Destry Rides Again [ePub]

by Max Brand

It's hard to choose, but I'd say Brand is a slightly more engaging writer than Western favorites Owen Wister, Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour, but if so, not by much. This is pulp writing, with way too many exclamation points trying to punch up cliched phrases and purple prose. The story focuses on Harry Destry—even he describes himself as "a waster, a lazy loafer, a fighter." What he comes across to me is a thug, happy to find any excuse to use his fists—and this is our hero.

He's framed for a train robbery and sent to prison for six years and returns to the town of Wham a seemingly changed man. Notably, he won't be baited into a fight. So his fiance, who waited six years for him wants to break the engagement, because, she says, "He's not a man." Man = schoolyard bully. So, the rest of the book is about the revenge he takes on those who put him into prison. It's predictable, painful and an insult to a reader's intelligence. And it has no resemblance to the classic film of the name with Jimmy Stewart other than the title.



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