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One-stop reference book for the budding western scribe
on May 20, 2011
Any enthusiast of the Old West or of John Wayne should own this book. It's a fine production to possess in its own right. The contents make it worthwhile, too.
The author's idea was to celebrate Wayne's long `career in western movies by examining the real life events, characters and landscapes that inspired it.' This may appear to be a contrivance, to latch onto Wayne's name and charisma; but the content seems to justify this approach. We learn quite a lot about Wayne and his western movies along the way. Here, you'll also find a colourfully illustrated catalogue of kit, townscapes, cattle trails, weapons, cuisine, and characters from the Old West.
Whether Wexler touches upon the shortened Winchester that Wayne used in Stagecoach or the Colt Single Action in a Buscadero style holster, you'll find plenty of information of interest. There's a comprehensive coverage of the pistols and rifles of the period, well illustrated. Old photographs of towns, saloons and general stores of the 1880s contrast with the opulence of Judge Parker's courtroom. Boots, spurs, chaps, the interior of a bunkhouse, they're all shown here. Chuck wagon recipes tempt the palate. Cavalry details, Indian wars, famous characters are all covered, too.
There are plenty of other reference books out there, but this one still seems to have a few fresh things to say - and show. It's a colourful one-stop reference book for the budding western scribe.