Sunday, 30 December 2012
Crow James W Marvin -Western Classic Book Review
Crow would be a part of the classic fiction section - there was a time, not that long ago, when bookshops and newsagents, supermarkets and garages would have a spinning rack full to bursting with slim mass market genre paperbacks - horror, crime,war, western and even erotica were all published in this way.
Crow by James W. Marvin was first published by Transworld in 1979, I think the book would have likely been out on the Corgi imprint. I know Corgi did a number of western series, the Sudden books (also back out from Piccadilly Publishing) were their best known series but then there was the popular Herne the Hunter series and yes, these books are also being reissued by the guys at PP.
But you can check out PP HERE, so let's get back to Crow.
Crow is very much influenced by the success of George G. Gilman's brutal but brilliant Edge series, and like those particular books is very violent. Perhaps Crow is a little too violent and several scenes come across as sadistic, notably in Crow's treatment of the captain who brought about his court martial, but then the Brit westerns of the period owed much to the spaghetti westerns and were not meant to be taken too seriously. The plot here is episodic in nature and leads us towards a climax that takes place around the famed Battle of the Little Big Horn. I thought this was a nice touch and added a little authenticity to the otherwise surreal West of the main narrative.
There's violence galore then and a couple of sex scenes that would put Fifty Shades of Grey to shame, but if you are looking for an all action western that doesn't take itself too seriously then you'll enjoy this book.
James W Marvin was actually a pen name of noted science fiction author, Laurence James who died in 2002 and it's great that Piccadilly Publishing are bringing this and the rest of the Crow series into digital print.