Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nomad's Trail - E. Hoffmann Price

This collection of pulp Western stories is now available from the always excellent Black Dog Books, and I'd recommend it highly even if I hadn't written the introduction for it.  E. Hoffmann Price was always an above-average pulp author, and these yarns that were somewhat inspired by Robert E. Howard's humorous Westerns are well worth reading.  NOMAD'S TRAIL reprints the first twelve stories in the Simon Boliver Grimes series.  I had read a few of these before, but reading them in order makes them even better.  By all means, if you're a Western fan or just a fan of fast-moving, action-packed pulp yarns, you should check these out.


Todd Mason said...

As someone who consistently has liked Price's work better than Howard's, I suspect I should, too. (Price is so good at historical fiction that if he hadn't taken up westerns, I'd've been surprised, but I don't think I've read any yet from him.)

James Reasoner said...

FAR LANDS, OTHER DAYS, Price's collection of adventure yarns both historical and contemporary, is one of the best pulp collections of all time. Karl Edward Wagner's Carcosa Press brought it out in the Seventies. I wish somebody would reprint it. I'd love to read it again.

Tom Roberts said...

I first read these Price yarns as disassociated short stories some years back (publishing two different chapbooks, reprinting a total of 8 of the adventures of Simon Bolivar Grimes, about 15 years ago).

In rereading these tales chronologically in preparation for this trade paperback collection, I was struck by a strong underlying current I had missed in my earlier disjointed readings. While these 12 short stories were printed over a period of several years, they are in reality one long, novel-length tale. Each story picks up immediately where the preceding story leaves off. Peppered throughout the second half of the stories/book are internal references to events and characters from the first half of the stories, giving the storyline the construction of a novel.

This book is not simply a collection of short stories of a recurring character taking place randomly throughout Grimes' life. The tale represents a single timeline of starting point A and ending point B.

James brings up this very topic in his excellent and insightful introduction, stating this continuity gives the saga an "epic" feel.

I hope people find the book an enjoyable read.

I am biased in my take on the book, though.

Tom Roberts
Black Dog Books

Richard R. said...

My copy arrived yesterday, and I've looked it over closely but have not read it yet. Problem is I got this and three others from Black Dog Books and am having trouble deciding where to start, after I finish the book I'm now reading.

Tom Roberts said...

I, for one, think that is a good problem to have, Richard.

I also find myself not knowing which Black Dog Book to start on next. (Which forthcoming BDB book that is.)

Thanks and hope you enjoy NOMAD'S TRAIL.

Tom Roberts
Black Dog Book