Sat 29 Aug 2009
T. T. FLYNN – Ride to Glory: A Western Quartet. Five Star, hardcover; 1st edition; 2000. Reprint paperback: Leisure, March 2004.
I’ll list the titles of the four novelettes and short novels it contains, and that’s all you’ll need to have a perfect picture of what this book’s all about: “Ghost Guns for Gold”, “Half Interest in Hell”, “The Gun Wolf” and “Ride to Glory.”
Action, that is, pure pistol-packing action. First appearing in the pages of old pulp fiction magazines such as Star Western (1935), Dime Western (1945 & 1949), and Western Story Magazine (1938), this marks the debut of these tales in hardcover.
And whenever there’s room to breathe between the rounds of gunfire, there’s always a chance that romance will work its way into the story, one way or another. According to the creed of the day, or so it’s implied — if not outright stated — it’s the love of good women that gives men the courage to risk their necks against the crooked ranchers, conniving Mexican despots, and other assorted outlaws found inhabiting these pages, and by extension, the entire American west.
If these stories succeed, it’s by sheer story-telling power, not by the grace or elegance of the writing. While T. T. Flynn was the contemporary of such western writers such as Max Brand and Zane Grey, it’s plain to see that he simply wasn’t in their league, at least not in terms of word-slinging ability.
But if you can sit back, turn off your critical eye, and allow these yarns of yesteryear to simply take over, what you’ll be in for is four installments of the ride of your life — and I ask you: What could be better than that?
[UPDATE] 08-29-09. I’ve recently had to drop out of a western fiction apa called Owlhoots — a pure lack of time — but in the ten or so issues I did for it, there are some articles and reviews I did that I’ll gradually be reprinting here on the Mystery*File blog.
I regret to say that at the moment, I don’t have access to the book itself, and I seem to have made no record of it at the time. Right now, except for one story, I can’t tell you which one came from which magazine. When I come across the rest of the information, I’ll add it later:
Half-Interest in Hell, Dime Western Magazine, July 1945.
[UPDATE #2] Later the same day. Walker Martin has come to my rescue. See comment #1.