Laughing West: Humorous Western Fiction

C. L. Sonnichsen, Editor Swallow Press $29.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-8040-0901-0
In this anthology of lighthearted short fiction by and about Westerners, Sonnichsen (Roy Bean: Law West of the Pecos, etc.) presents 21 eclectic stories written from 1928 to the present. The humor ranges from scatological, in Will Henry's ``Tom Horn Meets Al Sieber,'' to satirical, in Thomas Berger's ``The Real Wild Bill Hickok,'' excerpted from the popular Little Big Man. In his brief essays before each section, Sonnichsen comments on the various stages he sees the West as having passed through since early pioneer days, and he includes pieces that express multifaceted visions of Indians, cowboys, Mexican-Americans, outlaws and peace officers. In ``Janet and Her Songs,'' from Dan Jenkins's 1981 novel Baja Oklahoma, Juanita Hutchins heads back to Fort Worth after her marriage sunders: ``She returned to a hometown that was growing and changing. Suburbs were springing from Suburbs. New bars were opening in cellars, on rooftops . . . .'' Despite the commercialism that has changed familiar landscapes, Juanita recaptures her sense of homeland. Readers will enjoy the variety of Sonnichsen's discriminating selection, which is further evidence of regional writing's value. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
Paperback - 312 pages - 978-0-8040-0902-7
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