Good Western Novels


A loyal reader of mine emailed me about some good Western novels to read.

Although I am a fan of the Traditional Western and like a lot of writers, cut my teeth on the likes of Louis LaMour, Larry McMurtry and Glendon Swarthout just to name a few, my entire ideal of the Western was turned on it’s head when I read Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.

Since then I have gravitated more to certain styles of writing that capture the raw, gritty and realistic life of the old west instead of the tired, tropish romanticism so prevalent in traditional westerns.

One writer I really like for this style is James Carlos Blake.

Top 5:

  1. In the Rogue Blood

  2. The Pistoleer (Based on the Life of John Wesley Hardin)

  3. The Friends of Pancho Villa

  4. Wildwood Boys (Based on the Life of Bloody Bill Anderson)

  5. Country of the Bad Wolfe’s

Call From The Crags

Call From The Crags

by Wisconsin Kraut


Will the inheritance of our people be put to grinding mill?


Where is my shining prince 

Steed tramping proud

Voice carried firm 

Blood flowing pure?

Where is my binded kilt

Pleats swirling quick

Tartan shining bright

Belt pulled snug?

Where is my faithful claymor

Blade chopping swift

Hilt woven stout

Scabbard empty apt

Have we stuffed such to forget our old chieftains

Have we been enlightened to scorn our fathers dress

Have we laid down our ancient broadswords

And invited a foreigner to our mother’s breast?

Do our eyes no more see charging stallions

Do our legs forget roads long past

Do our arms not recall clash and fire

Shall we spit upon what God gave to admire?

Are songs not sung of great heroes

Are badges of kinsfolk no more worn

Are bastions of nation now failed to build

Will the inheritance of our people be put to grinding mill?


My blood yet burns hotly

And fills my veins with razors

My mind still recalls our fallen kings

And dreams of what can be


My belt is pulled tight

And girds my loins in iron

My plaid is dyed brightly

And bears my family’s name


My broadsword is raised highly

And blade is keely worked

My targe is griped firm

And dirk carried sure.


Shoot: Short Story

A+ writing.


The Sperg Box

Interrupted reveries. The man felt the dust blowing off the shelves of his mind. Little akashic records with their books all overturned. He found himself again sitting, slumped ever so slightly, cradling a revolver in his hands. Old, now. Funny- he’d always assumed that the tools he bought would age much better than he. Instead he saw hairline scratches, a beginning of a pit here or there from those months he had forgotten he’d even owned a piece. And yet there he sat, older really on the inside than out. Tired, from the grind.

“Dad,” the man’s son’s voice rang. Dad looked up, for a time he almost thought he could see his boy’s voice echoing through the falling leaves of the trees. “Dad, what’re you doing?”

“Thinking, Kiddo.”

“You do that a lot.

“Yeah I do…”

“Are we gonna shoot now?”


Kiddo looked on passively. Dad wasn’t…

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The Farmer (Poem by Free Idealist)

The Farmer


Walking down the bloodied street,

I enjoy the dirt upon my feet,

That feeling that feels so sweet,

Of earthen dust so fine and neat.

I’m stared at by the men of town,

Their faces full of scowl and frown,

Who look so often always down,

So deep in debt they just might drown.

I laugh to myself at jokes in mind,

Jokes too rude for one to find,

In such a place like this, so kind,

Where all are woke, and yet so blind.

I travel here for a simple task:

To fill their pantry and their flask.

I’m given no thanks, and I do not ask,

In the goodness of this deed I bask.

I have no time for the fools of throne,

Whose songs are sung and horns are blown.

I care quite little for their walls of stone,

Instead I linger with the seeds I’ve sown.

Watching them grow from year to year,

Wiping away each and every tear,

Cultivating these souls so dear,

And teaching them to never fear.

While I’m in town I’ll just be polite,

Because I know full well I’ll be alright.

I’ll lay in bed with my wife tonight,

And fill her full of much delight.

Wayne Hansen