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We often take writers we enjoy for granted, especially when comes to genre. The usual yearly output makes it difficult to see the forest for the trees sometimes. With A Cow Hunter's Lament and Other Stories, a collection of Larry D. Sweazy's short western work, we are able to study each individual tree to appreciate a lush and intricate forest.

One of the first things you take away from the collection is the range of time and place. He writes about Indiana Rangers in the 1820s to Texas ones in the 1930s. The title story looks at the life of Florida cowpunchers. The applied research provides new trails to travel down without compromising the sturdy tropes of the genre.

He also cross pollinates with other genres. "Buffalo Trace", the Indiana rangers story, serves as a coming of age adventure with a young woman joining the group. Its first person POV holds echoes of True Grit. "Shadow Of The Crow" serves as a dry run for what will be a period crime series that opens with a speeding cars and flying bullets chase as a Texas Ranger closes in on Bonnie and Clyde. He even wrote a western horror, "The Longest Night", featuring a demon hunting frontiersman and is more capable Indian companion, out to rescue a town's children captured by a supernatural beast. It is also one of Larry's Christmas stories as well.

He creates stories out of different takes on standard western characters. "By The Way Of Angel Mountain" delivers both tension and humanity with a marshal and the outlaw he's been dogging stranded together ina mountain cave on a Christmas night. He writes for a native protagonist in"Prairie Fire". "Rattle Snakes and Skunks" and "Lost Mountain Pass" are seeds form two of his series characters.

A Cow Hunter's Lament and Other Stories collects, entertaining, thoughtful stories with engaging heroes and heroines, often peeking into lesser known corners of history. Larry D. Sweazy proves there are still new stories in the western genre to mine with some effort. if you. If you haven't read him before, this collection will introduce you to one of the best western authors out there. If you're already a fan, it will make you appreciate him even more.


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