What is the Corral about?

Well, simply, it is a place to round-up ideas, thoughts, comments and anything else you may like to hear about. My original intention was to have a forum but the time to manage such a gathering is really beyond me at this stage. But via email I can gather up your input and get it into the Corral.

So, would you like to make comment?

What is your favorite western story, either as a book or a movie?

Want to tell us why?

What are you currently reading, watching or listening to (regardless if it is a Western or not)?

What do you want to see in future Western stories (grit or romance, maybe both, gunplay or justice, grim reality or happy endings)?

Anything you would like to see in one of my stories?



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January 2012

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September 2012








Well, ke-mo sah-bee or faithful friends, 2013 looks like shaping up to be a good year for the Western with the release of the movie The Lone Ranger. Yep, it will be hi-ho Silver with Armie Hammer playing the masked ranger and Johnny Depp playing Tonto. The initial trailer release seems to have that Dark Knight feel with Tonto’s makeup making him look a little like the Joker, but with a crow perched on his head. Now this way-out-there look could be interesting, because if this movie is anything like The Dark Knight, where Heath Ledger was so good that the movie could have easily been called The Joker, then maybe this one should be called Tonto!

The scriptwriter who scored the job of bringing the masked lawman back to life is the British born, but American novelist Justin Haythe. Now, he’s certainly a writing heavyweight as he was nominated for the Man Booker Prize for his first novel The Honeymoon, and went on to adapt the wonderful Richard Yates’ novel Revolutionary Road to the big screen, for which he received a BAFTA nomination for best adapted screenplay.

So what has he done with this story? I have no idea and can only go by the one and half minute trailer that has just been released and available on YouTube or Steve M’s excellent Western Fiction Review. But whatever style or tone has been chosen, it certainly has the feel of a big money Hollywood extravaganza, which normally means big names, big sets, fast action, lots spectacular scenery, and of course graphic violence. And I think some sex thrown in for good measure, which all means that the investors may have an eye on the future and a reinvigoration of the Lone Ranger franchise, much like that of Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Ironman, etc, etc.

I certainly look forward to the movie as most of these modern super hero flicks are extremely well made and well told stories. Of course the trick is to go along with no expectations whatsoever, which I did with the first Ironman movie and walked away at the end being well entertained.

In the meantime, as we don’t see a lot of traditional Westerns on the big screen anymore, I do tend to chase the next best thing – the urban Western. You know, that traditional Western story set in the here and now, where horses have been replaced by pick-up trucks or muscle cars. Interestingly, the cowboy hats seemed to have survived the urbanization, even if the old six shooter has been replaced by the high-powered magazine fed self loading pistol!

One good example of the urban Western that had escaped me till recently was Red Rock West staring Nicolas Cage and Dennis Hopper. It is now coming up to its 20th anniversary and has all the ingredients that I find exciting in a Western – hot situation, flawed hero, great bad guys, guns, and a femme fatale. No horses, I know, but the big bodied V8s can jump railway lines just as well.

But then of course is the Western novel and there are still plenty of them around to suit almost every taste, be in historical, adventurous or romantic. And often what the reader brings with their own imagination to a good book, is as good as a wide screen.

Happy Reading



October 2012

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