The Great Western Stories of Dorothy M. Johnson

This book is wonderful! I can’t believe I let my distaste for the movie version of “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” keep me from reading anything by Dorothy M. Johnson (I mean, really, who does choose Jimmy Stewart over John Wayne anyway??).

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of westerns, good story telling, and fabulous characters.

My favorite of the four turned out to be “The Hanging Tree.”  Doc Frail really grew on me, as did Rune.  The twist at the end, well, let’s just say I almost cried.  It was made into a movie in 1959 starring Gary Cooper and George C. Scott, so I guess I’ll be scouring Netflix and Amazon Prime for it shortly!

“The Lost Sister” was also excellent (and would’ve been my fave had it not been for “The Hanging Tree”). I hope someone turns this into a movie someday.

I enjoyed “A Man Called Horse,” but it was much sparser than I anticipated, especially since I’d seen the movie starring Richard Harris (and it’s sequel).  I really looked forward to the (in)famous “hanging scene,” but I guess I should not have been surprised it wasn’t there since the author had him captured by the Crow, not the Sioux.

The simplicity of Ms. Johnson’s writing packs quite the wallop, so prepare yourself for surprise, awe, and respect for this woman who deserved all of the awards and accolades she received – and more!


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