Trial dust - a Larry and Stretch western by MARSHALL GROVER



    Posts | Bydraes : 57
    Points | Punte : 122
    Join date | Datum aangesluit : 2011-09-12
    Age | Ouderdom : 33

    Trial dust - a Larry and Stretch western by MARSHALL GROVER

    Post by Nico10 on Mon 05 Dec 2011, 5:38 pm

    Some time ago, I decided to consult the greatest authority on Western novels that I know of and that is available to me – my old man. Now my father is a true specialist on the topic of Westerns and has read thousands, even hundreds of westerns in his life. And so I was keen to share my own insights with such a mountain of a man with regards to his knowledge of the Western novel. I told him I believe that Westerns are totally underestimated in world literature and that there are some novels with amazing debt and complexity. “Well son”, he more or less said, “many people of my generation learn’t most of what they know about English from reading those”. I was caught a bit of guard when he advised me to try and read a “Larry & Stretch” western, since it was his favourite type of Western. I was so glad to be able to tell him that I had already started on one . . .

    However, it is with a great amount of disappointment that I cannot now share his enthusiasm any more. Maybe it was just the expectations that was too high, by I cannot deny the fact that I did not enjoy “Trial dust” as much as I hoped I would do. While the story is good, the way it is written was not all that enjoyable to me. Though there is lot of humour, the characters is not that very convincing. The best that I can say is that the story doesn’t drag too much, as sometimes happen, but for the rest, “Trial dust” was not what I expected.

    “Trial dust” is about a group of women who travels to another town in search of men to marry. The one town’s got too much men, the other too much women. Larry and Stretch accompanies the group of women for protection, and, as can be expected, this comes in handy as one of the woman robbed her former boss from the cash he in turned robbed from others. This she does in order to get even with him. And of course, all works out well in the end for everybody, except for the bad guys.

    Perhaps the reason why this particular was not that very enjoyable to me, is because while the few western novels I have read up to now has in many ways shattered what I expected from western novels, “Trail dust” simply fits into the mould of old prejudices. What you get in “Trial dust”, despite the book being action packed and even charming at times, is a stereotyped colonial environment. The men are the strong ones, the women are weak. The main characters is, despite the sheriff making a bit of fun about them, almost flawless in character. There is no main protagonist in “Trail dust” that is haunted by “dark” thoughts as in for example “The dark brand”, and the bad guys always lose and the good guys win. The women, despite getting into the action and shooting in one scene, are mainly there to wash the men’s clothing and cook food. And we know, from detailed and extensive studies on the subject, that women almost always played a much more complex role in the colonial era than what is often portrayed, also in this particular novel.

    Now one should not be too critical. These books were written for the enjoyment of its readers – not to educate them. Perhaps this is why my father, having experienced at first hand a bit of what was called “taming” the country(or at least hearing stories of colonialism first hand from his own grandparend who fought the British in the Anglo-Boer war), chose this very particular series of western novels as his favourite. Perhaps he still has a very romantic image about things like these, and works like these comfort him and takes him back to an almost fantasy world where “men are still men and women knows their place”. Perhaps I’m wrong about my dad, but I could be right . . .

    Nevertheless, “Trial dust” is certainly worth the read, if only to be able to make up one’s mind. The fact that I didn’t enjoy it as much as some other westerns I’ve read doesn’t say anything about how the next one who picks it up will respond. “Trial dust” is, after all its obvious flaws in my eyes, still a very adventure packed work. But from the mamoth amount of four westerns I’ve read in my life, it sadly ranks number 4 on the all-time best list.

      Current date/time is Tue 18 Sep 2018, 9:10 pm