Monday, December 6, 2010

Revisiting "Buchanan on the Prod" by Jonas Ward (Gold Medal, 1960)

I originally reviewed Buchanan on the Prod this past July here on Pulp Serenade. The story follows a similar structure to the first Buchanan book -- Buchanan stops his travels to help someone in distress and gets caught up in a feud between two families.

Here is the original review:

Published by Gold Medal in 1960, Buchanan on the Prod is the sixth entry in the Buchanan saga, about a rambling gunfighter from West Texas.

This book finds Buchanan coming back from Mexico where he was fighting in the revolution and looking for buried treasure. When he comes to the aid of a teenager outnumbered by several professional gunmen, Buchanan finds himself caught in a raging cattle war between two ranches: Spread Eagle and Big M. The ruthless Bart Malvaise of Big M is looking to run Matt Patton of Spread Eagle off his land and has hired several professional guns to help do it. Patton has resisted hiring guns in order to deal with his neighbor peacefully. But now with Buchanan on his side, perhaps Patton has a chance to save Spread Eagle and beat Bart Malvaise once and for all.

Buchanan on the Prod is entertaining and lively, with strong atmosphere, lots of action, and occasional bits of comedy and romance to keep the spirit light. Buchanan is a very likeable character, someone who is fast on the draw, but who will also take a moment to wink at a girl while the smoke is still clearing. He’s charming but not sentimental, he has morals but he’s not preachy, and he’s inventive when it comes to fighting.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Buchanan chalked up a third, heard Death shriek in his own ear as a sizzling chunk of lead singed the brim of his hat.”

“It’s a life of inches, isn’t it, Doc? Inches and seconds?”

“If I didn’t hurt somewheres,” he said, “I’d think I’d died.”

“Buchanan had something more than just a scholarly interest in feminine pulchritude.”

4 comments:

  1. Coincidentally, I just picked up a handful of the Buchanan books at a used book store a few days ago, and read ON THE PROD tonight on a flight. Some great dialogue in there. My copy is a later Gold Medal edition (75 cents) with a (I think) James Bama cover.

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  2. Is that used bookstore anywhere near NYC? I can't find anyplace that has a decent Western section.

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  3. No, South Fla. unfortunately. I read it on the flight back. Picked up ON THE PROD, BUCHANAN'S GUN, BUCHANAN'S WAR, and TRAP FOR BUCHANAN. Coincidentally, it's the same store where I found a signed Dan J. Marlowe a couple years back - http://wallacestrobycom.blogspot.com/2009/06/out-of-past-more-on-dan-j-marlowe.html

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  4. This is my favorite of teh Buchanan's I've read.

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