New Riders of the Purple Sage

I love Westerns. Films and books. Grew up in the era when they still had “the Saturday afternoon Western” on telly and spent many a happy hour with Audie Murphy, Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott and Robert Mitchum. Rio Bravo is still one of my favourite films.

I’ve been dipping into Elmore Leonard’s Western stories for some time, now, and am amazed at the number of his tales that have been made into films, too, including the superb “Valdez is Coming”.

Leonard is marked above all by what he leaves out. “The Tonto Woman” is one of his later Westerns, published in 1986, and is a wonderfully subtle story where just enough is given for you to fill in whatever blanks you perceive in your own way. No glib ending, no simple resolution. They’ve made a film of it, but it’s had poor reviews, probably because they have Hollywood-ized it. Shame.

Go read it.

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