Hoppin' Horned Jibblenippers! * Bill Pronzini will turn 70 this Saturday! That calls for a celebration! And a few exclamation points!!!
To help the celebration, I suggest that we take a fond look at that "plethora of flapdoodle" ** that is Six-Gun in Cheek, Pronzini's loving look at some of the alternative classics of the western story. After producing two books detailing some of the worst, sloppiest, hastiest, and/or tongue in cheek writing in crime fiction (Gun in Cheek, 1982, and Son of Gun in Cheek, 1987), Pronzini bowed to pressure to do the same for the western genre.
- Some sixth sense, which he preferred to call a hunch, warned him that there was a gentleman of dubious color buried in the wood pile which they wanted him to saw. -- Archie Jocelyn
- There was a long pause in the [verbal] sparring. One thing for sure was in every mind on that street. Tom Courtland was a talking man. And he didn't just talk words. He talked thoughts. And his thoughts were well worth thinking about no matter in whose head they were. -- John Fonville
- "On yore laigs, buzzard!" he threw out. "Bust the breeze outa hyar onless you crave lead-pizenin'!" -- somebody hiding behind the name "Tex McLeod"
- "There's no mistake? You're certain?" "I was there. I saw it only minutes after it happened." --"Lee Davis Willoughby"
- "Yes," he hmmmed - "Kelly P. Gast"
- "Keep um heap still, Sumpter! Pull um mitt out o' them papers. You might have shoot-iron cached in thar!" -- Walter A.Tompkins
By the way, the book is subtitled An Affectionate Guide to the "Worst" in Western Fiction.
* the title of Chapter 3
** the title of Chapter 7
Host Patti Abbott has the links to more of today's Forgotten Books, including (I'm sure) more tributes to Bill Pronzini. Head on over to Pattinase, yar varmit!