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The Old Colts
     

The Old Colts

3.0 2
by Glendon Swarthout
 

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When Glendon Swarthout's barber introduces him to a retired journalist in the local OK Tonsorial Corral, the one, the only Walter Winchell, he is stunned to learn that the old-timer is in possession of a remarkable document: the true story of Bat Masterson's final years, written in the legendary shootist's own hand. Passed on from Damon Runyon in 1945, the four

Overview

When Glendon Swarthout's barber introduces him to a retired journalist in the local OK Tonsorial Corral, the one, the only Walter Winchell, he is stunned to learn that the old-timer is in possession of a remarkable document: the true story of Bat Masterson's final years, written in the legendary shootist's own hand. Passed on from Damon Runyon in 1945, the four holograph pages, if genuine, are pure dynamite. For here we learn how Masterson meets up with the one, the only Wyatt Earp in New York City in 1916 and these two aging gunslingers, a couple of old Colts, turn their backs on their reputations and start raising hell in the late afternoon of their lives.
Wine, women, and song and -- if you can believe it -- a life of crime by two of the most respected heroes of the Old West. Truth or fiction, the author leaves the reader to decide in this masterfully handled comic Western.

Here's a few more great reviews for The Old Colts --

"Among the many good things going for this novel, Swarthout knows the Old West as well as any writer around. He has a certain reverence, even for the old colts like Wyatt and Bat. He has a flair for the comic, and he has the wit and gift to bring off a spoof like this in such a way that the old colts, far from being tarnished in the telling, gain a humanness that is missing in their biographies. The Old Colts is a wonderful romp." Dale Walker, the El Paso Times

"This a sprightly, hilarious romp through Western history crafted by a master...It provides a much-needed glimpse of how Kansas might actually have been mideay through the second decade of this century. Most (and best) of all, it's fun, from first page vto last -- lean, fast-moving, insightful and authentically written pure entertainment." Gene Smith, Topeka, Kansas Capital-Journal

"If ever a book were entitled to the description 'ripsnorter,' this is it...Glendon Swarthout has a filmmaker's eye and a sense of pace, a poet's love of language...Swarthout takes Wyatt Earp and us for quite a ride. One hopes they make a movie out of this latest ragtag brawler of a book. So who cares if The Old Colts isn't exactly history? We can always wish it were." William Ruehlmann, the Virginian-Pilot

"A genuinely humorous novel that is frequently exciting due to its inventive use of language. Most of all it is great fun. Let me add that there is a passage in which Wyatt and Bat go out on a date with a couple of Dodge City girls. The scene back at the hotel is, in my opinion, a minor classic. Warning: reading it may be hazardous to your ability to keep a straight face for hours afterward." Dennis Beck, McAllen, Texas Monitor

"...the book ends with an action-packed episode that will make every Western buff cheer." Phil Thomas, Associated Press Books Editor

"Go beyond any question of authenticity and there remains a barn-burner story written by a fast and exciting scribbler...You won't want to miss it. You'll ride through this wooly tale with no saddle sores, it's fast-paced and smooth. Anyone who can smell the dusty trails and doesn't mind imbibing a little hair-of-the-dog will be sorry when there's no more of it to read." Wayne M. Anderson, Fort Worth Star Telegram

"This is a sprightly, hilarious romp through Western history crafted by a master... It provides a much-needed glimpse of how Kansas might actually have been midway through the second decade of this century. Most (and best) of all, it's fun, from first page to last -- lean, fast-moving, insightful and authentically written pure entertainment." Gene Smith, Topeka, Kansas Capital-Journal

"Written in the first-person, this book not only will generate smiles but also will provoke good old-fashioned guffaws." John Neely Davis, Amarillo, Texas News

"Wyatt and Bat surely will join the brotherhood of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as well as their latter-day counterparts, "the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight," in this riotous gallop over the wild American past." Paul C. Day, Tulsa, Oklahoma Tribune

"If ever a book were entitled to the description 'ripsnorter,' this is it.... Glendon Swarthout has a filmmaker's eye and sense of pace, a poet's love of language...Swarthout takes Wyatt Earp and us for quite a ride. One hopes they make a movie out of this latest ragtag brawler of a book...So who cares if The Old Colts isn't exactly history? We can always wish it were."
William Ruehlmann, the Virginian-Pilot

"The Old Colts is a wildly funny story of a reunion between the famous gunfighters, when they were in their sixties, and their last great adventure together...Swarthout has resurrected with affection and humor a pair of American legends who deserve never to be forgotten." James M. Tarbox, St. Paul, Minnesota Morning Pioneer Press Dispatch

Editorial Reviews

Denver, Colorado Post - Rex Burns
"It's fast and funny. One admires not only Swarthout's ability to handle the language of the 1916 period, but also his inventiveness with scene and incident...it's a marvel of a tall tale."
Los Angeles Times - anonymous anonymous
"Swarthout easily weaves the facts about Earp's and Masterson's actual careers into his fiction, and his engaging yarn spins along at the brisk pace of a well-tuned Model T. The slang reads right, the laughs are real, and the pay-off is deserved. The Old Colts is a knee-slapper, a jaw-dropper and a comic delight."
Library Journal - Charles Michaud
"This is a fast-paced, wry story, heavy with atmospheric flavor and packed with a cameo cast that ranges from George M. Cohan to Teddy Roosevelt. A dandy entertainment."
Indianapolis Star - Bruce Lawrason
"In a yarn highly reminiscent of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Glendon Swarthout has put together an extremely entertaining tale of the latter days of Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp....Swarthout has a most realistic touch and the two characters come winningly to life from his pages....Entertaining reading for a hot summer night, it certainly is. And with all, a look at the Old West far more realistic and candid than has appeared in a long time."

Product Details

BN ID:
2940013474215
Publisher:
Fine, Donald I. Books
Publication date:
11/30/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
301 KB

Meet the Author

Glendon Swarthout's comic Western, The Old Colts, joins the list of his other Western masterpieces, most prominent among them The Shootist, which became John Wayne's final film, and They Came To Cordura, which became Gary Cooper's next to last film in 1959 and a big movie from Columbia. They Came To Cordura was also Random House's Pulitzer Prize nominee in fiction in 1958. Prof. Swarthout's other notable Western was The Homesman, which for years Paul Newman tried to get made into a movie. The Homesman also won both the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America and a Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, thereby sweeping the Western genre awards as the Best Western Novel of 1988.
Most of Glendon Swarthout's novels are now available as ebooks on NOOK's inventory, including more fiction which became films -- Where The Boys Are MGM's very first "beach" picture in 1960); A Christmas Gift, which became the CBS TV-Movie in 1978 under a different title (A Christmas To Remember starring Joanne Woodward and Jason Robards); and his biggest bestseller, Bless the Beasts & Children, which Stanley Kramer turned into a movie in 1972 with a famous theme song by the Carpenters. As you can tell from these well-known movie titles, Glendon Swarthout had one of the widest ranges by a storyteller of any American writer in the 20th century, from comedies to Westerns, family Christmas tales to contemporary dramas (Welcome To Thebes), period romances (Loveland), and even a mystery/thriller (Skeletons). Try afew of them after you enjoy great fun with Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson in The Old Colts and you'll read a true literary master at work.
The Old Colts has been optioned 3 times for a film or TV-Movie movie, but film rights have reverted to the Swarthout literary estate.

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The Old Colts 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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