Friday, January 20, 2012

Stuff to keep you amused for a bit...

Here's a video:



I'm in a bowcaster-shakin' mood, for some reason. Perhaps I lived too long in a place where the local college fight song celebrates violating the Volstead Act and killing federal agents.

Also, I just finished re-reading Pale Horse Coming by Stephen Hunter, which is basically The Magnificent Seven Gun Nuts. Who doesn't like the idea of an elderly Ed McGivern gunning down some crooked Mississippi deputies in a bayou roadhouse in .57 seconds while Charlie Askins and Bill Jordan are shootin' up their buddies? This is like a Mack Bolan book written by somebody who knows about guns and can actually write, or a Larry Correia novel sans monsters, or OhJohnRingoNo's Ghost without the pervy parts. Good guys win, evil loses, bad guys get their just desserts, and the landscape gets pretty well shot up. You should read it.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Na, I wouldn't worry about him. He's been drinking moonshine as long as he's been sitting there."

roland said...

"Pale horse be comin' for you, motherf*cker!"

Anonymous said...

Yeah that's a good one -- especially for wheelgun folks.

Mark

TxRed said...

I don't remember how I stumbled across Mr. Hunter's work, but he is definitely deserving of his Pulitzer.

Maybe he and Mr. Correia could do one of those collaborative novels that seem to be in vogue of late. The world needs a book where Earl Swagger gets to hang out with St. John of Ogden. All we have to do is figure out how to resurrect the good Roosevelt and work him into the plot.

Hunter seems to (just barely sometimes) avoid the formulaic feel that most authors who write series about the same characters fall into. I hope he continues his craft for a long time to come.

Even when he strays into other non-fiction territory, he still can make it compelling, e.g. American Gun Fight. As for his non-Swagger books, they're great too. I cite Dirty White Boys as my Exhibit A.

If you enjoy the "group of combat masters come together against a common foe to exact tasty revenge" genre, may I suggest something a bit more old school? Sackett's Brand by Louis L'Amour is another novel in this vein that is a LOT of fun. I shan't ruin the plot, but suffice it to say that Sackett threads are drawn into the loom from all directions. The tapestry that results is western greatness. Warning: contains horses, rifles with levers, and single action handguns whose magazines spin around their central axis.

Dwight Brown said...

"Odds are a little better now."

It seems to me that, even with experienced writers, the second book in a series represents sort of a slump. First books are fun, even if the author is still trying to work out who the characters are. By the time an author's reached the third book, he's got a good idea of what's going on. But that second book is often a letdown.

"Pale Horse Coming" is a rare exception. I actually think it is better than "Hot Springs" (which, don't get me wrong, I like, but it does have a few issues). I'd put it in my top ten list.

(Maybe part of the reason it appeals to me so is that, as I've noted elsewhere, I grew up reading many of those gentlemen (at least the ones who were writers).)

Lewis said...

TxRed: Au contraire, mon frere, Dirty White Boys really IS a Swagger novel, although the connection isn't too too spelled out, IIRC.

The last of the Bob Lee Swagger novels I read was 47th Ronin, which, umm, was like fanfic. Hey, kids, Bob Lee Swagger is such a badass he can master kenjitsu in a couple of months, bad hip and all!

But oh yeah. Hunter can write, and he knows him some guns.

Shake that bowcaster!

Rob Reed said...

Tam,

Have you read, "American Gunfight"? That's hunters non-fiction look at the shootout at the Blair House when Puerto Rican seperatists tried to assassinate Harry Truman.

It is well worth reading.

Rob

Tam said...

Lewis,

Actually for a serious gun nerd, I had problems with even Pale Horse Coming. I mean, McGivern may have had .08 splits on his very bestest days on a Bill Drill, but spreading aimed shots across five targets? Uh, I'm dubious, to say the least.

I still loved the scene. :D

Robin said...

Pale Horse Coming was over the top, but fun.

And Ringo's Ghost series without the pervy parts? We call that a "pamphlet" around here.

SGB said...

I loved Pale Horse but the gun stuff is often over the top. In fact, and it may be because I'm only on my 6th cup of coffee, I can't think of a novel that is wholly accurate when it comes to the technical details of firearms.

TxRed said...

Lewis, I stand corrected. It's been a while since I read Dirty White Boys.

With regard to being exactly right on guns, no one is ever going to get it all right. I've spent a bit of time thinking about that and someone who has all the technical minutiae correct probably isn't going to be that great of a yarn spinner. Technically minded folks tend to spend too much time on the technical and not enough on character development. I've read a few of those kind of books in the scifi end of things and they can be pretty dry, at least for my taste.

I don't think Hunter is the next incarnation of Shakespeare, but I do think that his above average firearms knowledge keeps him from taking gunnie-folk out of the realm of his books. I have trouble maintaining suspension of disbelief when a novelist talks about the gritty gumshoe releasing the safety catch on his revolver. Especially when I know said novelist hasn't equipped said gumshoe with a Webley-Fosbery.

Goober said...

You fogot to mention that it includes an Audie Murphy clone with a Sturmgewher. Seriously. It has the most decorated soldier in United States history laying into a bunch of racist redneck pricks with a goldurned SG44.

Best. book. evah!

RobertM said...

It's in my pile. I want to read Hot Springs first. Reading Dead Zero just now.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Well, I don't think your Bowcasting Mood is necessarily a matter of Geography. Seems to be pretty much a Nation-Wide under current happening. Shooting at a certain Campaign Sign in New England, blowing up UN Blue Helmets in Ohio, Gun Sales going through the roof, somethings happening. But the music does sound better that what I usually have up here.

But I do admit to being the Proud son of a Coal Miner's Daughter who married a Hungarian Freedom Fighter and was born so close to West By God that I can claim Dual Citizenship because of my Kin over there, so maybe it's in the Genes?

All I know is, that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would never have come about if the Progressives hadn't gained Political Power a 100 years ago. Maybe the pendulum is swinging back.

Let's just hope it doesn't go TOO far back. It's bad enough living in the "Crazy Years", we don't need a Nehemiah Scudder to pop up!

Brian J. said...

Hey, the Don Pendleton Mack Bolan books were pretty good for pulp. So were his Copp books from the 1980s, although I've only read two of them.

Nylarthotep said...

Nice. I seem always to buy books you recommend. I just got the kindle version of Pale Horse Coming.

So here's a request. Can you do a post on the best Non-fiction guns you have read. I own and buy lots of books, but gun books have been giving me trouble for years. My collection is 50-50 good to crap. Since you're an outstanding gun nerd I was hoping you'd have some recommendations so I could stop wasting my time.

Cargosquid said...

The EARLY Mack Bolan books by Don Pendleton were good.

The later ones written by ghost writers under "Don Pendleton's Mack Bolan" not so much.

Let me amend that. It was inconsistent. Some was great. Some... should have been recycled from the publisher...do not pass go.

Lewis said...

Too much technical accuracy and you get Jerry Ahern.

"He popped the thumb break on the Bianchi holster and his hand gripped the Pachmayr grips of the 3.5" Detonics CombatMaster. As he raised the little stainless steel .45 and aligned the sights, his finger caressed the trigger, set at a crisp four pound pull. The fall of the hammer ignited the WLP primer and the 6.7 grains of Unique powder pushed the 185 grain jacketed hollow point out the stubby barrel at 950 fps, centerpunching the bad guy's forehead and settling his hash for once and all."

Lewis said...

Your garden variety Wookie will shake his bowcaster and say America went wrong back in the 1960s. More hard-core Wooks will stretch the time line back further, pointing to some constitutionally dubious actions taken by potus16 during the Late Unpleasantness. Ah, but nothing so stirs the soul as hearing furry to the bone Wookies argue whether it was the Whiskey Rebellion, or Shays' Rebellion, that marked the turning point.

"You men from the bank? Daddy says I can shoot whoever's from the bank."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twuiF2Ft8bk

Tam said...

Lewis,

Galco Jackass shoulder rig. You've got to have the Detonics in a Jackass shoulder rig. And an A.G. Russell boot knife. :D

Yeah, I don't like too much gun detail. The advantage of a good, knowledgeable gun writer isn't that they put in a lot of detail, but that they don't put in wrong detail.

Or, at least, if it's wrong, it's not horribly so. Like the McGivern thing I mentioned. Five or ten years ago, I probably would have swallowed that scene without blinking, but I've been around a lot more PACT timers and scary fast shooters since then...

Grayson said...

"This is my business. This is my best business."
Amen to that.

Tony Muhlenkamp said...

How about a noobies guide to who the real life people the characters are drawn from? I think I missed about half of them.

Tam said...

Tony Muhlenkamp,

After you finish working off your demerits doing Gun Nut KP, see the plot summary here for linkage to the bios of the Magnificent Seven. ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tunes. Jeff Cooper's opinion of the AR-15 notwithstanding, I thought that was some good banjo playing. I especially liked the fiddlah on Rocky Top. - Lyle

CMac said...

Every time I hear Rocky Top I am left wondering - Why do they have stills in a place that can't grow corn?

nemesis443 said...

We do grow corn around here, lots of it. We just don't have large farms with acres and acres of it. They grow corn, beans, strawberries and tomatoes all over east Tennessee.

perlhaqr said...

Bought.

*makes wookiie noises*

*listens to "Rocky Top" again*