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Texas Showdown: Two Texas Novels Hardcover – March 20, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This volume brings together two of Kelton's short novels written in the 1960s, under the blanket association of being vengeance tales of a sort set in Texas. Pecos Crossing follows two green and mightily frightened cowboys who fall on the wrong side of a famous Ranger and ex-lawman, who hunts them believing them responsible for his wife's shooting. Shotgun features two rival rancher families and a memorable villain who plays one against the other in a bloody-minded plot for revenge. In 1995, the Western Writers of America (responsible for the Spur Award) named Kelton the greatest western writer of all time, ahead of such luminaries as Louis L'Amour, Zane Grey, and Larry McMurtry. While the accolade reeks of hyperbole, such acclaim is hardly unwarranted. Kelton's writing is absolutely authentic, and he is a master at spinning that wildly expressive species of dusty idiom that makes good western writing so gratifying. Add to that some stern, if flexible, morality and tight plotting full of tense, finger-twitching action, and you have some outstanding western fare. Ian Chipman
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"Kelton’s exquisite style develops the themes of a love of liberty and a suspicion of authority that taps deep into Texas’ Heritage..." — James L. Haley, Passionate Nation: The Epic History of Texas

"San Angelo novelist Elmer Kelton knows intimately the work and ways of the West. That’s why real cowboys love his writing. " — Southern Living

"One thing is certain: As long as there are writers as skillful as Elmer Kelton, Western literature will never die." — True West magazine

"Elmer Kelton writes of West Texas with unerring authority." — Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Kelton, like fine wine, just keeps getting better and better." — Tulsa World

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (March 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765311526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765311528
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,594,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elmer Kelton of San Angelo, Texas is a native Texan and author of over 50 Western novels. He has won many awards for his work and has been recognized as the Greatest Western Writer of all time by the Western Writers of America, Inc. He is the author of Forge's Texas Ranger series.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It's easy to see why Elmer Kelton continues to win awards for his writing. In these two novels that are set in Texas, Kelton gives readers fast paced action stories.

Pecos Crossing and Shotgun are classic stories of right and wrong, good and bad. Like most novels of the Western genre, these are morality stories. And that's not bad, especially when they're a good read.

In Pecos Crossing, young cowboys Johnny Fristo and Speck Quitman have come off a six month cattle herding job and are eager for their pay. But cow trader Larramore wasn't honest in his dealings with the young cowboys. He didn't pay them.

During a scuffle with Larramore, who was hoping to leave town before the cowboys reached him, a shoot-out results in the accidental death of Cora Haggard. She and former Texas Ranger Milam Haggard had just married and were leaving to start a new life.

Haggard's dogged vengeance keeps him trailing Fristo and Quitman with a few close calls including Haggard being wounded. They eventually meet at Pecos Crossing.

How it plays out tests the characters' mettle and keeps the reader guessing.

In Shotgun, a story of retribution is woven. Macy Modock spent 10 years in jail for rustling Blair Bishop's cattle. A free man, Modock plots a scheme to pay Bishop back and end up with his and a neighbor's land and cattle. The neighbor, Clarence Cass is no friend of Blair, who has stored water in a land suffering from drought. Complicating the struggle is the developing love story between Jessie Cass and Blair Bishop's oldest son Allan.

Modock and Cass join forces to ruin Bishop. They begin by laying claim to land where Bishop grazes cattle. It is the beginning of what boils into an unstoppable confrontation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Decker on May 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Elmer Kelton is the finest western writer ever. His stories are down to earth versions of the real west. I read everything that he writes. This is two of his older stories reissued and well worth reading. This is a great format and I hope that he does more of these older reissues.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Irwin on May 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The essential thing for you to know, whether you're a new or established Kelton fan, is that this volume is an essential book in the Kelton Catalog, unlike most of the other "twofer" offerings which are readily available in hardcover singles. "PECOS CROSSING" is actually "HORSEHEAD CROSSING," a Ballantine Paperback Original which came out in 1963 and has NEVER been available in hardcover. But the real gem here is "SHOTGUN," which is the rarest (I didn't say the best!) of all Kelton's fiction. It was published under the "house name" of "Alex Hawk" in July of 1969 for Paperback Library (Coronet) with an absolutely hideous bare-chested Clint Eastwood-gone-zombie cover. This book is extremely hard to come by, and not a bad read. Of the two, I think PECOS (HORSEHEAD) the better novel, but both typify 1960s Kelton--good action, believable characters, and a wonderful sense of period Texas. (While you're picking up essential Kelton in hardcover don't miss out on the Tom Early / SONS OF TEXAS trilogy (arguably better than his most recent extended saga), two of which are now available, with the final installment coming out in November.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thinking that this was a new book out I purchased it. When I returned home I discovered that it is coupling of Pecos Crossing & Shotgun both of which were previously issued separatly and that I had already owned.
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