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Wild West: Short Stories    by Elmer Kelton order for
Wild West
by Elmer Kelton
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2017 (2017)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I used to enjoy westerns by Luke Short and Louis L'Amour, but hadn't read any recently till I picked up Elmer Kelton's collection of eleven short stories (some modern, others historical), Wild West.

Rodeo rider Chuck Sloan has fallen for the wrong kind of woman in A Heck of a Promise, but pretty Mary McIntyre soon sets him straight. Blind Canyon is about the struggle to form a cattlemen's association. Andy Webb resists temptation to make easy money in Bullets from the Past. Wade Massey leads a challenging cattle drive in Climb the Big Rim. Tom Binford rescues a boy from a cruel father in Colt Size.

A sheriff, about to lose an election, tracks cattle thieves in Land With No Law. An outlaw has a change of heart in No Epitaph for Me. A prodigal son gets his act together in One Son. In Poison, it's used against more than prairie dogs. Against the odds, Toby Tippett tries hard to Ride a Straight Road after prison. Finally, Kyle Rayford seeks revenge against those who wronged him in Deadly Homecoming.

This volume reminded me why I like the genre so much, though I do find the women idealized - most of them are rather too good to be true, while the remainder are at the other extreme.

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