Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western


"I count a lot of things that there's no need to count," Cameron said. "Just because that's the way I am. But I count all the things that need to be counted."

This 1974 novel from counter-culture author Richard Brautigan will surely divide audiences.

On the surface we have a novel about two unusual gunmen, Cameron and Greer, who are on a killing job in Hawaii. After an unusual episode there they wind up back in California and things just get weirder [and more absurd] from there.

Make no mistake, this is no standard western, it isn’t standard for any genre. It is rife with nonsensical episodes, whimsical flights of fancy and yet, it is mighty well written.

Cameron and Greer are suspiciously reminiscent of the titular Sisters Brothers in Patrick deWitt’s excellent novel. Some find The Sisters Brothers to be an eccentric work, well, this one tops that eccentricity in spades.

With that said, I enjoyed this brief novel immensely but recognize it is not for all tastes.

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