Best 1919 Adventures (4)

By: Joshua Glenn
January 7, 2019

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1919 adventure novels. Happy 100th anniversary!

*

Max Brand’s Western adventure Riders of the Silences (serialized 1919; as a book, 1920).

Pierre le Rouge never knew his father, outlaw Martin Ryder; instead, he was raised by a kindly Canadian priest — who’d groomed Pierre to carry on his ministry, in that country’s northern wastes. All was going according to plan until Pierre’s father, who’d been mortally wounded by McGurk, a legendary — and supposedly unkillable — gunfighter, sent his son an urgent letter. Rushing to his father’s death-bed, eight hundred miles away, Pierre arrives just in time to renounce the priesthood… and swear vengeance against his father’s killer. Six years later, a hardened Pierre returns to the scene of the crime with a band of comrades, hunting for McGurk. New and interesting characters are introduced throughout the story, and there are plot twists and wrinkles — a chaste love triangle, a masquerade ball, gambling and thievery — aplenty. Brand is at his most compelling when he writes about wilderness living, hard riding, and gunfighting.

Fun facts: Frederick Schiller Faust cranked out many thoughtful, well-written Westerns, under a variety of pseudonyms — most famously, “Max Brand.” Riders of the Silences, originally serialized in the pulp magazine Argosy under the moniker “John Frederick” (misspelled on the cover shown here) is one of three Westerns that Faust published in 1919 alone.

***

JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.

Categories

Adventure, Lit Lists

What do you think?

  1. I love the idea of Argosy as a “pup magazine”. Seriously, though, you make a compelling case for Max Brand’s writing. Thank you, I’ll be checking him out.

  2. Whoops, thanks for that catch! And yes, although the vast majority of westerns that I’ve read aren’t very good, Brand sometimes amazes me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.