The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance And A Man Called Horse

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance And A Man Called Horse The Hanging Tree Lost Sister All lovers of westerns know these four great stories The Western Writer's Association of America ranked them as four the best short stories of the 20th century but these classic tales have never been collected in one book until now This edition is destined to earn a place in every western library In 2005 Dorothy Johnson will receive a star in the Gallery of Outstanding Montanans at the Montana State Capitol These felt very real to life for me Engaging characters Stories are short uick reads that are very fun My first experience of Dorothy Johnson's work—and it was excellent These four Western stories are wonderfully well written and not run of the mill either; the concept of each is original and attention holding My favorite was The Hanging Tree a novella length story set in a gold mining camp with its uniue carefully drawn characters and slowly but surely unfolding plot I've never seen the movie and now I don't really feel I want to; I believe it's considerably different from the original story—and anyway fresh from reading it I can hardly imagine any film adaptation justly capturing the unforgettable characters of Frail Rune and ElizabethOf the other three shorter stories Lost Sister the story of a woman returned to her family after forty years of captivity among the Indians is the best I think The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance probably seems a little sketchy because I've seen the movie and the short story is a mere seed of the idea that was developed into a screenplay—but taken as itself just as a short story it's a pretty good one A Man Called Horse the story of a man taken captive by Indians who integrates into the tribe as a means of survival and planned escape is probably my least favorite of the four by comparison but is just as skillfully executed as the restI'll certainly be reading by Dorothy Johnson I came across Dorothy M Johnson by tracing all those old western movies of my youth back to their sources and what a find it has been three short stories and a novella of immense uality I guess we could call them Western fiction as they do center on the Old West and did give rise to all those western movies but really that is a real misnomer They are really creative and thoughtful stories about life and people and they deserve to be reread and reread Four Western stories well three stories and a novella about people trying to live in places where they don't belong The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is about a US Senator's very humble beginnings in the lawless towns of the West; A Man Called Horse tells of one man who captured by Indians must learn to survive as property whereas the woman in Lost Sister who returns to her family after forty years in captivity finds she's still a prisoner In The Hanging Tree three lost people a haunted doctor a would be thief and a wounded woman all come to the gold town of Gold Creek to find new lives and find themselves tested by a harsh worldI didn't know anything about the film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance I didn't even know it was originally a short story But that one plus The Hanging Tree and A Man Called Horse also movies now both started out as stories by Dorothy M Johnson and together with Lost Sister are all gathered together in this great collection There were many things I didn't know before this but now I'm a fanI could go on or I could just post a bunch of excerpts from the stories I think I know which you would preferThis is the way the captive white man acuired wealth and honor to win a bride and save his life He shot an arrow into the sick man a split second ahead of one of his small companions and dashed forward to strike the still groaning man with his bow to count first coup Then he seized the hobbled horsesBy the time he had the horses secure and with them his hope for freedom the boys had followed counting coup with gestures and shrieks they had practiced since boyhood and one of them had the scalp The white man was grimly amused to see the boy double up with sudden nausea when he had the thing in his handA Man Called Horse pages 12 13The marshal cleared his throat You wanted something MisterFoster answered Three men set me afoot on the prairie Is that an offense against the law around hereThe marshal eased himself and his stomach into a chair and frowned judiciously It ain't customary he admittedThe Man Who Shot Liberty Valance p 29The major was earnest but not tactful She's been with the savages all these years he insisted And she was only a little girl when she was taken I haven't seen her myself but it's reasonable to assume that she'll be like an Indian womanMy stately Aunt Margaret arose to show that the audience was ended Major Harris she intoned I cannot permit anyone to criticize my own dear sister She will live in my home and if I do not receive official word that she is coming within a month I shall take stepsAunt Bessie came before the month was upLost Sister p 53And what the hell ails you Harrigan inuired You wonWhat ails me said Doc with his teeth chattering is that my father taught me to gamble and my mother taught me it was wicked The rest of it is none of your businessThe Hanging Tree p 75Good stuff Yeah good stuff

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