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Josey Wales: Two Westerns : Gone to Texas/The Vengeance Trail of Josey Wales Paperback – August 1, 1989

158 customer reviews

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Josey Wales: Two Westerns : Gone to Texas/The Vengeance Trail of Josey Wales + Watch for Me on the Mountain + The Education of Little Tree
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Fresh and brutally convincing.” --Buffalo Evening News

From the Inside Flap

Josey Wales was the most wanted man in Texas. His wife and child had been lost to pre-civil War destruction and, like Jesse James and other young farmers, he joined the guerrilla soldiers of Missouri-men with no cause but survival and no purpose but revenge.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 431 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press (August 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826311687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826311689
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Matt Hetling on September 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I don't think I'd ever read a pure Western before I picked this up, and I only got it because Carter's "The Education of Little Tree" is probably the best book I've ever read.

But Josey Wales turned me on to the genre, and I now have a little collection of Western novels, although none of them capture the life of a western gunslinger as brilliantly as Josey Wales does.

The two novels are bound together, with a short afterword by Lawrence Clayton.

Carter captures the culture of the outlaw in a way that allows us to see the context of the factors that created them. Josey Wales is, at his core, the same kind of homesteader as Pa Ingalls or the Joads family (from Little House on the Prairie and The Grapes of Wrath, respectively). But when a terrible deed brings his life down around his ears, he becomes driven by vengeance, and seeks justice against a hopelessly overwhelming enemy.

We also get an intimate look at the details of rugged trail life. Even better, we get to see some of the legion factors that crafty Wales uses to his advantage in order to maintain an edge over his opponents in a gunfight. Too many authors explain their gunmen heroes as being "the quickest draw." Wales is quick, to be sure, but he also knows enough to keep his horse fed on grain, and to engage in shootouts while the sun is at his back.

Both of these novels bring the reader on a journey through the American west that feels utterly real. The characters that we meet all have a life of their own that demonstrates the diversity of people who populated the region-- it was far more than cowboys and indians, after all.

If you're a fan of Westerns, I think that this has to be at the top of your list. If you're not a fan of Westerns, but just of great fiction, this is also a must-read.

Highly recommended.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Ronald E. Schramm on November 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have read and owned copies of one or the other, but not in the same volume. I found this medium an excellent way to continue reading about the characters. Forrest Carter does a splendid job of blending history with fiction. His historical research is top notch. I highly recommend this novel for the student of history, as well as the casual western reader.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By "readwest" on March 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
The end of the American Civil War has long been the point of beginning for several Western adventures, but GONE TO TEXAS (AKA OUTLAW JOSEY WALES) is one the reader will never forget. His wife and son murdered by the notorious Red Legs, Josey Wales sets out to seek his revenge by joining a force of Missouri rebels. When his band is forced to surrender, Josey holds back only to watch his entire clan executed. The only one left, Josey is now an outlaw, on the run and headed southwest. Joining him are an elderly Cherokee, a Navajo squaw whom Josey rescues from two rapists, a red bone coonhound, and eventually a family from Kansas who nearly lose it all to a band of Comancheros. Together they fight for each other's lives, whether it be with the Union forces on Josey's trail, or the Comanche that rule the land they now pass, all in the search for peace. GONE TO TEXAS is a story for all times.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By gunman42782 on December 7, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think the Outlaw Josey Wales is one of the best movies ever. So I read the book it is based on (Gone to Texas), and if anything it is even better than the movie. There are just enough differences to make it interesting, while enough alike to make you cheer! The second book, THe Vengence Trail of Josey Wales, was a little less readable, but good nevertheless. A bit more violent and bloody too. IF you like westerns, you will love this book. I highly recommend it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By N. Trachta on August 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of my favorite Western movies is the The Outlaw Josey Wales; everything was so nicely done by Mr. Eastwood and the meticulous details are outstanding. Years ago I learned that the movie was based on a book (Gone To Texas) I'd marked it as one I needed to read at some point. That time has come and instead of just getting Gone To Texas, the version I picked up also had The Vengeance Trail of Josey Wales, giving me a little more to read and think about on Josey Wales.

Since my interest was driven by the movie, I'll open by saying that reading Gone To Texas was a great reminder of the Outlaw Josey Wales. The descriptions and character actions and interactions were so reminiscent of the movie that you could easily visualize the movie. Clint Eastwood fit Mr. Carter's description of Josey Wales very closely. The big additions Mr. Carter provides are the added background on Josey Wales and the plight of the Missouri guerrilla with the added concept of how difficult Josey Wales's situation was (being tracked and hunted by `Federal' authorities).

The Vengeance Trail of Josey Wales picks up about a year or two after Gone To Texas and tells the story of Josey Wales going after a friend and the sacrifices he's prepared to make. Once more, this a solid story that would make a great western film for someone. Once more the descriptions are nicely done and you can easily imagine riding with Josey as he goes thru northern Mexico searching for his friends. There's great continuance from Gone To Texas and in some ways I almost preferred it (while not a unique story, an excellent follow up).

A nice solid 4 star book. When reading Mr.
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