Friday, January 23, 2015

FFB: Gun Glory for Texans -- Marshall McCoy (Lenonard Meares)

The estimable George Kelley reviewed this one a while back, and he even sent my a copy of the book, which is all of 84 pages long.  I'm all for short books, as you know, but the problem with this one is that it should have been longer.  The print is so tiny that I thought I might need a magnifying glass to read it.  But I managed without one.  

Let's start with the title.  It has nothing to do with anything.  It sounds good, though, but what mattered to readers, I'm sure, was that it was a Larry & Streak Western.  As you can see that notation is a lot bigger than the title on the cover.  These two Texas Hellions (as they're often called) were featured in plenty of books.  They were originally Larry Valentine and Stretch Emerson in McCoy's Australian paperbacks, but they became Larry Vance and Streak Everett in the U.S.  There's a passage in this book where McCoy explains why "Streak" is an appropriate name for Everett, but what it really explains is why "Stretch" is an appropriate name.  He's six feet, six inches tall.  Larry, whom Streak calls "Runt" occasionally, is merely six feet, three inches tall.

The two hellions are drifters, and they always drift into situations that involve fist fights and gunplay.  This time they're drifting along when they encounter (roughly speaking) the head of a railroad who's traveling incognito.  As a result of his improbable kidnapping by train robbers, he looks more like a tramp than a railroad magnate, and Larry and Streak don't believe a word of his story.  They're willing to help him out, however, and the situation they find themselves in is one familiar to anybody who's seen a B-western or read a western novel or two.  The evil rancher is trying to buy the land of the old bird who won't let go of his property.  Naturally the evil rancher has brought in a fast gun and lots of bad guys to help out.  Naturally they'll prove to be no match for Larry and Streak.  

It's not the tale, however, but the telling, and McCoy does a good job of it, injecting a lot of humor in among the fist fights and the shooting.  In a way, it's like a tall tale, and entertaining all the way.  Check it out.

6 comments:

George said...

I've read a dozen Marshall McCoy westerns and they were all fun to read. Glad you enjoyed GUN GLORY FOR TEXANS as much as I did!

James Reasoner said...

You know I'm a big fan of this series. This is the first one I read, all those years ago when it first came out from Bantam.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Bill, thanks for the review. I wasn't aware of the author or the series.

Bill Crider said...

George, the review is of course possible only because you sent me the book.

James, I'm not surprised that you remember the first book that you read in the series.

Prashant, if you try the series and like it, you have plenty of volumes to read. They're easy to find on the Internet.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I've read previous reviews but never the books. Do they call each other "mate" and throw boomerangs?

I hate when that happens.

Jeff

Bill Crider said...

Never take a boomerang to a gunfight.