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Typical 1920's Max Brand western with a convoluted romance, not triangle or even quadrangle but a five sided polygon with the usual confusion in this type of novel. Boy A loves girl A but thinks she loves boy B who thinks he loves girl B who loves boy C. I could go on but I think that description is confusing enough. There is also the little matter that boys A and C are tough and deadly gunmen who are on a collision course. This novel also features a most unpleasant, greedy, conniving, duplicitous and dangerous villain who happens to be girl A's father. There is also a gold mine, love at first sight, reading people by their physical appearances, broad generalizations, etc. I don't think that this is a solid four star novel but under Amazon's rating system, three stars is considered critical and I can't give three and a half stars so four stars it is.
5.0 out of 5 starsA wonderful classic that really holds your attention
Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2017
What a delightful listen from a very talented narrator. The author has lived out his time in book he wrote long ago. It is really a shame this author die as a war correspondent in Italy in 1944 at the age of 51. He was a very talented author with a lot of stories published. This was one of his best that is very entertaining with characters that are down on their luck trying to make a buck. The author gives vivid details that you have no trouble picturing in your mind add the narrator and you have one heck of a listen. I had a little trouble getting into this but once I was I couldn’t wait to see what happened.
Mr. Kessel adds so much to this story with his very talented voice giving me a story I really got hooked on. His character voice fit each character to a T pulling the listener in making them believe it is real. I had no trouble at all picturing each scene with vivid detail in my mind. Mr. Kessel characters are wonderful he gives them such emotion from chuckling when the character does to anger when mad and sad when heartbroken. His male voices are just as good as his female ones. There was no background noise, not a place where the volume was higher or lower than anywhere else in the audio, if any breaks were taken I could not tell. He gives you a clear, clean and crisp listen that hooks you almost from the start. His performance is outstanding he knows how to deliver a wonderful audio. I really feel like I would enjoy the audio over the book it feel more alive more real. When you get to the part about the housekeeper you just get a creepy feeling just as the author plans you to the narrator really carries it out giving you a compelling listen I could not put down.
The story is based on lies, adventure, excitement, love, mystery, forgotten love, old love, new love that twists it way into your heart. At times I felt sorry for Donnegan and other times I thought he got what he deserved. No matter what he always put the colonel’s daughter first. Her happiness over his even in danger she always comes first. It is hard not to like a man like that. I am not sure just what I think of the Colonel he is so wishy washy at times you cannot really get a handle on him. You think you know him and he changes right before your eyes. He is a very wise man but I do think more of a BS than most which makes him in dearing at times.
Frederick Schiller Faust penned his finest when he wrote his literary famous Westerns utilizing the pen name Max Brand. Gunman's Reckoning has a thoughtful storyline which is enough to hold your interest throughout the book. His selection of challenging incidences will keep you on point. I truly enjoy a good western and certainly was not disappointed with Gunman's Reckoning. Fate led a young man to a small mining town called, The Corners, and a pretty young girl caused him to play a deceptive game. I'll leave the rest for you to discover when you read this book. Enjoy!
Okay, it's only MY opinion, but nevertheless, I love this guys work. His characters are smoother, tougher, faster, meaner, than anybody else around. The imagination of Brand was incredible. When I pick one of these up, I can't lay it down until I finish it. I love other western writers, but this guy was in a class beyond all other western writers. That's just my opinion. But you can see his brain working at the writing, as you read the books. L'Amour, Estleman, and some others are very, very good, but if you haven't read a Max Brand book, you haven't read a WESTERN!!! I cannot give a high enough recommendation for this man's work.
Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2015
Written in that "old-fashion" style of the '20's, this was basically a western love story. I didn't much care for any of the characters as they all had giant egos, swagger and overconfidence. There were no good guys. Occasionally the writing style slowed down the story as I tried to decipher the meaning - but there were periods of exceptional prose too. A little action here and there and character twists earned an overall 3-star rating from me.
Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2012
As a reader of westerns for over 50 years it takes a special story to grab my interest and this one did,in most westerns there is generally a lot of action but not a lot of plot,it is not your typical western.The two characters in the book that were really great were the two brothers that accidently found each other after many years apart.But as not to give to much of the story away I will stop.So order it and enjoy.