revisionist western novels
February 16, 2010 11:04 AM   Subscribe

I've recently read & enjoyed a couple "revisionist western" novels like Oakley Hall's "Warlock" & John Williams's "Butcher's Crossing." What other novels might I also like?
posted by .kobayashi. to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Maybe The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje or Little Big Man by Thomas Berger.
posted by mattbucher at 11:25 AM on February 16, 2010


Pynchon's "Against The Day" isn't totally "western" throughout, but if you love Warlock, you'll probably love it.
posted by Damn That Television at 11:53 AM on February 16, 2010


You might be interested in Bucking the Tiger by Bruce Olds.
posted by lhputtgrass at 11:55 AM on February 16, 2010


Maybe try Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. Not sure if it counts as revisionist, but it definitely paints a bleak picture of Manifest Destiny and westward expansion.
posted by kensington314 at 12:16 PM on February 16, 2010


Good answers so far, thanks!

I've read & enjoyed "Collected Works of Billy the Kid" & "Blood Meridian" quite a lot. Moreover, "Against the Day" was a perceptive suggestion, too. I love love love that book. In fact, I almost included it in the question but then thought all the non-western parts might muddy the waters a bit. You're all definitely thinking on the same wavelength with me.
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:23 PM on February 16, 2010


You would probably like Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner also.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:11 PM on February 16, 2010


You might want to look into James Carlos Blake; his third novel In the Rogue Blood got a lot of comparisons to Blood Meridian for its savage, unromantic view of the West, and his others, while not widely known, also seem to get a lot of praise. I haven't read him yet but he's been near the top of my list for a while.
posted by mediareport at 7:43 PM on February 16, 2010


Maybe E.L. Doctorow's Welcome to Hard Times would fit?
posted by coffeeflavored at 12:49 AM on February 17, 2010


Gilbert Sorrentino's Gold Fools is a funny little book.

Charles Portis's True Grit is tremendous.
posted by otio at 10:29 AM on February 17, 2010


Marking recommendations as "Best answer" as I go through them, for others who are similarly inclined to pursue the same sorts of books. I'd read Blood Meridian, Against the Day, and the Collected Works of Billy the Kid earlier, and they were all great recommendations. Moreover, True Grit was, as promised, tremendous.
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:50 PM on February 23, 2010


Glad you liked True Grit. Just thought of another good one for you: God's Country by Percival Everett.
posted by otio at 8:37 AM on February 24, 2010


Loving "Bucking the Tiger" so far!
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:18 AM on March 21, 2010


In the Rogue Blood was a solid recommendation and did remind me of Blood Meridian. It was a rough go at parts -- kind of brutal, actually -- and I didn't like it quite as much as I thought I would. But still, very solid, and recommended for Cormac McCarthy fans.
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:28 PM on May 25, 2010


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