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Ride Tall, Hang High (The Outlaws Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
In 1950, he was drafted in the Army. After nine months in Japan Cunningham went to the front lines of the war in Korea. He participated in two battles and numerous line-crossing and prisoner patrols. Assigned to a heavy weapons company he served as an 81 mm mortar gunner, squad leader, and section leader. His service earned him the Combat Infantryman's Badge. After two years of service he was discharged in the rank of sergeant.
Cunningham was born in Nebraska, grew up in Oregon, worked in Michigan, and went to college in New York City. Now he lives in California. He works in an expanded den in his home and says he never gets to work late due to fog, rain or traffic jams. "Walk down the hall, turn left and I'm at work."
He graduated from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon with a BA in journalism, and after his hitch in the Army he received his MS degree from the Columbia University Graduated School in Journalism in New York City in 1954.
- ASIN : B00G2CXN7C
- Publisher : Wolfpack Publishing (December 22, 2013)
- Publication date : December 22, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 2577 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 157 pages
- Lending : Enabled
Best Sellers Rank:
#3,290 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #4 in Western Fiction Classics
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The first were the overlooked chronological errors. The story clearly begins in 1869 as noted in the first chapter. From there, historical details need to be accurate to maintain the continuity of the story. In one scene, Willy Boy boasts that the bounty on his head is more than that of Billy the Kid (i.e. William H. Bonney) - but Mr. Bonney didn't become a wanted man until 1878. The second error was when Willy Boy reflected on his past, three years earlier, where he ate some peanut butter - but peanut butter wasn't developed and patented until 1884. These details may have been overlooked by some, but for me it jerked the story out of its own timeline and detracted from the story.
The second issue I had was the protagonists themselves, the Willy Boy Gang. They just weren't likable characters for me to empathize with and root for. Sure, the teenage Willy Boy wanted to get revenge against the man who killed his father and tried to kill him, but he didn't think twice about killing others in his quest for vengeance and innocent bystanders didn't phase him. As for the other members of his gang, all of whom are older and should be wiser, if they don't have the good sense not to ride with someone as reckless and callous as Willy Boy - even if he did orchestrate their release from jail - then they also deserve what's coming for them.
Which leads me to the third issue - the deputies, sheriff, and bounty hunters could've been a lot smarter tracking down these outlaws. They proved largely ineffective due to both lack of experience and, especially for the more skilled bounty hunters, not trusting their own instincts that clearly would've helped them avoid a deadly ambush.
Ride Tall, Hang High didn't win me over to the individual or collective causes of the Willy Boy Gang - I just can't root for characters like that and really don't care about what happens to them. They were all in jail or awaiting the gallows because they deserved to be, not because they were victims of corrupt officials or witnesses who framed them for crimes they didn't commit. I'm not going to discount other stories about other characters in other stories by this author because I haven't read any yet, but I'm not inspired to continue reading his Outlaw Series about this reckless and wanton band of murderous criminals lead by a teenager - maybe if they were hunted by someone like Django, Sabata, or The Man with No Name I'd consider it.
The care of the horses wasn't in this book either and running hard all night would not have been good on the horses. I just can't give it 5 stars and am possibly generous with 4.
If you are looking for a fast-paced western then this will work for you as it is fast-paced as can be, although there are some areas where it could be better.
The story revolves around a teenager who sees daddy shot down by a bounty hunter and makes it is mission to chase the killer while staying as far away from the law as he can.
It starts with a jail breakout, the killing of several lawmen and the subsequent killing of even more people as the now band of outlaws stays one step away from the law.
There's a saying that alone you fall and together you stand and this applies very well to this writing. As a single outlaw these wouldn't last a day out of jail but as a unit they manage that and more.
Interesting read and a great different point-of-view write.
That said, I have to add that most of the critical reviewers' comments are also true. Some of the dialogue is almost unbelievable, and the plot would be painfully predictable to most seasoned readers (I just happen to be the kind of reader who takes things as they come, so everything tends to be surprising to me). There are also lots of western cliches scattered throughout--like the bad guys wearing black hats. But hey--this book gives a plausible reason for that.
Take it with a smile, and it can be a fun book and series to read. (Might want to stop after book six or seven, though.)
Top reviews from other countries
I dare say they will be answered in future books.
The characters were easy to follow. The action started from page one.
It was good seeing how the characters evolved and personalities changed.
The best book I have read since "Snipper One by Sgt Dan Hill" or "The Watchman by Chris Ryan"