TITLE: Long Journey to Deep Cañon (Pronounced “canyon”)
AUTHOR: TT Flynn
PUBLISHER//YEAR OF PUBLICATION: AudioGO Ltd (Golden West LIterary Agency) // 2011 (the collection)
NUMBER OF PAGES: 249
PERSONAL SOURCE: Bought from The Works
In this collection of some of TT Flynn’s greatest short stories, men must fight with the odds against them to achieve their justice. Drama, mystery and excitement are all found in the pages of this collection.
Because this is a short story collection, I’m going to review each one separately.
THE OUTLAW BREED: This was a pretty strong starting point, I thought. Brad, the new Sherriff, has to combat prejudices against him because he is from a family of outlaws, and his brother as recently been released from prison. This short story had questions of loyalty and friendship vs. law and order, and I think Flynn mixed these really well. The conclusion was satisfactory and, well, conclusive.
BITTER VALLEY: This story begins with the protagonist, Donnigan, about to hang for a supposed crime. When he evades the hanging, he goes into hiding in the valley, with his friend Indian Joe, who helps to fix him up and get him back on his feet. Unlike THE OUTLAW BREED, this story contrasted law and order with law and order – or, in other words, right vs. wrong. I found this one interesting to read, how people argue about things which aren’t necessarily important.
BULLETS TO THE PECOS: A twisted story of love, life and law and order sees two groups of young men moving cattle over the valley. Competing gets too much for some of the more testosterone-fuelled men, and the whole thing quickly turns into a guerrilla warfare-style gunfight. Whilst I felt there was too much killing in this one, it still featured a satisfactory conclusion, which I feel is a style of Flynn’s writing. There was even a strong female character in this one! – Which was nice to read about.
LONG JOURNEY TO DEEP CAÑON: The book’s namesake was one of Flynn’s longer works before he moved on to novel-length fiction, and I really enjoyed this one. The protagonist, Calhoun, was a genuinely nice guy stuck in a not-very-nice situation, and I wanted to give him a hug! (Also, cowboys?! YES, PLEASE.) Seriously, though, he was trying to get over his previously-awful reputation and prove to himself and the others in the town he’d changed and was different. At the middle of this story is an old-fashioned fight over a girl, and, of course, lots of gunfights ensue. I quite enjoyed this one.
Overall, I would recommend this collection. Western is often an overlooked genre, I feel, for rednecks and Texans. Actually, I think it’s for all sorts of people who just fancy a sense of adventure. My favourite stories of this collection were THE OUTLAW BREED and LONG JOURNEY TO DEEP CAÑON, if you were curious. I might re-read this sometime, as Westerns can be hard to get a hold of, but, yes, I would definitely recommend it to all those adventure lovers out there!