility and honesty unusual in the genre. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 12/01/1991
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.