By James C. O’Donnell
Bedside Books, October 2012
The Rip Roaring Days of the West were filled with colourful characters like Wyatt Earp, Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Doc Holliday, Judge Roy Bean and Cole Younger. Alongside many others such as Bible Banging Billy, the Casey Jones brothers, and the beautiful and mysterious lady on a white stallion, these gallant pioneers of yesterday defined the American people of today. This book lets your imaginations run riot in a collection of compelling and amusing stories about the old Wild and Woolly West.
This book is somewhat different to the westerns I usually read and made a very welcome change in both its outlook and style. The whole book stretches belief and so it should as it is written for laughs and there are plenty to be found within its pages, as James C. O’Donnell sure has a talent for telling a tale story such as those that the mountain men may have told whilst gathered around a campfire.
There are many scenes that had me laughing out loud, such as when Butch Cassidy’s horse, during an attempted hold-up, looks at a couple of women so ugly the unfortunate animal drops dead in shock!
Part of my enjoyment of this collection of short stories was in seeing just how much James C. O’Donnell would stretch reality; how far someone can run (why only run a mile if you could have them running a thousand), how long they can hold their breath underwater, how big those Texas longhorns really are, how fast a locomotive can go, and how far a person can travel through the air using…. well I can’t say as that would spoil this incredible scene.
Of course the author messes with time a little (ok a lot) to bring certain characters together but that is part of the charm of this book, seeing who will turn up next and where. And there is knowledge to be gained too, such as discovering just how the Navajo came to make the blankets they are famous for worldwide…
So if you like a laugh and don’t always want to take things too seriously then do yourself a favour, grab a copy of this book, settle down by the fire with a couple of bottles of xxx hooch and have yourself a fine ol’ time.
Of Stampedes, Runaway Trains, & Riverboat Scoundrels has a release date of October 1st and can be pre-ordered now. The Kindle version is already available.