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The Phantom Herd

B. M. Bower

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .You couldn't go off and leave them now; it wouldn't be right. And, pard, you need them even worse than they need you. I know,—because I had to grow up without any one to love me and look after me; and believe me, old pal, it isn't any cinch. It's just pure luck that I didn't get killed off or go bad. Now, I'd be good to you, if I had you with me, and so would the boys; but we couldn't take the place of Doctor Dell and Daddy Chip.

"I've talked pictures too much to you. I didn't know how it was hitting you, or how much you wanted to go. But listen. If I had the chance you've got here,—if I had a ranch like this, and cattle, and horses, and a father and mother and uncle like you've got,—I never would look a camera in the eye again as long as I live. That's straight, old-timer. Why, I'm working my head off trying to get enough ahead so that I can have a ranch of my own! So I can slap a saddle on a horse that carries my brand, and ride out after my cat. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Nicely written! Shows a few signs of its time, though. Coupla words made me jump.

This is a meta work: a Western novel that explores what a Western ought to be. Bower runs with this theme at a time when Zane Gray and other pulpy writers in print and on screen had a firm reign over the Western myth —black hats and white hats; crooning maidens and high noon showdowns. Bower didn...more

Great western tale

I found the telling of the early movies and the western connection fascinating. I have read other books in this series and all were good but this was the best so far.

After reading The Heritage of the Sioux last month, I wanted to follow up quickly with this book, because it really should have been read first. Sigh. If only I had known. Or better still, if only I had closed the other one and switched to this one when I did know. All I can say is that I will be...more

3.5 stars
A truly unusual tale. Luck Lindsay, film director, sets out to make a film that is actually realistic of what the West was like, instead of being a sensationalism thereof. The Happy Family boys and some of their friends are his actors. There are many difficulties along the way, some of w...more

Novels about the early days of western movies are few and far between. B. M. Bower more than makes up for that in this story of a Hollywood filmmaker, much like William S. Hart. In Bower’s novel, director Luck Lindsay wants to make a film about the real West of the open range days, not the shoot-...more