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
Genre: Fiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-4417-3988-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4417-3987-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-425-13207-4
Hardcover - 346 pages - 978-1-56054-345-9
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4417-3990-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4417-3991-9
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4299-9843-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 216 pages - 978-0-7653-6226-1
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