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BookMan18

Is The Western Genre Dying Out ?

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The Western Fiction genre in my eyes has not been as well known as it has in previous years. Or has it always been a small genre compared to the massive romance/crime genres.

 

I want to know your opinion on the genre. Will there be a revival of the genre ? Have you got a particular favorite book ?

 

Discuss here.

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I hope it's not dying out because I plan to read at least one western next year and if I enjoy it, you can bet I'll want to read more! (Part of my 2012 Genre Challenge)

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If you read from an Ereader the fact the genre is not so popular right now works in our favour; I saw whole collections of 20 -plus Western novels going for less than a pound. I think genres go in cycles like fashion but a good novel will always be a good novel so the best ones will survive in any genre. Like Lady Kell I plan to read one next year too.

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Hi Bookman

I'm guessing you are talking about the cowboy-type westerns (?) ,so I'll have to chime in and say Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry is the best western I have ever read. There are others which go with this series -Lonesome Dove I think is part 2 . It was hugely popular. I remember when they made the tv miniseries of it .I went up to the bookstore to buy a copy to re-read the book,and a whole group of others were also buying it,everyone talking about who their favorite character was .

I think it may take a little more digging,but you can still find Western books . There are some who are fairly new ,but lots of the old ones are still some people's favorites .

Another favorite of mine was Little Big Man ,which was a movie long ago . I loved the book .Very good story !

I also have some nonfiction about people who were kidnapped by the Indians ,and there are several types like those available on the kindles ,regarding the settling of the West, etc .

Good luck,and if you haven't yet read Lonesdome Dove, RUN .... get a copy It is so well worth the read !

I'd definitely say that they were much more easy to locate back in the 50's and 60's . Lots of tv shows on then that were Westerns .

Good luck in your search .

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There are a couple of Western books I want to read, but haven't got round to yet. One is Lonesome Dove, the other is The Virginian. I enjoy Western type films and series (loved Lonesome Dove!) and really have to get round to trying them as literature.

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I am a big fan of westerns, especially those written by British authors in the 70s and 80s(some of George Gilman's Edge series have gone for about £50 on ebay) westerns are easy to pick up second hand on ebay and the like. As for new westerns I think they are still quite popular in America where long running series like the Gunsmith and Longarm are still published. The success of movies like Brokeback Mountain and True Grit can only help the literary Western authors

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For a great western series, I'd recommend The Sacketts by Louis L'Amour...it's 18 or 19 books.

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Best cowboy book I read called Wild Times by Brian Garfield. Also I like Lonesome Dove and also I like some book from Louis Lamour. This not western cowboy but also very great story was Last of the Mohicans.

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I recently read The Sisters Brothers - a western with a Coen Brothers feel to it - I thought it was excellent.

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I recently read The Sisters Brothers - a western with a Coen Brothers feel to it - I thought it was excellent.

 

Glad you mentioned this one, I'd completely forgotten about it! Read it a few months ago. Loved it.

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I will be looking out for someone to make a movie of The Sisters Brothers. I don't usually have any interest in Westerns but this one was excellent :)

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I just ordered the Sisters Brothers from Amazon today. :)

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Wow ,

Several of you mentioend Sisters Brothers. Sounds like one I'll have to look for sometime .

(When I have an emptry slot on ONE of my shelves) . :doh:

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Ok, books I have on my shelf that are about the West or set in the West :

 

Plainsong - Haruf

 

The Whistling Season -Doig

 

Gates of the Alamo -Harrigan

 

1000 White women - Fergus

 

A Sudden Country - Fisher

 

Wild Times- Garfield

 

On the Rez- Frazier

 

Coal Black Horse - Olmstead

 

Master Butcher's Singing Club- Erdrich

 

The Wild Girl -Fergus

 

Out Stealing Horses -Petterson

 

A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains -Bird

 

A Narrative of My Captivity -Kelly

 

Shadow of the Sun- Matheson

 

Wyatt Earp - Lake

 

~~~ I also just remembered another couple of EXCELLENT books set in the West -- first was a movie long ago with Dustin Hoffman -

 

Little Big Man

Return of Little Big Man by Thomas Berger BOTH excellent books .

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I was just reminded of another great western book. Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell, the [fictional] bio of Dr. John Henry Holliday, aka Doc Holliday and his friendship with Wyatt Earp.

 

Here is an excerpt from the synopsis on Good Reads:

Authentic, moving, and witty, Mary Doria Russell’s fifth novel redefines these two towering figures of the American West and brings to life an extraordinary cast of historical characters, including Holliday’s unforgettable companion, Kate. First and last, however, Doc is John Henry Holliday’s story, written with compassion, humor, and respect by one of our greatest contemporary storytellers

 

I read it earlier this year, and loved it. I found the ending a bit rushed, and that annoyed me, but the book is really wonderfully informative.

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I just finished Lonesome Dove, and loved it - if you are interested, you can find my review here:

http://www.bookclubforum.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/9442-ooshies-2012-genre-challenge/

 

I look forward to reading more in the Western genre over the years; it would definitely be this year if only I wasn't trying to clamp down hard on my book buying!

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Hi Folks

I was wandering around amazon today and happend upon this list of Western Book Award Winners from the past several years.

As you can see ,they seem to be more popular now than they once were .There seem to be a lot more winning awards now than there used to be,and many more books to choose from if you have an interest in reading more Westerns.

Spur Awards

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Cool! I'm busy reading The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt at the moment and enjoying it, so I'll be on the lokoout for more from this genre. :)

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Hi Kell

How are you liking Sisters Brothers ? I thought it was such a neat story. Can't wait for that author to write more. I hope they are westerns,too .

 

By the way, for those of you who are Lonesome Dove fans, or are pondering purchasing it , if you have a Kindle, they now have the Lonesome Dove series, all 4 books in one pakage . I'm thinking about getting them,although I have read 2 of the 4 . Too tempting to have them all in one place on my kindle .

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I'm only a little way into The Sisters Brothers, but I'm enjoying it so far. :)

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I'd never really thought about Westerns as a book genre, I'd only ever considered them as films, but yesterday on a trip to Waterstone's, I noticed they had a new (albeit small) section dedicated to Westerns so perhaps they're making a comeback after all.

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I don't think it's dying out, but books go through phases - certain types of books are popular at certain times. For example, paranormal romance is big right now. I always think that Westerns have a smaller, but loyal fanbase. :)

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