Texas Showdown: Two Texas Novels

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9780765311528: Texas Showdown: Two Texas Novels

Elmer Kelton writes of his beloved home country of West Texas in these two novels of cowmen and cow country. In Pecos Crossing, two young cowboys, Johnny Fristo and Speck Quitman, have been cheated of six months’ hard-earned salary by their rancher boss Larramore and intend getting what is due to them. In Shotgun, Texas rancher Blair Bishop has to contend with a rival cowman who is turning his herd loose on Bishop‘s land, and with a mean customer named Macy Modock, who Bishop sent to prison ten years past. Modock is out of the hoosegow and has returned determined to get even with the man who sent him up the river.

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About the Author:

Elmer Kelton (1926-2009) was the award-winning author of more than forty novels, including The Time It Never Rained, Other Men’s Horses, Texas Standoff and Hard Trail to Follow. He grew up on a ranch near Crane, Texas, and earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas. His first novel, Hot Iron, was published in 1956. Among his awards have been seven Spurs from Western Writers of America and four Western Heritage awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. His novel The Good Old Boys was made into a television film starring Tommy Lee Jones. In addition to his novels, Kelton worked as an agricultural journalist for 42 years, and served in the infantry in World War II. He died in 2009.

From Booklist:

This volume brings together two of Kelton's short novels written in the 1960s, under the blanket association of being vengeance tales of a sort set in Texas. Pecos Crossing follows two green and mightily frightened cowboys who fall on the wrong side of a famous Ranger and ex-lawman, who hunts them believing them responsible for his wife's shooting. Shotgun features two rival rancher families and a memorable villain who plays one against the other in a bloody-minded plot for revenge. In 1995, the Western Writers of America (responsible for the Spur Award) named Kelton the greatest western writer of all time, ahead of such luminaries as Louis L'Amour, Zane Grey, and Larry McMurtry. While the accolade reeks of hyperbole, such acclaim is hardly unwarranted. Kelton's writing is absolutely authentic, and he is a master at spinning that wildly expressive species of dusty idiom that makes good western writing so gratifying. Add to that some stern, if flexible, morality and tight plotting full of tense, finger-twitching action, and you have some outstanding western fare. Ian Chipman
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