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A Million Ways to Die in the West Hardcover – March 4, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this bawdy parody of a western, the feckless young hero, Albert Stark, can’t face up to a bully, and his girlfriend dumps him. The setting is ostensibly Old Stump, Arizona, in 1882, but it bears no resemblance to anywhere, and, really, Albert is a contemporary nerd, bored with the violence, pestilence, and low culture of the West. Albert sulks until a mysterious young woman, Anna Barnes, shows up in town, but it turns out she’s married to a ruthless thug, Clinch Leatherwood, whom Albert will shortly have to face to win Anna. A bizarre spirit quest, fueled by some Apache peyote, builds up his confidence and gives him a plan for how to defeat Clinch. A Million Ways is adapted from MacFarlane’s screenplay; he is also responsible for the TV show Family Guy, and he directed Ted. The movie will star Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron, and MacFarlane himself. The novelization is a hasty, coarse, unfunny piece of work, but the movie will make it circulate. --John Mort

Review

* [A Million Ways to Die in the West] is packed with raunchy, twisted jokes ... The story has all the hallmarks of a classic Western - gunfights, a stagecoach robbery, hostile Indians - but Mr. MacFarlane mocks those tropes at every turn Wall Street Journal * Elicits genuine hilarity from the most unlikely material Empire on FAMILY GUY * Creative, adorable, ingenious New Yorker on TED * Combining hilarity with skilled storytelling Total Film on TED * Extravagantly talented Vanity Fair on Seth MacFarlane --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553391674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553391671
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Fun book to read.
Hoosier Reviewer
This book is not like his cartoons, it involved a little bit of comprehension to even catch some of the humor.
MrsA2011
I feel like the movie is going to be better, but this was all I needed in a short, entertaining read.
Trevor Johnston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Chris Swanson VINE VOICE on March 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've had a great appreciation for history over the years, and the more I've learned the happier I am to be living in the future. The past is generally a tableau of horrible things happening and becoming slightly less horrible as time goes on. Slavery, for example, morphed into Jim Crow laws, and eventually to something like 1 out of 8 every eight black males being in prison or on probation, so that's progress...of a sort. I suppose. Or consider women throughout history! We've gone from the likes of Elanor of Aquitaine and Elanor Roosevelt, as well as other women not named Elanor, to women like Sarah Palin. So...yeah...the inexorable march of progress...I guess.

Anyhow, the Old West was a particularly awful time and place, and I've never understood why people romanticize it as much as they do. Thankfully this book, by Seth McFarlane, best known for "Seth McFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy", is a lovely panacea to that belief.

The story centers on Albert, technically a sheep farmer (for some rather odd sheep, it must be said), but mostly a professional coward. Think of Rincewind but in the Old West. We follow him on his adventures as he experiences life, love and getting shot in the ankle. Along for the ride are characters like Edward, the humble cobbler, and his girlfriend, a rather enthusiastic prostitute whose command of sex-talk is somewhat lacking.

The book is VERY MUCH along the lines of what you'd expect from McFarlane. Swearing? Oh, yes. Weird situations. Oh, yes. Anachronisms aplenty? Oh, yes. Now if you like all those things you'll be happy, if not, you probably won't bother buying this book, or even reading this review, so there's that.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By zelda88 on March 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was skeptical of reading a book written by Seth MacFarlane, but I thought I'd give it a read since I'm a fan of his cartoons. The book was hilarious. Comedy novels rarely make me laugh out loud, but I laughed out loud quite a few times while reading this. Now the book could have been edited better because there were parts where scenes jumped and it was a little confusing what was going on.

I'm really I interested to see how the book and movie differ.

I would definitely recommend this book if you are a fan or like MacFarlane's humor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Randy on March 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover
It was an amazingly funny book. It had a great story line and was just very funny and never once left me bored. I loved it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bennet Pomerantz VINE VOICE on April 18, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I received a copy of the audio book of Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West and did not know what to expect. This audio production is a novelization of a movie (to be release at the end of May 2014). Now many know MacFarlrlane as the creator and driving force behind the TV series Family Guy and the movie Ted, So I had an idea what may happen...I was wrong

Westerns, other than Mel Brooks's classic Blazing Saddles, does not lean itself well to humorous satire. Well MacFarlane text seems to pokes fingers in eyes of the western genre..and it works. The different between Saddles of this western is there are a few pop references. One of my favorites exception is is When Albert speaking Cherokee, He says "Mi La Ku Nis, Mi La Ku Nis", which translate to "fine, fine". Mila Kunis is the actress who costars in Ted, the voice of Meg on Family Guy, and good friend of the writer and director, Seth McFarlane.. Other than that, the satire comes from the characters and the situations and it works...MacFarland's first novel in my book is hit

This story of Albert Stark, a sheep farmer, who gets depressed about everything in his life and things around him. He lives with his parents, who do not seem to like him. The girl he loves left him for the most insufferable man in town. Cattlemen shoot him because of his sheep herding, the western doctor is little more than a quack. He has western angst about everything...and above all he is a coward

He meets the mysterious Anna, a beautiful gunslinger, who is tough for both of them. However, Anna is married to Clinch, the meanest outlaw in the west. Well trouble ensues in spades for cowardly Albert

Jonathan Frakes, Riker from Star Trek The Next Generation, narrates this audio presentation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric Lawrence on April 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like Family Guy, you'll love this book. It sounds like Brian (the dog) is talking, but can say things he can't say on television. It is a short, quick read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Glen Chern on April 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can't wait to see the movie! Seth MacFarlane has done for the Wild West what he did for childhood teddy bears (Ted) in "A Million Ways to Die in the West". He has combined serious moments with absurdity and satire. His main character, Albert Stark, is a laughably and sympathetic hero with a penchant for cynicism. MacFarlane also combines present day dialogue and trends with Old West flavor to make this story one of the best comedies I've ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RockWithUorIsItUWithMe on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently bought this book in hardcover, and must say I am having a very hard time getting past the book jacket. I mean, didn't Seth promise that we would get to see the movie first? I wonder if he has a hard time hearing himself talk, with all of those voices and all, I heard they live in his head you know, with his several various options of his fantasy ever coming true. Who takes the pictures for his book jackets? That must be a really hard yet fun and rewarding Job. Does he ever work who smiles ALL the time how annoying.

Anywho, thank you for the reviews. Siriusly, I find most of Seth's work brilliant he is one fine actor. Ted anyone? Now there's a movie he looked good in. I wonder if this book is better than words. His writing is brilliant, I think Seth will surely rise to stardom after this novel. It's almost as if he's not even trying, He hardly looks over 40, not that any of us "fans" would know.

This difficult to read but decent attempt at a first novel has me thinking... Hi... #yourmove
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