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This book is one of the best westerns that I have found and though no equal to Lamour it is close. Except for the langauge I would not change a thing. Goose makes me want to write a book about him alone.
Great read by Ralph Compton. A classic western with a good character development and story. Filled With detailed accounts of the time and place and historical facts and figures blending them into the story. It’s a fun way to learn about history and a great read. The book does slow down at certain parts but this also is a series so you have to create character development and put people in different situations to build that. About 400 pages are usually like reading shorter ones, still definitely recommend!
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, the first in the Trail Drive Series. Against the background of the long cattle drive from Texas to Colorado, a wealth of exciting incidents give Compton the chance to develop a subtle plot and a variety of interesting characters. The landscape itself is, perhaps, the most arresting of all the characters. The addition of real-life characters such as Judge Roy Bean and the notorious gunslinger, Clay Allison – given more sympathetic presentation here – are knitted into the story unobtrusively, but the author’s own inventions: McCaleb, Elliot, Gifford and Goodnight are the most dynamic of all. Compton is an underrated western writer; I look forward to reading further novels in this series.
A good western has a skeleton plot that doesn't seem to vary. Good guy fights bad guy who has all the advantages and ultimately wins the girl. So what makes a story stand out is if the ride is worth it. Are the characters interesting? The setting plausible? and so on.
After all we probably will eat thousands of burgers over a lifetime and enjoy each one, not expecting any novelty but hoping for certain qualities.
Ralph Compton delivers. I really enjoyed the story. If you like the Western genre, then you'll like the Goodnight Trail.
I became interested in Charles Goodnight as he is mentioned in several songs by Ian Tyson. Then I found this book which recounts his trail days, his invention of the "chuck wagon" and reasons why he established his own trail routes to New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. The book, written in novel form, depicts the dangers along his drives (storms, stampedes, hostile Indians, unscrupulous gamblers and traders). There is an interesting autobiographical section in the "afterword" that tells about the accomplishments of Charles Goodnight which are amazing. He was considered the most famous rancher of the Old West and called "The Father of Texas Panhandle".