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Topic: Western Writers and their Classic Novels

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Subject: Western Writers and their Classic Novels
Date Posted: 7/13/2009 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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Recently, I was introduced to the Western genre by reading Robert Parker's Appaloosa trilogy. I have heard of other Western writers like L'Amour, McMurtry, Grey and Compton. My question is what are considered the classic novels of these or other Western writers? Just would like to hear other people's opinions.

Date Posted: 7/13/2009 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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You might want to check out the books by A. B. Guthrie Jr.  I have two of them, The Way West and The Big Sky, in my TBR stack.


Date Posted: 7/14/2009 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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Thanks Pam. I will be adding at least one of them to my TBR.

Date Posted: 7/16/2009 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 316
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Another way to get suggestions is search on "spur award." That's the annual prize given by the Westerns Writers of America.

L'Amour: Down the Long Hills is a perfect Western.

McMurtry: Lonesome Dove, certainly. A great novel

Grey:  Riders of Purple Sage is famous, but I liked Nevada

Compton: I don’t know

Benjamin Capps: The Trail to Ogallala is probably my fave western of all time. It's got everything: horses, cattle, weather, gun play, drama of men under pressure. Capps' books about Indians are good too.

Jack Schafer: Monte Walsh is great.

Loren Estleman: all the westerns he writes are worth reading.

Last Edited on: 7/16/09 3:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/16/2009 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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Thanks for the great suggestions. L'Amour has so many I just wanted to get one or two of his best to give my idea of his style. The Spur award is a going to be consulted as well. Thanks for the list.

Date Posted: 7/17/2009 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/11/2008
Posts: 23
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I was introduced to westerns by reading the Sackett Series from Louis L'Amour.  It essentially chronicals the Sackett Family from when they land in the Carolina's all the way up to the 1890's.  I'm not sure of the titles, all of them were very good. My favorite is The Sackett Brand.

I have read Riders of the Purple Sage.  One time, some of 'The Brothers" came to my door and offered me "The Book or Mormon"  I said only if you take this book and read it.  So I don't have my Riders of the Purple Sage book anymore; )

I also read a lot of Willim W Johnstone, but I don't think is westerns are very authentic, but very entertaining. 



Date Posted: 7/18/2009 6:03 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,582
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My favorite western (and in fact one of my all-time favorite books of any genre) is The Cowboy and the Cossack by Clair Huffaker.