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Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Richard Matheson, best known for his horror and fantasy writing, comes a highly praised Western that shows the master’s hand in this genre as well.

Back East, they told tall tales about Marshal Clay Halser, the fearless Civil War veteran who became known as the “Hero of the Plains” for his daring exploits in the Wild West. But the truth, as revealed in his private journals, is even more compelling.

A callow youth in search of excitement, Halser travels to the raucous cow towns of the frontier, where his steady nerve and ready trigger finger soon mark him as a gunfighter to be reckoned with. As both an outlaw and a lawman, he carves out a legendary career. But fame proves to be the one enemy he can never outdraw—and a curse that haunts him to the bitter end.

©1991 RXR, Inc. (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

“The best novel I read last year.” (Stephen King)
“The author gives his story a credibility and honesty unusual in the genre.” ( Publishers Weekly)
“Breathtaking…first-rate…impossible to put down. Mr. Matheson has done something remarkable: with a single novel he has placed himself in the front rank of Western novelists.” (Richard S. Wheeler, author of Vengeance Valley)

What listeners say about Journal of the Gun Years

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Profile Image for Chelsea
  • Chelsea
  • 21-11-17

A pleasant surprise

Wasn't expecting too much but there is a bit of a lack of decent western novels devoted entirely to gunfighters and gunfights. this one intentionally cuts out most of the details that don't add to the construction of a gunfighter character and is a really enjoyable read. the narrator has some great moments and some moments where he is hard to take but on the whole I would enthusiastically recommend the book for straight up old west gunfighter story seekers.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Megan Parrish
  • 23-05-21

Hi

This book makes no sense. I tried.
Racist. Very racist. So very racist and sexist.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Disney
  • 29-04-21

Disappointed

Story seem to be going well then all the sudden the profanity, blasphemous, and using God’s name in vain.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 808 Lathe Dog
  • 11-05-21

A fascinating story

Many of the parts of the story did actually happen to different old west gunfighters and the fame of being a fast hand killed more than one of them.

A worthwhile read that you won’t be disappointed by.

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  • Greg G.
  • 24-01-21

Needs A New Performance Worthy Of A Great Writer

What is going on with the performance? After the first chapter the story is good, but it becomes unlistenable.The narrator takes on a weird robotic tone and an affected nasal deepness that quickly turns unbearably grating. I had to bail on this audiobook fast.