Top 5 Western Novels

Upon the recent release of True Grit an adaption by the Coen brothers of the Charles Portis novel of the same name I thought that I would make this list of Western stories that I have enjoyed reading over the years and that I hope you do to.

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5. Hombre

The first and not the last book by Elmore Leonard in this list, an intersting and suspenseful read which considers the main topics of identity and trust within the setting of the old west. The plot is similar to that of a number of western novels however how it is presented to the reader is unique, from the point of view of a passenger of an attacked stagecoach who observes and gives his oppion as the story unfolds, however while he is the narrator I do not consider him the main charachter, this role is put to John Russel a white man raised by native americans who struggles to ensure his and the passengers surivival throughout the novel, slowly progressing towards a violent conclusion.


4. Little Big Man

I have included this book on one of my prvious lists however I feel that it is heavily unrecognized and unapreiated as a classic of genre, being overshadowed by the film adaption with Dustin Hoffman in the main role, I myself did not enjoy the film in the slightest finding it far to comedic and lighthearted, while the novel is while still very funny alot more dark and violent. The plot like hombre revolves around a young man who is raised by indians but it charts the passing of his life and the events and people he encounters, including Custer, Wild Bill Hickcock and includes his participation in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. An excellent epic which I enjoyerd thoroughly and would reccomend to anyone.


3. Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

A factual epic which charts the struggle of the native american people to survive during the rapid modernisation of America. The book tells the accounts of many of the most famous native american people including Sitting Bull and Guaranimo, while the book is very sad and incredibly violent it reminds Americans of the unforgettably shameful acts which were performed on these people which must not be forgotten so as not to be repeated. An excellent book, not for the faint of heart.


2. Dances withWolves

Dances With Wolves tells a terribly enjoyable story involving the conflict between the Native Americans and settlers for territory .The main character John Dunbar starts out with a great deal of sympathy for the settlers eventually joining a Native American tribe. This reversing the usual raised by Native Americans plot and allowing the character to view these people in a different light.

The book begins portraying the Native Americans as somewhat evil or cruel, and this oppinion hastily shifts as the plot continues, instead they are portrayed as victims of Americas expansion.


1. True Grit

A book often overshadowed by its multiple film and television counterparts, this book is beyond fantastic, often funny and brutal, it has a subtle charm to it which I did not find in the old John Wayne film, I have not yet seen the remake but it appears to match the themes presented in the book far more closely. The plot is simple enough but it is the characters who really make the book, most of all Mattie Ross the 14 year old girl who recruits a Marshal to help her track and kill the man who killed her father, she is a fantasticly complex character with an unwavering demand for revenge.

Rooster Cogburn the marshal hired to fulfill Matties wished provides the book with a great deal of humor while also dealing out a great deal of violence almost simultaneously,a recognizable and memorable character who I myself will not easily forget, and who earns the book its place at number one.

Hope that you enjoyed reading my list, feel free to comment below, Thanks =D