Cover image for Destry rides again
Destry rides again
Brand, Max, 1892-1944.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Gregg Press, 1979.

General Note:
Reprint of the ed. published by Triangle Books, New York.
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Author Notes

Max Brand is the best-known pen name of Frederick Faust, who was born in Seattle, Washington in 1882, and orphaned early. Faust grew up in the rural San Joaquin Valley of California. At the University of California, Berkeley, he became a student rebel and a one-man literary movement, contributing to campus publications. He was denied his degree because of his unconventional conduct. He then traveled, ending up in New York City where he received simultaneous recognition as a serious poet and successful popular-prose writer. Later, he traveled further, making his home in New York, then in Florence, Italy, and finally Los Angeles. He much preferred Italy, where he lived from 1926 to 1938, and where much of his writing was done.

Faust, who wrote under more than a dozen pseudonyms, was a prolific writer, not only of westerns, but also of hundreds of other novels and books, including the popular Dr. Kildare series. Faust's first novel The Untamed (1918) was a success and introduced a semimythical character, Whistlin' Dan Barry, who travels the West following the wild geese, accompanied by a black wolf. His characters, who often have a mythic quality, are memorable, and his books are always entertaining.

Faust was also a screenwriter for several Hollywood studios, including MGM, Warner Brothers, and Columbia. Once the United States entered the Second World War, Faust abandoned his lucrative writing career and his work as a screenwriter to serve as a war correspondent with the infantry in Italy, despite his fifty-one years and a bad heart.

Faust died in 1944, killed during a night attack on a hilltop village held by the German army. Even after his death, new books based on magazine serials, unpublished manuscripts, or restored versions continue to appear so that he has averaged a new book every four months for seventy-five years.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

This archetypal western novel was originally published in 1930 (it's being reprinted as part of the publisher's Classic Film Collection). It tells the story of a hard drinker and habitual fighter, Harry Destry, who is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. When he's released, and returns home, he seems . . . different meeker, milder, as though the spirit has been beaten out of him. But, in truth, his mild exterior conceals a raging furnace of hatred, and soon he begins systematically exacting revenge on the men who framed him and stole six years of his life. Readers familiar with the classic 1939 movie of the same name are in for a heck of a shock: that was a broad comedy, a parody of the western genre, but the novel is a dramatic story of revenge, the kind of thing Brian Garfield might write (in fact he did, sort of, with Death Wish and Hopscotch). Like Destry himself, Brand pulls no punches: the novel is tough, hard-edged, and compelling.--Pitt, David Copyright 2009 Booklist