The Hanging Tree PDF/EPUB ↠ The Hanging PDF \

The Hanging Tree The movie based on this novella would have you believe it’s mainly a story about a mining camp doctor played by Gary Cooper However in her original version Dorothy Johnson develops fully the character of Elizabeth the “lost lady” who is brought to him for careLike Rance Foster in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” she is a newcomer in the West whose introduction to the frontier is violent and shattering Each is the victim of a stagecoach holdup Elizabeth’s father is killed and she nearly perishes of exposure before being found in the wildRead my review at my blog Dorothy M Johnson wrote the stories that the classic western movies THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE and A MAN CALLED HORSE were based on This book leads with THE HANGING TREE that became a movie starring Gary Cooper I haven't seen it but will be seeking it out There are also stories full of very real characters in a West that is real than genre I previously read the title story The Hanging Tree as well as Lost Sister in another collection which I reviewed here The eight other stories that accompany them in this collection are every bit as good Flawlessly written gripping and entertaining One thing I really love about Johnson is how adept she is at portraying a variety of different characters and viewpoints In this collection alone she writes from male female adult and child's perspective—and very nearly mixes all four in The Gift by the Wagon which could be my favorite Most of the stories are dramatic but I Woke Up Wicked the tale of a young cowboy who accidentally becomes an outlaw is wonderfully funny and The Man Who Knew the Buckskin Kid deftly mixes dry humor with its drama too And you'll have a hard time forgetting the bittersweet The Story of Charley Definitely recommended for serious Western fans and a volume I wouldn't mind adding to my personal library Gave myself a copy of The Hanging Tree' for Christmas The stories range from great to OK but the collection is well worth the read I love that so many people go to lengths to point out that Dorothy Johnson writes Western literature and not just westerns I am not sure that is a useful distinction but she definitely comes high on my list of beloved authors The Hanging Tree by Dorothy M Johnson is a novella clocking in at 111 pages which I had to read for class I have to say this because if I did not have to read it I would not have continued with this story We follow our main character Doc Frail who killed a man and then moved on but the guilt of having killed him carries the weight of the story as he’s constantly thinking of the action that will get him hung for murder He arrives to the gold camp of Skull Creek where he makes money and also practices as the camp’s doctor The story actually begins when Elizabeth Armistead accompanying her father out west get held up on the coach her father is killed and she’s left to wander the desert She becomes blinded by the sun and Doc Frail is the one to attend to her at camp We follow their story of her refusing to leave her cabin and Doc slowly realizing he loves herThere are a few things I take issue with this story and the first one is the emotional distance the reader has from the characters I’m not a great fan of short stories to begin with I find I just don’t care about the characters at all by the end of it but Johnson had 111 pages to make me give a fuck about Doc and Elizabeth and she failed completely to manifest that emotional connection Elizabeth’s portrayal a complete disservice to women in general and was the second most frustrating problem with this story When we first meet her she’s a lady of fine standing daughter to a man who has lost his money and they are traveling west for a new start so he can teach children However as the story progresses Elizabeth becomes the embodiment of female silliness often written by male contemporaries I expected from a female Western writer and I was sorely disappointedThe blinded Elizabeth is placed in a room to help her recover from her wounds but when Doc tries to get her to walk about the camp to help her recuperate her trauma at being lost in the dessert overcome her and she faints into his arms and refuses to leave her cabin – FOR OVER A YEAR She has no idea how the world works makes stupid choices is a complete brat for many chunks of the book then becomes the definition of stubbornness Johnson attempted to mirror her journey with Doc’s guilt but it failed to a contemporary reader who expects from a heroine With that in mind this piece feels incredible dated drab and frustratingI shall be reviewing Westerns in the next month as this is what we’re reading in my class so I’m sure you will be hearing me gripe about the helpless female portrayal Native Indian stereotypes and the hyper masculinity that wasis uite popular in WesternsPeace out This is my second time through this story I’m pretty sure the first iteration of The Hanging Tree I knew about was Marty Robbin’s song Later as a teenager my dad told me about his favorite Gary Cooper western The Hanging Tree When I finally tracked that down I at last learned about the story it was based on Properly this is not a book It hardly even ualifies as a novella just a fairly long short story And it’s unfortunate because I think it would have been better properly fleshed out Dorothy Johnson writes it in a slightly peculiar way Doc Frail’s backstory then the Lost Lady’s story then finally Rune’s story before finally settling on a linear timeline What made her choose this way of starting I can’t imagine but it feels almost like she wasn’t sure which was the actual story to begin with In comparison to the movie there are things I like and less about each In the movie the story is that Doc found his wife with his brother killed them and burned the house down leaving his old life behind The story and the memory followed him west and he’s a bitter lonely man with a chip on his shoulder I like that story better than the one in the book that he once killed a man and then couldn’t shoot when it later mattered He’s haunted by his guilt over two deaths and is waiting for justice to catch up with him I like that Elizabeth’s story is fleshed out in the book and especially that she cannot leave the cabin That makes her motivation for going to the tree at the end much believable and compelling Book Elizabeth is psychologically damaged by her experience But I like her back story better in the movie Instead of an easterner moving west with her down on his heels teacher father she’s a penniless immigrant utterly dependent on Doc and Rune but determined to make a new life That uickly becomes her only motivation to stay not her mental anguish just determination She is much needier and much in love with the broken manRune is better in the book Although both characters have the same growth arc Rune’s story in the book and his accomplishments by the end really set him apart It’s perhaps explicitly implied in the book that he understands he has Doc to thank for his growth than in the movie where he remains sullenThe other two important characters to both plots are Frenchy Plante the prospector and Preacher Grubb The book introduces Grubb far too late although it works within the confines of the story that Doc is held accountable for someone so unknown to him Frenchy isn’t nearly as lecherous as he is in the film He has a working partnership and sticks to his bargain with Elizabeth The ending for each character is flipped from story to story and although both work for their respective arcs I think I like the film’s better The thing that kind of gets me is the shorthanded way Johnson writes It’s sort of a half sentence mid sentence disjointed thought kind of thing Like she’s giving me the abridged version It’s jarring from beginning to end If you’re going to bother to tell me a story make me fall in love with your characters and your words The character development in the story is fine but it definitely needed firmer footing Not something to suit every taste but for die hard western fans or fans of the movie it’s worth reading just for comparison’s sake Contains the following short stories The Hanging Tree on which the Gary Cooper movie is based Lost Sister based on the story of Cynthia Ann Parker the mother of uanah Parker I Woke Up Wicked Journal of Adventure A Time Of Greatness The Man Who Knew the Buckskin Kid The Last Boast Compelling stories of individualism and the American West Johnson's stories are authentic terse and populated by seemingly common place characters who are affected by and react to remarkable circumstances The stories in this book consolidate Dorothy M Johnson's reputation for authenticity and artistic integrity 'Lost Sister' is based on the recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker a white woman abducted by the Comanche Indians 'The Man Who Knew the Buckskin Kid' tells of two married people and an outlaw who share a secret Fully as arresting are 'The Last Boast' 'Journal of Adventure' 'I Woke Up Wicked' and other stories Excellent story I read it because we read Lost Sister in my short story reading group and I liked it and also because I haven't read a Western in ages We loved Westerns in the 50s but they went out of style They linger and this a good one I liked the characters and the pace of the story but the ending was a little forced Would have made good cinema but I don't think they ever made a movie from it Dorothy M Johnson deserves credit This is the perfect accompaniment to Johnson's The Bloody Bozeman a non fiction history of that trail to the gold fields of Montana One can see several of the lives in that history told through the eyes of finely created characters here in these short stories Every tale is satisfying I detect the influence of O'Henry


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