Monday, 30 May 2011
Gone to Texas by Forrest Carter
I went looking for this book after seeing the Clint Eastwood movie version named 'The Outlaw Josey Wales'
Josey Wales is an ex-Confederate guerilla turned fugitive. He joined the Confederacy after his family were murdered in cold blood by Union troops. When the war ended Josey refused to surrender and goes on the run in an attempt to escape to Texas, a haven for outlaws. A trail of carnage follows in his wake as desperate men confront him to gain reward money.
The book doesn't seek to challenge stereotypes or change the genre, it's just a good old fashioned western story with plenty of duels, wonderfully detailed landscapes and cutting remarks made around a mouth full of chewing tobacco. When Josey isn't plugging holes in bad guys or spitting tobacco juice he forms bonds of friendship with a group of fellow wanderers he unwillingly picks up along the way. The book is entertaining and satisfying in an honest way, it doesn't pretend to be something it's not.
I don't often read Western novels but after finishing this and having recently read the excellent 'True Grit' by Charles Portis I will definitely be reading more.
This copy includes 'The Vengeance Trail of Josey Wales' the sequel to 'Gone to Texas'
Final verdict 4/5