Cover image for The Legend of Caleb York
The Legend of Caleb York
Spillane, Mickey, 1918-2006.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Kensington Books, 2015.
Physical Description:
x, 229 pages ; 22 cm
When a corrupt sheriff tries to take his daughter as his bride and force him to sell his ranch, George Cullen, refusing to go down without a fight, hires the west's toughest gunslinger to destroy his enemy.
Added Author:
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Audubon Library FICTION Adult Fiction Western
Clarence Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Elma Library FICTION Adult Fiction Western
Hamburg Library FICTION Adult Fiction Western
Hamburg Library FICTION Adult Fiction Western
Kenmore Library FICTION Adult Fiction Western
Newstead Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library FICTION Adult Fiction Western
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library FICTION Adult Fiction Western
Lancaster Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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In the heyday of American Western cinema, bestselling author Mickey Spillane wrote a film script for his good friend and Hollywood legend, John Wayne, star of western classics like Stagecoach, The Searchers , and True Grit . Though the film was never made, Max Allan Collins, Mickey Spillane's literary partner and executor, has adapted the original screenplay into a hard-hitting, action-packed novel that evokes the classic Westerns of the Duke. Trading his trench coat for a duster and Stetson, Spillane turns out to be every bit as compelling in the western genre as in his immortal detective stories.

In this first novel in a bold new Western series, crooked Sheriff Harry Gauge rules the town of Trinidad, New Mexico, with an iron fist. His latest scheme is to force rancher George Cullen into selling his spread and to take Cullen's beautiful daughter Willa for his bride--whether she's willing or not.

The old man isn't about to go down without a fight. He sends out a telegram to hire the west's toughest gunslinger to kill the sheriff. But when a stranger rides into Trinidad, no one's sure who he is. Wherever he came from, wherever he's going, it's deadly clear he's a man who won't be pushed--and that he's a damn good shot. . .

With stirring authenticity and heart-racing drama, Spillane and Collins add Caleb York to the roster of unforgettable western heroes.

Author Notes

Mickey Spillane was born Frank Morrison Spillane in Brooklyn, New York on March 9, 1918. He briefly attended Fort Hays State College in Kansas, but dropped out, moved back to New York, and began his writing career in the mid-1930s. His first stories were published mostly in comic books and pulp magazines. He created Mike Danger, a private detective, and also wrote for Captain America, Captain Marvel, and The Human Torch. During World War II, he worked as a flying instructor for the U.S. Army Air Force.

His first novel, I, the Jury, featured Mike Hammer and was published in 1947. His other novels include Vengeance Is Mine; My Gun Is Quick; The Big Kill; Kiss Me, Deadly; The Long Wait; and The Deep. Between 1952 and 1961 Spillane stopped writing full-length novels after converting to a Jehovah's Witness. In 1962, he brought Hammer back with The Girl Hunters, which was followed by Day of the Guns, The Death Dealers, The Twisted Thing, and Body Lovers. He also wrote two children's books, The Day the Sea Rolled Back, which won a prize from the Junior Literary Guild, and The Ship That Never Was. In 1995, he received the Grand Master award from the Mystery Writers of America. In the mid-1990s, he returned to comic books, by co-creating a futuristic Mike Danger. He died following a long illness on July 17, 2006 at the age of 88.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Spillane, who died in 2006, left behind a number of manuscripts for Collins to complete mostly novels, but in this case a screenplay Spillane wrote for his friend John Wayne. Presumably, Wayne would have played the larger-than-life, somewhat mysterious Caleb York, a former Pinkerton agent and gunslinger sent for by George Cullen, a blind rancher who is the only man courageous enough to stand up to the villainous Henry Gauge. Gauge is a brutal, gunslinging crook who cleaned up the town of Trinidad but then proceeded to terrorize it. York arrives without knowing he's been sent for, and might ride on with indifference. But he dislikes men such as Gauge and sympathizes with Willa Cullen, daughter of George. When Gauge schemes to sell cattle infected with cowpox, the town, with York leading the way, finally stands up to the outsize bully. This is a predictable western, populated with stock characters, and it seems doubtful that Wayne would have been interested. But Collins, always a solid craftsman, has done his research, and he never lets up on the suspense.--Mort, John Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Struggling to keep his ranch-and his daughter-out of corrupt sheriff Harry Gauge's hands, blind George Cullen seeks to hire a gunslinger who will plant the lawman in Trinidad, New Mexico's Boot Hill. An expert with a gun, Gauge shows no fear but dispatches his men to keep a lookout for any contenders. The exposition plods along like an old plow horse, not picking up its gait until a stranger decked out in black apparel with pearl buttons prances into town five chapters in. Without too much effort, he puts away Gauge's "deputies," one after another, until the final showdown with the sheriff. The authors have created a protagonist larger than life-he usually comes through each conflict without a scratch-who delivers all the cheeky dialog and comebacks. While the identity of the stranger is not revealed until near the end, it comes as no surprise. An introductory note from Collins (Road to Perdition), Spillane's literary partner and executor, explains that the book was developed from an unproduced screenplay the hard-boiled author of I, the Jury, had intended for John Wayne. Verdict This novel, apparently the first of a series, rolls out like a B Western. Nothing surprises here. For readers who enjoy formulaic Westerns, this book will not disappoint.-Wendy W. Paige, Shelby Cty. P.L., Morristown, IN © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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