The lifeless bodies of Texas Rangers lay scattered on the floor of Bryant’s Gap. One man, wounded and left for the buzzards, comes back to consciousness and vows to bring the killers to justice. Now known only as the Lone Ranger, this man, his steadfast horse, Silver, and trusted friend, Tonto, set out to bring justice to the men who ambushed him and his fellow rangers.
With a ‘Hi-Yo Silver, Away-y-y-y,’ the Lone Ranger embodies classic American ideals of the champions of the Wild West. The Lone Ranger first found success as a 1933 radio show, then expanded into books, television, comics, and motion pictures. This iconic character has been portrayed George Seaton, Clayton Moore, and by Armie Hammer in the 2013 movie release The Lone Ranger (with Johnny Depp as Tonto).
Public Domain (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
The original and still the best, this is essentially the expanded version of the radio series origin story, straight from the typewriter of the Ranger's creator. The details play out a bit differently than it did on air, and not wholly to my satisifaction, but the basics are there. Why go back to the well? Because it's been a very long time since anyone told this story properly, and because I'm sick of seeing classic heroes being slapped up on the big screen only to be torn down to the level of dysfunctional society or just played for cheap laughs. They used to inspire us to live better; this book represents that time when they did just that, playing to an audience that are more familiar with hard times than we are today.
There's nothing overly sophisticated about this book. It's a classic pulp and all that implies. The characterizations are products of their time, which means some will see it through the modern lens and call it racist, and others will see it through the lens of yesteryear and be astonished at just how equal and complimentary the partnership between the Ranger and Tonto really is. And let's be honest here: while English is clearly not Tonto's first language, his broken dialect is actually more grammatically correct than many of the other characters they encounter in the stories. This book has some secondary character expansion that we never really got on the radio or the TV, and it fumbles a bit with the newfound freedom to tell more than an old script ever could. At the same time, that simplicity is a breath of fresh air. This book has its flaws, but this is the template for how it should be. Two American icons out for justice on the plains of the Old West... simple, easy, heroic, and a good setup for the series of books that follow.
The narrator could be better. His straight voice is acceptable for the Ranger, but his female lead is a bit unsteady, and his villains come across more like Yosemite Sam. Actually, that might be in keeping with the tone of the old radio/TV versions. He does, however, project a general lack of enthusiasm, which is unfortunate because anyone who has ever listened to the other versions knows, the dynamic narration is needed to push things along. It's not Shakespeare, but it does need that extra "umph" that Jeff Wiens didn't provide for whatever reason. He may not have knocked it out of the park, but he didn't kill it either, so it'll come down to personal preference. This reading might actually work better for some because it's not so over the top.
It is so bad I thought it was a parody and kept waiting for the laughs. I don't deserve my money back. I should be paid for the time I wasted waiting for this stupid story and acting to get better.
The worst. My family could have done better from our garage.
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