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104 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing For 2-Cents A Word
Since mine is the first review of this wonderful collection of short stories from a master writer, the book must be one of the best kept secrets of contemporary publishing.

These stories were written during years of the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s for magazines of that period, prior to Elmore Leonard switching to a modern mode of crime writing for...
Published on May 25, 2005 by Kay's Husband

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate title
This volume would have been better titled "Selected Western Stories of Elmore Leonard". Had the description included a list of titles that this volume contained I probably would not have purchased it as it is hardly complete.
Published 9 months ago by Martin Glantz


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104 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing For 2-Cents A Word, May 25, 2005
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Since mine is the first review of this wonderful collection of short stories from a master writer, the book must be one of the best kept secrets of contemporary publishing.

These stories were written during years of the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s for magazines of that period, prior to Elmore Leonard switching to a modern mode of crime writing for books.

Anyone familiar with HOMBRE, VALDEZ IS COMING, or THE TALL T will not be surprised with his talent for writing westerns. He has said he always liked western movies, and his first fledgling attempts at writing were therefore westerns. Growing up in that era, I clearly recall that westerns were almost at the forefront of both publishing and movie screen. Many of us growing up in those days of Hoppy & Roy & Gene & Lone Ranger comics, post-WWII paperbacks, and the local "bijou" theaters, remain western fans to this very day. On a personal note, I probably have well over one thousand paperback westerns in my library, collected over the years, and yes, Mr. Leonard's are all there.

So when this book came out I bought it immediately. The manner in which the publisher issued the book is above normal: inside the front and back covers are many of the magazine covers in color within which the stories appeared; also, there is a nifty map showing many sites in Arizona Territory helping one locate the area of individual stories.

This was an ambitious undertaking from both author and publisher, and one of love from the author I'm sure. If you have interest in Elmore Leonard, or the American fictional west, or both, you will not want to be without this volume.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard, October 15, 2007
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Mr. Steven C. Stanga (Brookings, South Dakota United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard (Paperback)
True fans of Elmore Leonard, both in his western genre and his gritty crime/underworld genre, will need no recommendation from a total stranger to pounce on this book of his with excitement. What a wonderful addition to any library! His stories are highly readable, extremely realistic, and often result in a surprise ending that you never saw coming. And because they are short stories, they need to grab the reader's attention quickly, and they do just that. These are very enjoyable short stories, including "3:10 to Yuma". You'll be glad to own this collection. Trust me.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five star entertainment!, April 22, 2005
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K. J. Blake "Super Reader" (Phoenix,AZ United States) - See all my reviews
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This CD set includes 11 unabridged stories by Elmore Leonard. Stories are read by Tom Wopat , William Atherton, David Strathairn and Henry Rollins. Included in the 6 disk collection which takes about 6 hours to read- or one trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, or halfway from Fresno to Phoenix ( my two frequent long distance drives) are the following stories:

Blood Money read by Tom Wopat

Only Good Ones read by Henry Rollins

Trail of the Apache read by David Straithairn

Trouble at Rindo's Station read by William Atherton

The Boy Who Smiled read by Tom Wopat

The Tonto Woman read by William Atherton

Hurrah for Captain Early read by Tom Wopat ( this one is also in the When the Women Come out to Dance collection read by Taye Diggs - the two renditions are interesting to contrast as the hero in the story is an African-American who served in the all colored 10th Cavalry division)

The Colonel's Lady read by David Strathairn

Saint With a Six Gun read by Henry Rollins

You Never See Apaches read by William Atherton

Three-Ten to Yuma read by Henry Rollins

For those familiar with Leonard's westerns you will see his favorite landscape- the rugged land of southern Arizona and Apache territory. The scrub grass, dust and blistering heat are a character unto themselves. This collection is aptly handled by a talented crew. I particularily enjoyed the dry delivery of Atherton known best as the obnoxious reporter from the Die Hard movies. David Strathairn has a more measured approach to the complex tales of life on the frontier, Tom Wopat cowboys up for his tales and Henry ROllins is fantastic giving voice to the rough and tumble lawmen of 100 years ago. Recommended for fans of westerns and Leonard alike!
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Western Stories, January 16, 2007
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I bought this as a gift for my Dad, an avid Louis L'Amour fan. I wasn't sure if he would like this author, but he said it is a great read!!!!!! I am so pleased w/ my purchase and the great service @ Amazon!!!! Thank You!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Western Short Story Collection, February 18, 2012
By 
David I. Williams (Keithville, LA, United States) - See all my reviews
This is a collection of Elmore Leonard's thirty Western short stories. These stories were written at the beginning of his career. Several of these classic stories were turned into movies. The most famous story in the collection is "3:10 to Yuma" which was turned into a classic western film starting Glenn Ford and then horribly butchered and mangled into a remake starring Russell Crowe.

There are a number of other excellent stories here. Leonard does not use the normal stereotypes seen in so many western television shows and movies. "Tonto Woman" tells the story of a woman who has been rescued from captivity only to be exiled by society. "Hurrah for Captain Early" gives us a story rarely heard. How black soldiers saved Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders at San Juan hill.

These are all good stories. This was my first Leonard book and I enjoyed re-reading it as much as
I enjoyed reading it the first time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good compendium, good variety., December 25, 2012
Oh how westerns have changed. Too much violence and not enough character development. These stories, although written a long time ago, should be models for today`s western authors. Strong characters - male, female, Spanish and Indian. More interesting plots told in a minimum of terse pages than most recent stories. Not all the stories are of top quality, but all are worth reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A prodigious tribute to a now-neglected genre, May 6, 2012
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This review is from: The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard (Paperback)
Published in 2007, the 546-page COMPLETE WESTERN STORIES OF ELMORE LEONARD is a both compendium of the author's early writings and a tribute to an era when cowboys, gunslingers, outlaws, and troublesome redskins dominated both pulp fiction and the black and white television airwaves. For those familiar with and fans of Leonard's contemporary crime fiction, who would've thought he had a previous life as a Western storyteller? That's what intrigued me and compelled me to work my way through this monster volume even though I generally have little interest in sagebrush sagas. (The last Western I read, Sackett (The Sacketts, No 4), was the result of precarious circumstance, and, long before that, it was something or other by Larry McMurtry.)

This volume is comprised of thirty-one yarns, the first penned for Argosy magazine in 1951, and the last appearing in 1994 in New Trails, an anthology of Western writers. Twenty-seven of the tales were written between 1951 and 1956. All take place in the Arizona and New Mexico Territories, and most, I gather, are set in the 1870s.

The aggregate cast of characters includes just about all the usual personae one encounters in the genre: hard-working cowpoke, rustler, stage robber, small-time rancher, Army scout, junior cavalry officer, lawman, hidden treasure seeker, drifter, buffalo hunter, and marauding savage. (Um, sorry. In PC-speak, the last one would be "misunderstood and oppressed Native American.") Perhaps the only types that I would've expected to appear but didn't were the shifty gambler concealing an ace and a derringer and the saloon girl of easy virtue with a heart of gold. Intrepid females appear only infrequently, and only then in supporting roles. Also not present on the vast stage is the itinerant quick-draw gunslinger who rides into town eager to enhance his reputation with another notch on his pistol grip - perhaps because such are more a figment of popular myth than actuality.

The first of the volume's storylines are what might be expected considering the time and place, i.e. confrontations between the U.S. Army and/or its civilian scouts and the Apaches. But the plots gradually become more nuanced until they include tensions arising in both burgeoning and failed male-female relationships, and examination of the niches occupied by Whites and Blacks in the social hierarchy of the period.

Almost needless to say, all the stories are mini-morality plays, and perhaps the most satisfying revolve around that old saw: Don't get mad, get even. Perhaps my favorite one in the book has that theme: "Moment of Vengeance."

What I liked most about COMPLETE WESTERN STORIES as a whole was that so many of the tales' outcomes are completely unexpected and the individual characters aren't simply interchangeable cookie-cutter creations slotted-in to complete some formulaic narrative.

Even though all stories in this anthology don't rate five stars, I'm awarding the maximum to the whole because it grandly evokes a genre that is today pretty much neglected.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A heaping helping of skillfully crafted pulp fiction, July 31, 2012
By 
Karl Janssen (Olathe, KS United States) - See all my reviews
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Now known as one of America's best writers of crime fiction, Elmore Leonard got his start writing western tales for pulp fiction magazines in the 1950s. This retrospective collection of his western work consists of thirty short stories and novellas, presented in chronological order.

If thirty stories sounds like a lot, it is. With that many entries, this collection can't help but get repetitive. How many stagecoach robberies can fit between the covers of one book? Though none of the characters appear in more than one story, the same types continually pop up under new names. The first seven or eight stories lead the reader to believe Leonard may be a one-trick pony. He confines his subject and setting to the Apache country of Arizona. The protagonist is usually a civilian scout hired to guide a party of soldiers, settlers, or criminals through Indian lands. No matter how much the hero warns his employers about the dangers of such a trip, they stubbornly refuse to listen and plod forward regardless, with dire consequences. Though Leonard has a respectful admiration for the Apaches, his portrayal of them is a stereotype nonetheless. He depicts them as stoic killing machines, keenly intelligent and shrewdly calculating, until a drop of alcohol transforms them into murderous lunatics. Though these early stories are strong individually, when read together they inspire a cumulative Apache fatigue.

Thankfully, after the first quarter of the book Leonard broadens his scope and gets more innovative with his plots and characterization. In "The Big Hunt," a young buffalo hunter and his companion, an old skinner, amass a bountiful collection of hides, but when the fruit of their labor is stolen from them by some bullies, the boy must set out after the thieves in search of restitution. "Saint with a Six-Gun" tells the tale of a newly appointed deputy marshal assigned to guard a dangerous gunslinger the week before his execution, a mission which may be more than the green lawman can handle. In "The Rancher's Lady," a widower goes to meet his new bride, whom he has only known through correspondence. Upon arrival, however, a former acquaintance informs him that she used to be employed at a house of ill repute. Despite its lack of shoot-'em-up action, it's one of the strongest selections in the book. There are several longer, novella-length pieces which give Leonard the opportunity to establish an ensemble cast of characters and explore the interactions between them. One such entry is "Trouble at Rindo's Station," in which a disgruntled Indian affairs agent, his crooked ex-boss, and a couple of stagecoach robbing outlaws find themselves trapped by a violent band of Mescaleros. As the collection progresses, Leonard's writing goes from good to better to excellent. By the end of the book he has perfected the art of dialogue, and one begins to see the emergence of the wry, rapid-fire banter that characterizes his Chili Palmer or Raylan Givens books. The last two stories in the book, "The Tonto Woman" and "`Hurrah for Captain Early!'" were included in Leonard's 2001 short story collection Fire in the Hole, and are both excellent examples of his later, mature style.

With very few exceptions, these are all well-crafted, entertaining stories. Even if you're not particularly a fan of the western genre, if you like Leonard's writing, you will enjoy this book. When originally written, these stories were not intended to be read together, and redundancy is an unfortunate by-product of their juxtaposition. The solution: don't read them all at once. To fully appreciate this hearty 30-course chuck wagon dinner, take a break between helpings and savor the flavor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection, September 11, 2011
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This review is from: The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard (Paperback)
I bought this book because it included "3:10 to Yuma". I was unfamiliar with any of Elmore Leonard's other works but I ended up enjoying them all. The intro section also sums up his career and gives some interesting background into how Leonard began writing. Highly recommended for anyone who likes short pulp fiction style westerns.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and well-written stories, January 6, 2008
This review is from: The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard (Paperback)
This is my first western literature I've read, and Elmore Leonard definitely satisfies my Western itch when I get one. These stories are exciting and full of action, and usually have twist endings. I highly recommend these stories for fans of the Western genre.
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The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard
The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard by Elmore Leonard (Paperback - May 8, 2007)
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