Thursday, 18 June 2009

Western Adventure, Nov. 1957

Street & Smith’s
British Edition, Vol. 2, #5,
November 1957.

Featured Novelette:
Hoodoo Howdy – by Bob Carol
Short Stories:
Texans Pay Their Debts – by Ray Nafziger
Gun-smoke Grandstander – by Norman A. Fox
Grizzly Revenge – by George Cory Franklin
Dead Men Can Ride – by Mojave Lloyd

Not having read anything by these authors before, and only having heard of one, Norman A. Fox, I didn’t know what to expect from this collection. As I thought, though, there are stories/writers I enjoyed and those that didn’t inspire me to hunt out any more of their work.

I was surprised at how much Bob Carol managed to fit into his story of sabotage in the coal mining industry, there was plenty of action, twists, and he also manages to develop a love plotline too. Even though the traitor was easy to work out I found this to be a satisfying and entertaining read.

The next two stories were both readable with Norman A Fox providing the better of the two for me, although the ending hammered home a moral with too much force for my liking.

Grizzly Revenge was a little too unbelievable to me, I just found it stretching credibility to much for me, as I don’t believe two growing grizzly cubs would befriend man and be happy living in a cabin and eating a couple of slices of bacon at mealtimes.

The final story I gave up reading as I found it hard to follow and just didn’t want to take the time trying to work out what the characters were saying, far to much of this kind of thing: “An’ what’re ye wantin’ with all the dinnymite anyhow, ye impident spalpeen?” and “I might have stumick ulsters.”

After the stories there are three short factual articles on guns, outdoor cooking, and iron.

Overall I find these old pulp westerns fun to delve into between reading books, as they often contain some hidden gems.


Chris said...

This might be my favorite post of yours that I've read yet! I was in stitches over the "dinnymite" part, and "Grizzly Revenge" sounds truly surreal. I would love to read that story. The Carol and Fox stories sound a bit more solid, though.

Have you reviewed any other quarterlies or magazines for this site?


I love it when I come across these western pulps - problem is it doesn't happen very often.

Chap O'Keefe said...

Like you, I've not come across these authors before, other than Norman A. Fox, whose novels can still be found in libraries, usually in large-print. I also own a couple of old paperbacks and wish I had more. His best work shows an Ernest Haycox influence.

Steve M said...

Chris, to answer your question, I haven't. I do have loads of this kind of magazine stacked up here and there and do hope to read some more soon.