May 9th, 2012, 08:23 PM
Looking for a dark, gritty western...
My favorite author is Joe Abercrombie, so that gives you an idea of what kind of book I enjoy. The dark gritty stuff. Joe is writing a "western style" fantasy book right now, which got me thinking about finding an actual western of this style. My favorite western movie's are Good/bad/ugly, Unforgiven, 3:10 to Yuma, etc.
Can anyone recommend me any western novel's in this same vein? Dark, brutal, action oriented with great characterization. Thanks.
May 10th, 2012, 12:08 PM
3:10 to Yuma was based on a short story by Elmore Leonard. He wrote several wester short stories and handful of Western novels, notably Hombre (made into a movie starring Paul Newman) Valdez is Coming (made into a movie starring Burt Lancaster) those are in a similar vein as 3:10 to Yuma, especially Valdez is Coming which has a lot of action, and Leonard always does great characterization.
Originally Posted by hawkeyye
May 23rd, 2012, 02:01 PM
It's pretty old school but you might try Louis L'Amour. That's ALL he wrote, westerns. I've read a few but he was my grandfather's favorite author.
Also, check out Larry McMurtry. He wrote Lonesome Dove and Streets of Laredo. Not sure if you've ever seen the LD miniseries, but it's quite excellent and naturally the book is better.
May 23rd, 2012, 03:19 PM
Teela's beaten me to this one!
Second recommendation: Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove.
One of the most atmospheric books about the Wild West, reminded me of the sort of broad canvas type historical epic books James Mitchener did so well: Chesapeake, for example.
But I must admit I've not read a lot of Westerns as such. Like Teela's granddad, mine also read Louis L'Amour: keep meaning to try some.
May 26th, 2012, 07:28 PM
If you want Dark, Gritty then I would probably forget about L'Amour. His stories are very much in the traditional Western mold. If you can find any George G Gilman (Edge, Steele series) they are pretty gritty, not to mention violent. Some of Terry Johnston's can be pretty gritty as well.
Dark is not something that gets a lot of shelf space in Western as apart from a period in the 70 - early 80s (when Gilman was writing) Western readers generally seem to prefer there books to follow a set formula. Almost as bad as M&B readers
May 27th, 2012, 09:08 AM
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian
May 27th, 2012, 10:59 AM
Cranky old broad
Ditto Lonesome Dove -- there's a prequel and a couple of sequels, so if you like those characters, you'll have plenty to keep you busy. Also try Anything for Billy.
The Homesman and The Shootist by Glendon Swarthout. A "homesman" is someone charged with taking women who've been driven crazy by life on the plains back to their homes in the East. The Shootist is about an aging gunfighter.
Tie My Bones to Her Back by Robert F. Jones has a female protagonist (buffalo hunter). It's pretty raw.
Ron Hansen - Desperadoes and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Not as dark and gritty as others but worth a read. Hansen is one of my favorite writers.
Heart of the Country by Greg Mathews -- a misogynist buffalo hunter is the main character. You'll hate him.
I'll try to think of some more -- I have a couple shelves of westerns. Love the genre.
May 30th, 2012, 06:10 AM
Man of Ways and Means
Yep, his Border trilogy... No sure how "dark" it is compared to the O.P. but...
Originally Posted by neeson1
No Country for Old Men ?
June 14th, 2012, 12:18 AM
I never read Lonesome Dove though I saw the excellent mini-series. However I did read Streets of Laredo which does gritty pretty well. There is also alot of books by the late Terry Johnstone set in west including his massive Plainsman series which follows the exploits of an Irish Immigrant and Civil War veteran who works as an Army Scout and impossibly gets himself involved in every Indian conflict across the Great Plains for 30 years since the Civil War ended. The treatment of the protaganists, Army, civilian and Native American is pretty even-handed with plenty of heroes and villians in every camp. It also does a pretty good job of capturing the harsh conditions encountered in that part of North America during the late Nineteenth Century and the trail of greed, broken-treaties, and tragic culture clashes that nearly led to the genocide of a proud, desperate and overmatched people.
Originally Posted by Hobbit
June 14th, 2012, 01:49 AM
It never entered my mind
I've read a modern western recently that reminded me a bit of Joe Abercrombie with some quite graphic violence, gallows humor and a pair of hired guns as the main actors. it's called The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. It was rated no.1 book of 2011 on Amazon and wonn a lot of literary prizes.