Just a short ride after his debut novel Voodoo Bosch, Weird West author Frank Fronash revisits the legend of the
Six Gun Gorilla
The stories of the weird west are passed like folklore. They are folklore, just more recent. Night Of The Six Gun Gorilla could be just that. Well, it is exactly that. Author Frank Fronash tells a tale that might be some campfire urge of the cowboy age. As the flames dance, we are told about the gorilla that was once this, that once did that.
Readers forget, stories don’t have to confound to be interesting. Complexity is a shaded scale. While a gorilla taking his revenge might seem to demand some greater logistics, this author handles them deftly. O’Shea, (the gorilla in question) is resolved in a mere sentence in the first chapter.
From then on, the reader is left with a fast draw and a loyal heart and when your hero is a bloodthirsty nightmare like O’Shea, you don’t need anything else. There he is BOOM, spare me the bullshit.
And that’s what I love about the weird west. The good weird west. The weird west that understands its roots. No time for getting pedantic, no hair-tearing, no struggle for a hero’s soul.
O’Shea doesn’t even know if he has a soul. O’Shea doesn’t care one way or the other. He understands “The gorilla had plenty of words, little as he knew what most of them meant” Villain or hero, O’Shea doesn’t spend his every waking minute wandering around wondering. He has a job to do and is gonna get it done.
There are no deliberate pulling of heartstrings, but I felt waves of emotion as the bloody turns of phrase, turned the page. Greed & gundowns, horses & hoorahs, savagery & yes, sweetness. This book takes you to those extremes, shouting out in front for the next scene, before diving behind a rock as it plays out, bullets smacking the ground around you.
This is not my usual book, even for weird west, but it’s now a favorite. I will definitely be keeping my spurs on for riding headlong into O’Shea’s next adventure.
You can find Frank’s work here.
So glad you liked it, miss. And you done a real fine post on the nature of the thing. Never thought of O’Shea like a folktale but that’s one of those you might hear ’round the fire some night. The one nobody believes but wishes was true. Felt a bit that way reading the original serial in Wizard magazine. Hard to think it was written in 1939 of all times. Easy though, to consider maybe the author was re-telling a tale or two. Old West hadn’t been too long gone by that time. Not even 30 years, yet. I do like that idea, yes ma’am.
This is a great review on the work of a talented author. I particularly agree with the comparison of his work to cowboy campfire stories- that is exactly how Mister Fronash’s writing strikes me. Excellent write-up, Miss Foxton!
Thank you, and yes I concur, a very talented author. Appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to say so.