Sunday, 31 May 2009


Wild West Monday is here and I have my Maths GCSE later this morning and I can't sleep.
Well, that's teenage life for you but to the point. We asked Jack Giles why the western genre is so important to him.

"It would be easy to say that the western takes me back to my younger years but that is what it does.
What westerns do is take the reader back to a time that was while, at the same time, it is a world that can be escaped into. There are a number of things that are happening in the world today that are reflected in what people are reading bookwise.
The western covers a period of time that stretches from the end of the American Civil War to about the turn of the century - the 20th century. It was a hard time with people trying to recover from the war and cope with the peace. Many had to uproot themselves or were uprooted by change and build a new life in a hostile and violent country.
It was also a time when myths and legends were born with figures like Billy The Kid and Wyatt Earp.
All this against a background of cattle drives, farmers fighting to make a living and the rise of the bounty hunter. A harsh time when survival was the biggest prize.
All these elements play their part in the fictional west.
You can go to a movie and come out feeling like John Wayne but a book can take you to places you've never been. Books give you characters that you can relate to in a way that movies cannot. Unlike movies the heroes in books are not larger than life they are more human and find themselves caught up in situations that seem to be against them.
It doesn't matter whether you read Black Horse Westerns or the latest in Jon Sharpe's 'The Trailsman' series it is all good escapism.
Many books are available at local libraries or on Ebay. More importantly books should be available in bookstores and supermarkets - but when will the paperback publishers realise that.
Surely by now they should be realising that in the time of a credit crunch no one wants to read the latest adventure of a Shopaholic. Or that they are publishing books that just sit on the shelves.
Time to bring back westerns and with the growing interest in them it makes sense to put books out into the hands of the reading public."

Thank you, Jack Giles.
Later today I will be putting up a review of a book I read during half-term.


  1. A good thought for the day and I hope the exam went well.

  2. Great to see old Jack extolling the virtues of the humble oater. Oh and best of luck with the exams.

  3. Good luck with the exams. I failed my GCEs - maybe because I was too busy writing a book at the time; silly me.
    Welcome, the ubiquitous Ray - if we keep belabouring the point maybe the publishers will take note - or better still, a new publisher will come along and show the old guys what they're not doing...