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Discover John Myers Myers, the last Goliard

A guide by Theo Logos (Pittsburgh, PA)

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John Myers Myers was a fascinating writer who, unfortunately, is not widely known. Among those few who do know him he has a cult status based on the charming, altogether idiosyncratic voice that he brought to all of his work. His clever, folksy wit was a major element in all of his writing. Some have found the prominence that he gave to his own voice in his books an annoyance and an indulgence that detracted from his work, but to those who have acquired the taste it is a major reason for reading him.
Myers wrote seventeen books. He ranged from fantasy and historical fiction to histories of the American West (his major concentration), and even tried his hand at epic poetry. Though I have not yet read all of them, I have yet to read one that disappointed me, and am working my way through his entire body of work. Unfortunately, many of his books are out of print, but to the connisseur of his work this is nothing more than a small challenge to overcome in pursuing their obsession.

I was introduced to Myers nearly a quarter century ago through what is undoubtedly his masterpiece, Silverlock Silverlock: Including the Silverlock Companion (Nesfa's Choice, 26). This is a fantasy novel, that while rivaling Tolkien in quality and importance, is unique, unlike anything else in the fantasy genre, and has risen to true cult status among fantasy aficionados in the know.


Western Histories
Histories of the American West made up Myers’ largest body of work.

Doc Holliday (Bison Book S) This bio of the colorful Western gunman is the most enjoyable that I have read on the subject.
The Alamo (Bison Book) a fine telling of the history that has become a central element of the American mythos
Bravos of the West folk history at its best, part history, part legend, telling the tales of the characters who pushed westward and created a mythos and an empire
The Saga of Hugh Glass: Pirate, Pawnee, and Mountain Man bio of a mountain man who is a forgotten American legend
Tombstone's Early Years Myers’ contribution to the Earp legend
San Francisco's reign of terror history of the San Francisco vigilantes of the 1850, who spread terror in the name of law
Print in a wild land a history of journalism on the Western frontier, complete with many excerpts from contemporary publications
The Westerners: A Roundup of Pioneer Reminiscences a collection of personal accounts telling the tale of the West
The Border Wardens a history of the United States Border Patrol on America’s wildest boundary


Historical Fiction

Harp And The Blade This was Myers’ first novel, telling the tale of an Irish minstrel and a Breton swordsman in the violent anarchy of tenth-century France.
Out on Any Limb a novel of two young men on the road in Elizabethan England
The Wild Yazoo a tale of an exile from Virginia experiencing the wild life on the southwestern frontier of Jacksonian Mississippi
Dead Warrior Baltimore Carruthers, an expatriate of Maryland, heads to the Western frontier and enters the life of an Arizona mining town

In addition to these, Myers also wrote I, Jack Swilling: Founder of Phoenix, Arizona, which I cannot locate on Amazon.


Fantasy

In addition to the already mentioned Silverlock, Myers also wrote The moon's fire-eating daughter (Starblaze editions). This fantasy does not live up to the standard of excellence set in Silverlock, and is not recommended for any but devoted John Myers Myers fans, but it does have its moments.


Cowboy Verse

And finally, Myers put his knowledge of the American West into a unique and fascinating project – telling tales of the West in poetry rather than prose. Maverick Zone. This book has been compared to Chaucer by the poet Robert Hillyer, and if you have a literary bent, you will find it a real treat.

Products mentioned include:
1.  Silverlock: Including the Silverlock Companion (Nesfa's Choice, 26)  by Fred Lerner
$23.35 Used & New from: $11.16
5.0 out of 5 stars   (10)
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Western Histories
2.  Doc Holliday (Bison Book S)  by John Myers Myers
$12.42 Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars   (20)
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3.  The Alamo (Bison Book)  by John Myers
$15.93 Used & New from: $0.01
4.9 out of 5 stars   (9)
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4.  Bravos of the West  by John Myers Myers
$28.45 Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars   (1)
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5.  The Saga of Hugh Glass: Pirate, Pawnee, and Mountain Man  by John Myers Myers
$13.55 Used & New from: $1.50
3.2 out of 5 stars   (22)
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6.  Tombstone's Early Years  by John Myers Myers
Used & New from: $0.01
3.7 out of 5 stars   (3)
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7.  San Francisco's reign of terror  by John Myers Myers
Used & New from: $1.00
3.3 out of 5 stars   (3)
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8.  Print in a wild land  by John Myers Myers
Used & New from: $2.64
3.0 out of 5 stars   (1)
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9.  The Westerners: A Roundup of Pioneer Reminiscences  by John Myers Myers
Used & New from: $0.82
4.5 out of 5 stars   (2)
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10.  The Border Wardens  by John Myers Myers
Used & New from: $0.01
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Historical Fiction
11.  Harp And The Blade  by John Myers Myers
Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars   (13)
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12.  Out on Any Limb  by John Myers Myers
Used & New from: $35.00
4.0 out of 5 stars   (1)
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13.  The Wild Yazoo  by John Myers Myers
Used & New from: $1.97
4.0 out of 5 stars   (1)
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14.  Dead Warrior  by John Myers Myers
Used & New from: $3.42
4.5 out of 5 stars   (2)
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Fantasy
15.  Silverlock  by John Myers Myers
Used & New from: $0.47
4.2 out of 5 stars   (79)
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16.  The moon's fire-eating daughter (Starblaze editions)  by John Myers Myers
Used & New from: $20.00
3.1 out of 5 stars   (12)
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Cowboy Verse
17.  Maverick Zone  by John M. Myers
Used & New from: $17.50
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Author

Theo Logos (Pittsburgh, PA)
Qualifications: a great fan of his work
Last updated: 3/6/05
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