The funny man is a middling comic in an unnamed city. By day he takes care of his infant son, by night he performs in small clubs, sandwiched between other aspiring comics. His wife waits tables to support the family. It doesn't sound like much, but they're happy, more or less. Until the day he comes up with it. His thing. His gimmick. And everything changes. He's a headliner, and the venues get bigger fast. Pretty soon it's Hollywood and a starring role in a blockbuster, all thanks to the gimmick.
The lure of the American West is in the spirit of adventure, in the majestic expanse of unconquered wilderness and in rugged individuals on a quest for identity and sometimes for survival. Owen Wister's unsmiling Virginian... Dorothy M. Johnson's, "A Man Called Horse": These are a few of the colorful, even legendary characters who populate The American West in Fiction, a collection of stories edited by Jon Tuska.