Category: Book Reviews
By Ceri Shaw, 2021-06-17
Rhys Hughes latest offering comes complete with all the standard delights we have come to expect from his writing. There are the wonderful guffaw provoking titles such as 'Phony Express', 'Like a Rhino Cowboy', 'For a Few Hollers More' and 'Tom Cabin's Uncle'. There is also a very catholic selection of literary genres on offer in these pages....short stories, even shorter stories, poems, a play, haiku and an essay.
Rhys has been on a quest to write 1000 short stories and is currently somewhere around the 900 mark. In a recent interview AmeriCymru asked Rhys what he would do when he reached his target figure. Here is his response:-
I will switch to non-fiction and start writing essays and articles. In fact I began last year to take my non-fiction much more seriously and I am hoping that my first book of essays will be out in the next year or two. I am in negotiations with a publisher at the moment. The techniques of non-fiction have been creeping into my fiction in the past few years or so.
I, for one, hope that he revisits this decision because literature will be somewhat impoverished without regular infusions of absurdist fiction from the pen of the Welsh wizard. Having said that, it must be admitted that the essay included in this collection is both thought provoking and entertaining. In 'For A Few Hollers More' Rhys discusses his notion of the 'weird western'. He credits the movie 'High Plains Drifter' with introducing him to the idea of the weird western and name checks a few other other practitioners of the genre.
Amongst the stories included here we find 'Tom Cabin's Uncle' in which Tom, the fastest gun in the east, challenges the fastest gun in the west to a contest at a point in the state of Kansas near the border
with Nebraska. This leads to unexpected complications and timely lessons are learned.
In 'Bigfoot The Hoaxer' we are introduced to a Sasquatch with a sense of mischief. He is in the habit of walking around the backwoods on a pair of stilts with a pair of human boots attached. This enables him to leave human footprints in remote places to confound explorers who imagine themselves to have been 'beaten to it' when they discover new locations and geographical features.
The author has kindly consented to the inclusion of an excerpt in this review, so we are pleased to present 'Django's Fandango' (see below) as a teaser.
Aficianados of Rhys Hughes will need no further encouragement to order Weirdly Out West but it is to be hoped that many new readers will be tempted by this latest offering. Rhys Hughes is a national treasure in my opinion and deserves to be more widely appreciated. Buy Wierdly Out West here
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