3 out of 4 stars
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The Lonesome Gun is a thrilling western about John Brand. A victim of the smallpox outbreak, Brand wore a potted and scarred face all his life. Once he overheard someone joke that his face was one “to frighten children and dogs.” Angry and taunted as a child, Brand’s only pleasure was hunting in the hills of Tennessee. Soon he earned a reputation as being a dead shot. Later, serving time in the Union army helped him further hone his skills as a deadly marksman. Meanwhile, Brand grew to over six feet tall and weighed just under 250 pounds, making him a force to be reckoned with.
Now, hoping to put a life of fighting behind him, Brand is riding into Rattler Butte, Montana. In search of a job as a cowhand, he is hoping for a quieter life. Unfortunately, fate has other plans. Immediately upon entering Rattler Butte, he is drawn into a fight at the local saloon. There he draws the ire of Cedar Bangston, son of the town bully. Immediately Brand has a target on his back. Will John Brand be able to survive in Rattler Butte and find the peace he is searching for? Or will Bangston and his gang of mongrels get the best of him?
I loved the author’s style of writing and his dry humor. The characters were all portrayed well, but my favorites have to be John Brand and Little Britches. One of my favorite scenes in the story was the humorous initial encounter between the two. Little Britches, a ten-year-old female, managed to quietly sneak up on a very surprised (but impressed!) Brand. Additionally, Temple used colloquialism to make the characters more realistic for their time. For example, Little Britches exclaims “Pa, we got us a visitor. And he’s a mighty big one, too. Git on inside but do it careful. Pa shoots quick.” The author also employed a couple of instances of foreshadowing, which will further pique the reader’s interest.
Given that I uncovered at least ten errors, I cannot rate this book with the perfect score that the story deserves. Based on the points noted above, I award The Lonesome Gun by John E. Temple 3 out of 4 stars. Other than the errors, there was nothing I could find to dislike about this book or suggest for improvement.
This story reminded me of my favorite Clint Eastwood sagas and would make an excellent movie. Readers who are fond of the western genre, or of Clint Eastwood, will be especially drawn to this story. Those not fond of western themes may choose to skip this book. However, I would still suggest giving this exciting novel a try. Reading of the beauty of Montana was a treat in itself.
Curse words (like h**l and d**n) only appeared a handful of times, so that was not a deterrent to my reading enjoyment at all. The fight scenes were not at all graphic, nor were there any love scenes. Therefore, this book is appropriate for all ages. I enthusiastically recommend this novel and hope to see more from John Temple soon!
The Lonesome Gun
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