The Saga of Simon Bolivar Grimes, Volume 1
By E. Hoffmann Price
Black Dog Books, 2011
Hit the owlhoot trail as naïve Simon Bolivar Grimes, tassel-headed youth from Georgia, sets off for Crockett County, Texas searching for his Uncle Carter. Grimes will boast, brawl, ramble and roll his way from outlaw to hero, whilst learning a little bit about loving along the way.
After a very informative introduction by one of today’s most respected western authors, James Reasoner, Nomad’s Trail then presents the reader with the first twelve stories in the long-running Grimes saga, which made their debut in the very first issue of Spicy Western Stories in November 1936. These early tales have strong links to each other as the storyline of searching for Uncle Carter ties them together as do a number of other reoccurring characters. Once his Uncle has been found and left behind new characters move along with Grimes from tale to tale.
Grimes makes for an engaging hero, his inexperience placing him in some dangerous situations that only his super-fast ability with his guns get him out of alive. Due to being written for Spicy Western Stories Grimes comes into contact with many young women who seem to lose their clothes at some point. Grimes also makes some amazing discoveries about women, like that they have legs! (You’ll have to read it to fully appreciate that comment)
Descriptions are well written and most of the plots are fairly straightforward although many contain a twist or two. The dialogue is of the times, and I must admit I did have to read some of it more than once to fully understand what was being said, but this all adds to the charm of these stories. There’s plenty of action too, be it using guns or fists.
This really is a great collection of stories and as the subtitle is The Saga of Simon Bolivar Grimes, Volume 1 I can only assume that Volume 2 will soon follow. I for one will be looking forward to that being published.