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Glorious: A Novel of the American West (A Cash McLendon Novel) Hardcover – May 6, 2014

3.6 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Cash McLendon, a street kid in St. Louis, is befriended by an unreconstructed capitalist named Rupert Douglass. Douglass educates Cash and turns him into a gentleman but at a cost: Douglass’ method is to buy his competitors out, killing them if they don’t comply. Acting as Douglass’ agent, Cash betrays his shopkeeper girlfriend, Gabrielle, forcing Gabrielle and her father to flee west to the encampment of Glorious, Arizona, where city founders hope any day to find silver. Meanwhile, Cash’s bargain with the devil falls apart when his hysterical wife, Douglass’ daughter, dies from a laudanum overdose. Cash flees, too, and in 1872 reaches Glorious, where he hopes to make amends to Gabrielle. Proving you can’t run from your past forever, another unreconstructed capitalist hovers near town and tries to manipulate Cash. The sour relationship of the ex-lovers, leavened with a hint of rekindled romance, is delightful, and Cash himself, the guilt-ridden tenderfoot who can’t ride a horse, is wonderfully appealing. Glorious is an old-fashioned western with likable characters who, because Gunn projects a trilogy, will return shortly. --John Mort


Fantastic advance praise for GLORIOUS by Jeff Guinn

“Since he's already written about Wyatt Earp, Bonnie and Clyde, and Charles Manson (Manson), Jeff Guinn might as well create his own attractive bad boy. He's done so in this first-in-a-trilogy Western…. There's an interesting contemporary feel to this Western. City boy McLendon doesn't know how to ride or shoot or bust heads; what he knows how to do is observe, spy and think on his feet.” —U-A Press
“An affable bit of frontier mythmaking …. Readers may find by the end that, like Cash McLendon, they’ve become inexplicably fond of Glorious and its colorful denizens.” —The Washington Post

“[Guinn] knows how to dig into the past…an absorbing, informative and entertaining tale of life, love, hope and ambition in the American West.” —Dallas Morning News
“A worthy addition to the western genre….Catnip for “Lonesome Dove” fans” —The Seattle Times

“Delightful...Wonderfully appealing. Glorious is an oldfashioned western with likable characters who, because Gunn projects a trilogy, will return shortly.”
“This first installment in a trilogy will delight historical fiction fans longing for the return of classic Westerns. This entertaining outing is sure to keep the saloon doors swinging for more entries in the genre.”
Library Journal

“The Wild West comes alive in this novel of prospectors, desolate cavalry posts, rotgut saloons and Apache raiders.... The plot is classic...Good fun.” —Kirkus

“A trip to Glorious, Arizona, in Jeff Guinn’s new western novel is like a cool draft beer after a long, hot day on a dusty trail. Glorious is old-fashioned in the very best way: It’s good-hearted, optimistic, compelling, comfortable, and extremely well-told. It’s wonderful when an author clearly has affection for his characters, and readers will feel the same way.”
— C. J. Box, New York Times–bestselling author of The Highway and Stone Cold
“If, like me, you’ve been waiting for the next Louis L’Amour or Zane Grey, the good news is his name is Jeff Guinn. His newest novel, Glorious, has all the elements of a fabulous western: compelling characters, breath-taking scenery, and something more—an unblinking take on the western frontier.”
—Craig Johnson, New York Times–bestselling author of the Walt Longmire mysteries, the basis of A&E’s hit series Longmire

Praise for Jeff Guinn
“A gripping revisionist account of the famed 1881 showdown. . . . Exhaustively researched, stylishly written. . . . As grimly compelling as a Greek tragedy.”

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on The Last Gunfight

“Jeff Guinn took readers down the back roads of Louisiana in his book Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde. He’s back in The Last Gunfight, displaying the impeccable research that is his trademark. . . . Guinn’s story is what really happened. . . . A terrific read.”—USA TODAY

on The Last Gunfight

“Jeff Guinn has come up with a new angle and approach to the events of that bloody day in Tombstone. Without that gunfight, Wyatt Earp would have never become a household name a hundred years later. Guinn delves into the myth and separates it from the facts. A terrific read about the West’s most famous lawman.”—Clive Cussler on The Last Gunfight

“Manson is not simply a biography of a killer and a cultist. It's a history of American culture from the Great Depression to the close of the 20th century. It's the dirty boogie in four-four time, a fascinating study of greed, mind control, celebriphilia, sex, narcotics, racism, and the misuse of power. I lived in South Los Angeles when many of the events in this book took place. No one has told the story as accurately as Jeff Guinn. It's the story of Nixon and Johnson, Martin Luther King, Vietnam, the SDS, the Black Panthers, the acid culture, and a nation coming apart at the seams. From the first page to the last, I could hardly put it down. Hang on, reader. This is a rip-roaring ride you won't forget.”—James Lee Burke on Manson

"A striking, full-length portrait of one of American history’s most notorious sociopaths. . . . Guinn takes readers on a head-spinning ride through Manson’s deeply disturbed childhood, his criminal career and his brief tenure as satanic guru to the damaged disciples, mostly women, he held in thrall. . . . A compulsively readable account of a murderer who continues to fascinate."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Manson


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Product Details

  • Series: A Cash McLendon Novel (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 1st edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039916541X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399165412
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,053,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Garvinstomp VINE VOICE on March 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are two types of Westerns. The first is the kind involving gunslingers, showdowns, daring heists, shootouts on horseback, and grizzled hombres talking tough. The Man with No Name trilogy. High Noon. Magnificent Seven. Deadwood. You know the types.

This is not one of those.

And it's not a bad thing, but to appreciate this book, you need to understand that this is the second type of Western, the one that takes place out west and stars people that would generally be supporting characters in the first type of Western.

GLORIOUS is a lovingly-written story of a man trying to find himself and his future out in the startup town of Glorious, AZ. We learn very quickly that our main character has neither fired a gun nor ridden a horse. He's more of a business executive type who is trying to flee a bad situation of his own making and start over.

The book is literature, fiction. And it is slow. The pacing is necessary to give ample details and set the tone. Understanding the isolation and hand-to-mouth nature of the westward expansion and prospecting is essential to understanding the characters and their stories. Just understand this is not a barn burner. The first half of the book covers barely a 24 hour period where our main character takes an uneventful 30 mile wagon ride, eats, talks to some folks, sleeps, eats, and talks a bit more. There is a lengthy flashback in there that catches us up with why our main characters are where they are. But this pacing and lack of action set pieces is not a bad thing.

Jeff Guinn is clearly a man with a love of the genre. His characters are rich and distinct, with their own speech patterns and mannerisms. The locales are described vividly so as to feel the richness or desolation of them. The tone is optimistic.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I haven't read a western in a long while, so I thought Glorious would be a nice change of pace. It was and I am glad that I read it, although I must say that it follows a formula right out of the 1960s TV westerns, like Bonanza and The Big Valley. In fact, it would not be unfair to say that it recalls an even earlier decade, when radio serials such as The Long Ranger were popular and Zane Grey was writing about the Riders of the Purple Sage. All this is not to say that Glorious is a bad novel. Quite the opposite. It was fun to read something that recalled a completely different era, when sex and violence were less prominent in our fiction and the good guys always came out ahead.

Jeff Guinn writes well about the time and place -- Arizona Territory in the Old West in the late 19th century. There is the powerful rancher who aspires to control everything in his vicinity, including all of the town's businesses. The honest sheriff. The endearing bar owner/madam who offers both liquor and whores to the gang of prospectors who have descended on the town (Glorious) in hopes of striking silver. There is the beautiful good girl who runs the town dry goods store with her elderly father. The hotel owner, a blacksmith, brutish cowboys in the employ of the powerful rancher, and a few other standard characters. And, of course, the lonesome stranger who comes into town and ends up making trouble, even though he doesn't intend to.

One thing that is a bit different from the usual is that author Guinn has included a group of Chinese laborers in his story. These folks came to work on the railroad and when it was finished ended up growing veggies and doing laundry for the town residents.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Cash McLendon comes to the small Arizona town of Glorious on the run from his father-in-law in St. Louis. He'd made the mistake of leaving his wife alone while her parents were away because of business, only to return and find that the high strung young woman had committed suicide.

A survivor since he was a small boy, Cash knew his rich in-laws would sick their enforcer, Brautigan, and his steel toed boots on him. So he cleaned out the safe, two grand, and fled.

Glorious was where his previous lady friend, Gabrielle, and her father had moved their dry goods store. His intention was to correct the mistake of picking the rich girl for a wife. Of course she didn't see it that way.

Glorious was being built up in anticipation of silver strikes. Stuck in the middle of Apache territory, the town was guarded by a rich rancher and his Mexican vaqueros, armed with double-action Colts and the latest Winchesters.

The rich man has other plans as well and Cash recognizes him for what he is. After all, he'd worked for such a man in St. Louis. Convincing his new friends is another matter entirely.

A fine western.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this entire novel and enjoyed it immensely, great story, great characters!!! Then why the 2 star overall rating??? The ending was horrible, leaves you feeling unfulfilled, and leaves you flat!!! Too many unanswered questions,all the issues that are developed during the story are not resolved by the ending; a sequel probably, but I don't appreciate an author who baits you by leaving so many unanswered questions into buying his next book... Sad because this book has great dialogue, and you relate with the characters, good story, but the ending is so bad that I feel I wasted my time... Think twice before you consider this novel...
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