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Thursday, 12 August 2010

WHY EDGE MATTERS

A FRESH TAKE ON THE OLD WEST
No one could reasonably deny that Leone’s best work was not as defining and important to the western genre, as the best of John Ford or Anthony Mann. Leone’s westerns were spawned from imitation and yet became vastly imitated themselves, for in inhabiting the West of the American movies Leone gave the genre a much needed kick, created a heightened reality, both surreal and stylised. He gave the stock gunslingers and clichéd bounty hunters a coolness that appealed to the counter culture. Much the same argument can be used with the Edge novels of George G. Gilman – they too were born out of imitation, influenced by the films of Leone and other European directors who were themselves indebted to the Americans. And they too were widely imitated and like Leone they too redefined the western. For where Leone started out as an imitator he ended up creating a sub-genre of his own, as did George G. Gilman.

They are without doubt the most important of the British westerns – true J T Edson was more prolific but, although highly readable, he took his influences first hand from the great American westerns, while Edge drew from a well polluted by the excesses of Leone, Corbucci and others. This resulted in Edge proving popular with a younger, more hip readership than was usual for the western genre.

A man without fear
A man without remorse
A man who survives because he has … the Edge
Edge comes to eBook



#1: The Loner
#2: Ten Grand
aka Ten Thousand Dollar American
#3: Apache Death
#4: Killer’s Breed
#5: Blood on Silver
#6: The Blue, the Grey and the Red
aka Red River
#7: California Killing
#8: Hell’s 7
aka Seven Out of Hell
#9: Bloody Summer
#10: Vengeance Is Black
#11: Sioux Uprising
#12: Death’s Bounty
aka Biggest Bounty
#13: A Town Called Hate
aka The Hated
#14: Big Gold
aka Tiger’s Gold
#15: Blood Run
aka Paradise Loses
#16: The Final Shot
#17: Vengeance Valley
#18: Ten Tombstones to Texas
#19: Ashes and Dust
#20: Sullivan’s Law
#21: Rhapsody in Red
#22: Slaughter Road
#23: Echoes of War
#24: The Day Democracy Died
aka Slaughterday
#25: Violence Trail
#26: Savage Dawn
#27: Death Drive
#28: Eve of Evil
#29: The Living, the Dying and the Dead
#30: Waiting for a Train
aka Towering Nightmare
#31: The Guilty Ones
#32: The Frightened Gun
#33: Red Fury
#34: A Ride in the Sun
#35: Death Deal
#36: Town on Trial
#37: Vengeance at Ventura
#38: Massacre Mission
#39: The Prisoners
#40: Montana Melodrama
#41: The Killing Claim
#42: Bloody Sunrise
#43: Arapaho Revenge
#44: The Blind Side
#45: House On the Ranged
#46. The Godforsaken
#47: The Moving Cage
#48: School for Slaughter
#49: Revenge Ride
#50: Shadow of the Gallows
#51: A Time for Killing
#52: Brutal Border
#53: Hitting Paydirt
#54: Backshot
#55: Uneasy Riders
#56: Doomtown
#57: Dying is for Ever
#58: The Desperadoes
#59: Terror Town
#60: The Breed Woman
#61: The Rifle
For more than twenty years the Edge books dominated the western scene, equally successful in the UK and US and in fact translated into ten different languages. And if any western series deserves to be brought back into print it is the Edge series.

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