Monday, August 31, 2009

Cap'n Bob's Corner: Gun Quick & The Desert Desperadoes

More musings from the reading machine otherwise known as Robert S. Napier, author of Love, Death and the Toyman. This time he tells us about...

Gun Quick & The Desert Desperadoes, by Nelson Nye (Zebra 1978. Originally Phoenix Press 1942. pb) Here’s a treat, a 2-in-1 from a second-tier publisher of vintage reprinted stories. Gun Quick is about a loner who takes on a greedy big shot in gold country. The Desert Desperadoes is about a man who wants to hang up his guns but can’t. Both are pretty good smoke burners but my favorite part of each was the names of the characters. In book one we have Cibecue Toler, Walker Ide, Bronc Eads, Coffin Quelch, Six Key Joe, Jed Stobbins, Click Marvel, Handsome Charlie Haxton, Vilas Forney, Ed Jowls, The Can’t Rest Kid, Dode Glayson, and an hombre known as Pinto Vest. The hero is plain old Dave Shannon and his love interest is Beth Glayson. If you want to read this book it would help to know what a saturnine smile is because it pops up at least a half-dozen times.

Book two is no slouch when it comes to colorful handles, either: Ivory Ames (our hero), Zede Shoan, Streak Wombold, Turk, Praggon, Whisperin’ Curp, Brazos Finn, Scar Arnold, and a Chinese servant named Ah Sung. Oh, and there are also a bevy of saturnine smiles. At this great remove the stories seem dated and simple, but they’re entertaining and the action never slows. A fun diversion if you want some light reading.

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