Friday 30 January 2009
LAST STAND AT SABRE RIVER - ELMORE LEONARD
Last Stand at Sabre River
Harper Torch Western
originally published 1959
Elmore Leonard is best known these days for his excellent crime novels but years before he became the king of crime he was a master of the western. And this book is well up to his usual high standard.
Paul Cable rides into Arizona with his wife and children after being discharged from the Confederate army. However in his absence two brothers have taken over his house and land and they seem to think they have a right to it. But Cable is not the sort of man to give up without a fight.
The westerns are written in the same style as the author's crime classics - long stretches of dialogue that carry the story forward and real multi-layered characters. It's never a simple case of good guys and bad guys with Leonard and it makes for a far deeper story. There are shades of grey aplenty here just as there are in real life...just as there was in the real Old West.
Of course Leonard's unique talent is in creating low life characters that are so real the reader can hear their speech patterns and feels genuine revulsion and fear when they take center stage. And in Leonard's West there are plenty of low life sons of bitches.
Last stand at Sabre River is a quality western that will delight newcomers and long time fans of the genre alike.
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