Sunday, August 12, 2012

Warlock by Oakley Hall

First edition of Warlock published by Viking Press in 1958
Oakley Hall's most famous novel is about the denizens of this eponymous town and their struggle to maintain order against criminals and cowboys in the Wild West. Amid a sprawling cast of characters in Warlock, Clay Blaisedell becomes the hero gunslinger meant to restore order to the lawless town and its people held captive under the oppressive rule of free-wielding outlaws. Hall's novel is lengthy and can be difficult at times, especially given its high degree of attention with regards to language—also one if its greatest feats. Thomas Pynchon and Richard Fariña initially bonded at Cornell over their shared passion for Hall's masterpiece, and according to Pynchon, spoke to each other "in Warlock dialogue, a kind of thoughtful, stylized, Victorian-Wild West diction." In reading their work it's clear to see the influence Hall's novel had on both of them. This first edition features great Western pistol cover artwork by Charles Egri and Evelyn Curro.

No comments:

Post a Comment