Long years ago, I read Jory in (I think) a Fawcett paperback edition. The other day, I happened to see it in a Signet edition, along with two sequels I hadn't read, Mistr Jory and Sherrf Jory. (Those spellings are as they appear on the books. I guess Bass was an early texting pioneer.) For some reason, I bought the books. When I got home, I looked on the Internet and discovered that there was a fourth, Gunfighter Jory, and I figured I'd get a copy of that, too, until I saw this. I figured maybe I didn't need it, after all, but a little searching finally led me to a copy for two bucks, so I ordered it. Then I re-read Jory.
It wasn't as I'd remembered it. Well, that's not entirely true. I just remembered some parts better than others. Jory's a kid, only around 15, whose mother is dead and whose father's a drunk. When someone kills his father, Jory gets revenge. Then he leaves town.
He joins a group of men who are taking a herd of horses to a big ranch for a man named Barron. By the time they arrive, Jory has become The Fastest Gun Alive.
This is a coming-of-age book, and obviously Bass was aiming for a more literary approach than the usual western. Jory dreams a lot, has fevers, and barfs all the time. At the end [SPOILER ALERT], he lights out for the territory, having grown up a little but not enough to accept the responsibilities offered to him. In each of the succeeding books, he learns a little more.
For some reason, I liked this book. I can't explain it, but I went right on and read the next two, which I'll report on eventually. For some reason, I've never read any of Bass's Benny Freedman p.i. novels.
Robbie Benson starred in the movie version of Jory, which I've never seen.