Western fiction recommendations?
December 16, 2010 9:31 AM   Subscribe

If you enjoy Louis L'amour, what other authors are you likely to enjoy?

Both [present filter] and [book recommendation filter]. The gifts I've given my dad in the past that he's enjoyed the most are collections of Louis L'amour short stories and the like. But I think I'm coming to the end of L'amour oeuvre, and am looking for some other ideas and it's not really a genre of fiction I read myself. What are some other good authors of adventurous cowboy fiction?
posted by Kurichina to Writing & Language (22 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Elmer Kelton. Recognized as the Greatest Western Writer of all time by the Western Writers of America.
posted by GaelFC at 9:36 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

James Reasoner's Death's Head Crossing is a good Western.
posted by dortmunder at 9:39 AM on December 16, 2010

Zane Grey is another popular one.

Let's see... Will Henry, Elmer Kelton, Loren Estleman. Checking out the Spur Award winners might give some more ideas.
posted by box at 9:43 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

My dad read every L'Amour book when I was a kid. He even got them on tape and we listened to them in the car on the way home (I was not a fan.)

He likes Zane Grey and, weirdly, really got into the Wheel of Time series. But he's also a big geek (that's where I got my "memorized the Star Trek Technical Manual in fifth grade" tendencies from,) so.

Depending on your dad's tastes, he might also appreciate DVDs of Gunsmoke or Wild Wild West (the TV show.) I was the only kid in school that watched them. The first four seasons of Gunsmoke are now out - the second half of number four came out this week, actually.
posted by SMPA at 9:54 AM on December 16, 2010

Elmore Leonard wrote a lot of westerns early in his career. Robert B. Parker's Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch novels are good. If he hasn't read it already, Louis L'Amour's autobiography Education of a Wandering Man is fascinating.
posted by maurice at 9:56 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

My grandfather's two favorite authors were Louis L'Amour and Zane Grey. So I second Zane Grey.
posted by Kwine at 10:02 AM on December 16, 2010

> Louis L'Amour's autobiography Education of a Wandering Man is fascinating.

Yes, this. In the book, L'Amour gives lists of books he read along the way, which is a great resource too.
posted by circular at 10:02 AM on December 16, 2010

True Grit is a really fantastic western novel. So is Oakley Hall's Warlock.
posted by .kobayashi. at 10:10 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do they have to be westerns? Or good old "good against evil" one man against the bad guys?
I really enjoyed the Robert B. Parker books about Virgil Cole/Everitt Hitch mentioned above. They were really fast reads. You could finish them in one sitting. Also really liked the Jesse Stone series from him.
Stephen Hunter has a lot of really great books but you have to read them in order to grasp the entire picture.
Lee Child with his "Reacher" character is fantastic.
Another one author I've really enjoyed is T. Jefferson Parker. Most of his can be read in any order but he does have a character that has a small series.
James Lee Burke has 3 main character series books, 2 of them western. Billy Bob Holland and Hackberry Holland.
Jon Land about a modern day Texas Ranger, Caitlin Strong.
posted by JohnE at 10:18 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Zane Grey, Larry McMurtry (Especially Horesman, Pass By), Charles Portis (True Grit), and Jack London.
posted by brand-gnu at 10:19 AM on December 16, 2010

Not quite cowboy, but I still think you'd like John le Carre.
posted by kcm at 10:40 AM on December 16, 2010

I second Elmore Leonard. You might also like some non-fiction by Theodore Roosevelt.
posted by Hylas at 11:26 AM on December 16, 2010

Nthing True Grit, and I am not a reader of westerns!
posted by jgirl at 11:39 AM on December 16, 2010

Loren Estleman has written some fantastic Westerns lately. But not the one about Judge Roy Bean and Lillie Langtry--that one bit.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:41 AM on December 16, 2010

Speaking more generally, has anyone else noticed a slight recovery in interest in the western as a genre?

I was in a bookstore recently and found an actual Western section. It was small, but it was there, and it was dedicated, not crammed into some other classification. I didn't look closely enough to figure out if these were new novels or reprints of decades old westerns, but they were there, and that struck me as uncommon.

Also, Nthing early Elmore Leonard.
posted by Naberius at 11:58 AM on December 16, 2010

How about Karl May? I don't know whether there are any decent English translations available (and still in print), but I used to enjoy the Dutch translations as a kid.

If spreading to adventurous non-Cowboy fiction is an option, classics like Jules Verne and Robert L. Stevenson might do the trick.
posted by rjs at 12:11 PM on December 16, 2010

For non-cowboy adventure stories, the Aubrey-Maturin series might be another option worth considering.
posted by rjs at 12:18 PM on December 16, 2010

Oakley Hall all the way. And Cormac McCarthy!
posted by RogerB at 12:29 PM on December 16, 2010

I highly recommend Eugene Manlove Rhodes. Wikipedia. Amazon.
posted by Bruce H. at 12:39 PM on December 16, 2010

Joe Lansdale's Hap Collins and Leonard Pine series are great. Lansdale can write a fight scene really well.
posted by geekyguy at 3:16 PM on December 16, 2010

Dorothy Johnson
posted by Duffington at 5:28 PM on December 16, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I'm printing this out for my trip to the local bookstore tonight!
posted by Kurichina at 1:40 PM on December 17, 2010

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