Comedic western stories of Robert E. Howard

As much I'd like to do so, I can't really give a good view on Robert E. Howard's more humoristic western stories, as just like with his Breckenridge Elkins tales, they're written in a Texan dialect that I just don't enjoy reading, as the words feel like they're trying to tie a knot into my brains. So while the little I've read of them was do a degree funny, the style Howard had chosen for the stories felt too much of a labour rather than enjoyment, so I gave up on them the same I gave up on the Gent from the Bear Creek, which is the collected novelization of Howard's then most popular character, a dimwitted mountain yokel Breckenridge Elkins.

So with this particular piece, I'm just going to give a general overview of these more humorous western stories. I won't be reviewing them, as that would be unfair, given that I just glanced them over. Interestingly enough, Howard wrote his boxing stories using a dialect as well, but on those, it wasn't nearly as tasking in my opinion.

What makes Pike Bearfield stories somewhat peculiar is, that they're written in a form of correspondence from Pike to his relatives. One story, the Riot of Bucksnort, is written as news articles, correspondence and telegrams.

I didn't, however, get very far in reading these tales, as the dialect Howard used was just too much for me. So in that, I don't have much else to say about these ones, other than Howard wrote 4 stories of the adventures of Pike.

With Buckner Jeopardy Grimes I fared much better, as I did manage to read two of the three stories he's the main character of.  Grimes is a simple gunslinger, who gets thrown away from home by his father on the grounds of that he has managed to shoot the local ranger on the shoulder. And on the leg. So understandably the old man, who's wiser than his son, suggests that he oughta mosey to Californiana gold fields for a 40 or 50 years before coming back home.

While Grimes isn't the brightest bulb, he's nowhere near dimwitted as Breckenridge Elkins. During the three stories Grimes appeared in, he's portrayed as a well mannered, a bit simple but moral chap, who's willing to help people if a need arises. On his way to California, he manages to put an end on several crooks as well as win the appreciation of people in a degree of that he's offered a Sheriff's position. But as his father told him to get to California, he declines the offers and heads on.

As it's often with Howard's humoristic tales, the things that happen often begin from a misunderstanding or by an accident, from where the things just escalate. And while the hole Grimes often falls into isn't necessarily of his doing, he does his best to not only dig up himself, the other people as well.

As I said though, I don't want to pretend that these are anywhere near reviews of Howard's humorous western tales, as I simply just couldn't muster myself to fully read them. Consider this as more of an overview on what exists and in what kinds of other works Howard did besides of his more well-known fantasy creations. Howard wrote these western stories as a counterweight to his fantasy creations, which he was growing weary of so that in itself does explain the great shift in tone in comparison to his other works.

The next western stories I'll be covering will be of the more serious nature, at least that's what a quick glance suggested to me. So hopefully I can dwell deeper into yet another genre Howard worked in.


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