Thursday, November 17, 2016

Oakley Hall's Warlock

Warlock is a long western novel, 471 pages, and as the back cover says: "Oakley Hall's legendary Warlock revisits and reworks the traditional conventions of the Western to present a raw, funny, hypnotic, ultimately devastating picture of American unreality."

Warlock, the town, is Tombstone. It was having troubles with the San Pablo cowboys and the town committee decides to bring in Clay Blaisdell to to take over as Marshal. Threre was a list of sheriffs and deputies written on the wall of the jail as an informal memorial to those who got killed or left town in a hurry to avoid being killed. The committee hopes that Blaisdell and the new sheriff, Joe Gannon, will get rid of Abe McQuown and his cowboys. I found it interesting when Kate Dollar shows up, former girlfriend of Blaisdell and the bar owner, Morgan, the plot thickens. Then there are the miners who go on strike because their wages are lowered. General Peach comes into town with a bunch of empty wagons and couple of companies of soldiers to carry the miners out of town. McQuown gets shot and everyone thinks Joe Gannon did it. It's a long story, so this review will be short. Near the end, Gannon has to "post" Blaisdell, that is tell him he has to leave town and never come back. Does he do it? They have a duel at sunset. There is also a Gunfight at the Acme Corral earlier and lots more action.

The story deserves five stars for its wit, humor, action, and etc. My copy is a New York Review book. 


  1. Warlock made me think of beardy druid types. I hadn't realised it was a fictional location.

  2. Yep. That's the name the author chose for Tombstone.