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Warlock [Paperback]

By Oakley Hall & Robert Stone (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 14.41  
Retail Value $ 16.95  
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Item Number 426314  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   471
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.02" Width: 5.32" Height: 1.06"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 21, 2005
Publisher   NYRB Classics
ISBN  1590171616  
EAN  9781590171615  


Availability  6 units.
Availability accurate as of Jan 24, 2017 12:29.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Overview
Sharpshooter Clay Blaisedell is called to Warlock, a wild frontier town, to restore order, but the more he tries to fix the town's problems, the more the town plunges into chaos all around him. Reprint.

Publishers Description
Oakley Hall's legendary Warlock revisits and reworks the traditional conventions of the Western to present a raw, funny, hypnotic, ultimately devastating picture of American unreality. First published in the 1950s, at the height of the McCarthy era, Warlock is not only one of the most original and entertaining of modern American novels but a lasting contribution to American fiction.

"Tombstone, Arizona, during the 1880's is, in ways, our national Camelot: a never-never land where American virtues are embodied in the Earps, and the opposite evils in the Clanton gang; where the confrontation at the OK Corral takes on some of the dry purity of the Arthurian joust. Oakley Hall, in his very fine novel Warlock has restored to the myth of Tombstone its full, mortal, blooded humanity. Wyatt Earp is transmogrified into a gunfighter named Blaisdell who . . . is summoned to the embattled town of Warlock by a committee of nervous citizens expressly to be a hero, but finds that he cannot, at last, live up to his image; that there is a flaw not only in him, but also, we feel, in the entire set of assumptions that have allowed the image to exist. . . . Before the agonized epic of Warlock is over with—the rebellion of the proto-Wobblies working in the mines, the struggling for political control of the area, the gunfighting, mob violence, the personal crises of those in power—the collective awareness that is Warlock must face its own inescapable Horror: that what is called society, with its law and order, is as frail, as precarious, as flesh and can be snuffed out and assimilated back into the desert as easily as a corpse can. It is the deep sensitivity to abysses that makes Warlock one of our best American novels. For we are a nation that can, many of us, toss with all aplomb our candy wrapper into the Grand Canyon itself, snap a color shot and drive away; and we need voices like Oakley Hall's to remind us how far that piece of paper, still fluttering brightly behind us, has to fall." —Thomas Pynchon
"[A] brilliant novel of the violent West." --San Francisco Chronicle

"San Francisco Chronicle Book Editor Critic Oscar Villalon's Picks Oakley Hall's novel Warlock, reissued by the New York Review of Books. 'Excellent genre stuff. A riveting Western that's also a work of literature' " --NPR, Talk of the Nation

"Also in '59 we simultaneously picked up on what I still think is among the finest of American novels, Warlock, by Oakley Hall. We set about getting others to read it too, and for a while had a micro-cult going. Soon a number of us were talking in Warlock dialogue, a kind of thoughtful, stylized, Victorian Wild West diction.”–Thomas Pynchon

“Not since Walter Van Tilburg Clark's The Oxbow Incident has there been a novel of the West of as high a dramatic and literary quality as this one.”–Library Journal

Warlock is a big novel in every sense of the word . . . Hall has earned his place above the literary salt with such as Van Tilburg Clark and Conrad Richter and A.B. Guthrie.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“Compelling . . . A powerful narrative that throbs unmistakably with the hum of a really big talent.” –Chicago Sunday Tribune

“Oakley Hall has a gift for making the historical moment immediate and concrete, pulsing and white-hot.” –MacDonald Harris

“Oakley Hall is among our most absorbing novelists.” –Los Angeles Times

“Oakley Hall is one of the country's finest writers.” –Robert Stone

“Like Henry James and Mark Twain, Oakley Hall is a master craftsman of the story. [His] dialogue is perfectly pitched, and intrigue will keep you turning the pages.” –Amy Tan

“Oakley Hall is a novelist who never seems to make a wrong move. His impulses for what's dramatic, for what will touch and move us, for how to engage the issues of the heart with those of the mind, all are uncommonly acute. He is a writer to read and read again.” –Richard Ford

“The mastery shines forth undimmed.” –San Fransisco Chronicle

“A vast mural of a novel, the best of the year . . .” –Los Angeles Times

Warlock is a story of the birth pangs of law and order, and the final arbitration of the six-shooter . . . filled with richness of background and foreground . . . hard to give a higher tribute to a book on the early West.” –Paul Wellman, New York Herald Tribune

“Monumental!” –Springfield Daily News

“Oakley Hall's Warlock is a super-Western about a frontier marshal, a tremendous piece of writing, with with subtle characterizations of a giant cast, and dialogue that rings as true as a silver dollar tossed on the bar.” –Milwaukee Journal

“A ‘Western' which is literature!” –Hartford Courant

“As good or better than the all-time greats, Warlock whips and lashes with shootings, lynch mobs, men incredibly swift on the draw, and men who weren't swift on the draw, and men who weren't swift enough, with a drunken judge who is the town's conscience, and a prostitute who is probably its finest woman, with all the violence and blood-letting that were the fearful growing pains of the settlement of the West.” –Omaha World-Herald

"[An] intelligent, richly detailed mystery." –Booklist


Hall's brilliant, complex take on the American western, first published in 1958, more than stands the test of time. A newly hired gun-slinging lawman, Clay Blaisedell, tries to restore order to the mythical silver mining town of Warlock, Calif. His reputation for violence serves him well during the first robbery on his watch, but his quick trigger finger, and that of deputy John Gannon, also get him in trouble. A bizarre killing spree (covertly perpetrated by Blaisedell's best friend, a murky political figure named Tom Morgan) and an impending miners' strike (one that allows gang leader Abe McQuown to mount a charge against Blaisedell and Gannon) set up the inevitable final, blazing set of confrontations. Hall, who has written more than 20 novels, taps into the mythic essence of the Wild West with a potent combination of dense but fast-moving prose; a colorful cast of violent, corrupt characters; and a diabolical, ethically neutral worldview. His prosaic tracking of the town's violently shifting nodes of power is prescient and brings Cormac McCarthy to mind as the story unfolds. No account of the fictions of the American West can be complete without reconsidering this revelatory novel." --Publishers Weekly
Oakley Hall was born in 1920 in San Diego and grew up there and in Honolulu, where his mother moved after his parents’ divorce. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, Hall joined the Marine Corps and was stationed in the Pacific during the Second World War. Following the war, and with the aid of the GI Bill, he continued his studies in France, Switzerland, and England, returning to the US to receive an MFAin creative writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Hall published his first book, Murder City, in 1949 and his most recent, Ambrose Bierce and the Ace of Shoots, in 2005. In between he wrote more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novels The Downhill Racers, Separations, and Warlock, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1958; a libretto for the opera based on Wallace Stegner’sAngle of Repose; and two guides to writing fiction. Hall was director of the writing program at the University of California, Irvine for twenty years and, in 1969, co-founded the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, an annual writers’ conference. Among his many honors are lifetime achievment awards from thePEN Center USA and the Cowboy Hall of Fame. Oakley Hall lives in San Francisco.

Robert Stone was born in Brooklyn in 1937. He is the author of seven novels: A Hall of Mirrors, the National Book Award–winning Dog Soldiers, A Flag for Sunrise, Children of Light, Outerbridge Reach, Damascus Gate, and Bay of Souls. He has also written short stories, essays, and screenplays, and published a short story collection, Bear and His Daughter, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in New York City and in Key West, Florida.

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More About Oakley Hall & Robert Stone

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Oakley Hall was born in 1920 in San Diego and grew up there and in Honolulu, where his mother moved after his parents divorce. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, Hall joined the Marine Corps and was stationed in the Pacific during the Second World War. Following the war, and with the aid of theGIBill, he continued his studies in France, Switzerland, and England, returning to theUSto receive anMFAin creative writing from the Iowa Writers Workshop. Hall published his first book, Murder City, in 1949 and his most recent, Ambrose Bierceand theAce of Shoots, in 2005. In between he wrote more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novelsThe Downhill Racers, Separations, andWarlock, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1958; a libretto for the opera based on Wallace Stegner sAngle of Repose; and two guides to writing fiction. Hall was director of the writing program at the University of California, Irvine for twenty years and, in 1969, co-founded the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, an annual writers conference. Among his many honors are lifetime achievment awards from thePENCenterUSAand the Cowboy Hall of Fame. Oakley Hall lives in San Francisco.
Robert Stone was born in Brooklyn in 1937. He is the author of seven novels: A Hall of Mirrors, the National Book Award winning Dog Soldiers, A Flag for Sunrise, Children of Light, Outerbridge Reach, Damascus Gate, andBay of Souls. He has also written short stories, essays, and screenplays, and published a short story collection, Bear and His Daughter, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in New York City and in Key West, Florida."

Oakley Hall has published or released items in the following series...
  1. New York Review Books Classics


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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( S ) > Stone, Robert   [6  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary   [78538  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Westerns > General   [2080  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Fine Read  May 27, 2008
Occasionally talky, but overall a real page-burner! Rustlers, gunfighters, gamblers and whores, and plenty of rottin' tootin' action! This book was a favorite of the late Richard Farina's ("Been Down So Long it Looks Like Up to Me"), as well as a favorite of Thomas Pynchon's. Highly recommend!
 
only the beginning  Feb 16, 2008
Warlock is the first in a trilogy by author Oakley Hall, the second novel in the trilogy being Badlands, followed by Apaches. I was simply awed by the writing of Mr Hall, and the universal human truths he reminds the reader of. I can see that more than a few writers must have read Oakley Hall's novels, most especially Cormac Mccarthy. Warlock was published in 1958, and Badlands was at least 10 yrs later, followed by Apaches, which was at least another decade later. Mr Hall also does the fine Ambrose Bierce series of novels, and with a career spanning 5 decades, he is still underated and underapreciated by the general public. do yourself a favor and discover this most excellent writer.
 
4 and 1/2 stars, actually.  Jun 11, 2007
back in 1958 it seems that an excellent book like this could actually be a finalist for the pulitzer prize (which this was). nowadays, gender and racial political correctness would put a squash to any such justice. oh, well. anyway, i have not consumed a lot of westerns in my reading days. 9 of them, if i have counted correctly. "warlock," by oakley hall, is my 2nd favorite of the lot (1st place going to "true grit," by charles portis). mr hall's book is a vastly superior reading experience than cormac mccarthy's "blood meridian," which has been touted by many as the best western out there. "warlock" embraces both the cliches of the western and the prototypes of its characters, while at the same time being anti-cliche and turning prototypes on their heads. how can this be? i don't know. it just is. i'm not smart enough to figure out or put into words the whys and the hows. here's my advice: read the thing.
 
More than it seems, as magical as the title  Sep 27, 2006
Like Lonesome Dove and Deadwood, Warlock takes the western genre and refuses all the cliches, creating the possibility of actually understanding history in the terms of men, women, their frailties, and the power of the land. It goes beneath the obvious surfaces, reweaves actual history, and adds a level of writing expertise that makes it an American classic along the lines of what Hawthorne does to the Gothic in The Scarlet Letter. I couldn't put it down. In it, you see the roots of McMurtry's work and Deadwood, and even intersections with John Ford. For those who love the Western, you must read it. For those, like Pynchon, who want to groove on characters, sentences and a fictional world made vivid and compelling, check it out. A wonderful, satisfying and heartbreaking read.
 
maize  Sep 16, 2006
Page 408 of Warlock contains the following:

"Men are like corn growing. The sun burns them up and the rain washes them out and the winter freezes them, and the cavalry tramps them down, but somehow they keep growing. And none of it matters a damn so long as the whisky holds out."

I don't usually read books that talk about whisky and cavalry, but this one was really good. Although a lot of the writing is like the quote above, the plot is a fairly sophisticated examination of the practical complexities of human morality. At first glance, the two main characters seem to be from the wild west boilerplate, one good guy and one bad guy. But the good and the bad are close friends, and they actually identify with each other qutie a bit. There's also an ugly guy who turns out to be the closest thing the book has to a hero. In contrast to the standard cowboy-movie theme, the characters struggle with the difficulties of figuring out what it would even mean to be good, bad, or ugly in a place that has no real laws and exists permanently on the brink of extinction. Apparently the book was made into a movie, but I would bet that it didn't translate well.
 

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