The Ghost Wagon, and Other Great Western AdventuresBook - 1996
In Max Brand’s stories no character is either a hero or a villain, and most are mixtures of both. That is certainly the case in “The Ghost Wagon,” first published in 1921. Both Lew Carney and Jack Doyle love Mary Hamilton—and she has plans of her own. “Rodeo Ranch” proved one of Brand’s most popular short novels the year it first appeared in Western Story Magazine (1923). “Slip Liddel” (1938) is set during the Depression and centers on a poor man’s revenge. It is reminiscent of Brand’s own unhappy early years as a farm and ranch laborer. “A Matter of Honor” was published under the title “Jerico’s Garrison Finish” in 1921. The story has much more to do with Jim Orchard’s struggles to distinguish between honor and pride than with mere horse racing.
Brand’s fiction was frequently amputated by magazine editors seeking to fit it to the page, and his titles were often changed to appear more exciting or appealing. Jon Tuska has returned to the original manuscripts, restoring the full texts and original titles.
Blackwell North Amer
The Ghost Wagon and Other Great Western Adventures collects four additional short novels by Max Brand not previously published in book form. These novels represent some of the best of Brand's western writing. They illustrate the expansiveness of Brand's imagination and the fecundity with which he would vary his themes, examining the human condition from numerous disparate viewpoints.