Friday, August 15, 2014

Forgotten Books: The Money Gun - Robert J. Randisi

Whenever I get the urge to read a Western by Bob Randisi, there are certainly plenty to choose from. You don't hear much about this one because it's a stand-alone instead of a book from one of his many series, but it's also one of his best novels.

The Money Gun is Faulkner, and he's a hired gun who specializes in killing bad men the law can't touch for one reason or another. His only friend in the world is Henry Tall Fellow, a half-breed bounty hunter who Faulkner teams up with from time to time. This novel tells two parallel stories: their effort to track down the notorious outlaw Jack Sunday, and in flashbacks, the first time the two worked together a quarter of a century earlier. Not all that surprisingly, those two stories wind up being connected.

As with any Randisi novel, THE MONEY GUN is fast-paced, has plenty of good dialogue, and some nice action. There's also a very effective sense of poignant melancholy as these two old friends deal with the infirmities of age and the weight of decades spent in a bloody, violent business. I was reminded of both RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY and THE WILD BUNCH. The time period, 1898, the tail end of the Old West, just increases that sense of an era drawing to a close.

If you've never read a Randisi Western, THE MONEY GUN wouldn't be a bad place to start. It's both entertaining and moving. The original paperback edition from 2007 seems to be out of print, but ought to be easy enough to find. There's also a Kindle edition available on Amazon. If you're a Western fan, it's well worth reading.


RJR said...

Wow, James, thanks very much. I really enjoyed writing this book.


Charles R. Rutledge said...

Thanks for the rec, James. One of the Best Westerns I've read in a while.