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Friday, 12 December 2008

FRIDAY'S FORGOTTEN BOOKS


JOURNEY OF THE MOUNTAIN MAN
WILLIAM W. JOHNSTONE
1989 Pinnacle books

This is the first in the mountain man series that I have read. This is book six and the series has also been continued by other hands since the author's death in 2004.

The series currently runs to thirty plus books, with the original author responsible for most of the titles. I'm not sure exactly how many but someone can give this information in the comments section.

I must confess that I found the writing style rather bereft of emotion at times and one or two of the characters seemed to be less than real. Still the story is very fast paced, perhaps a little too fast, and overall it is an enjoyable read.

However this series has a massive reputation and if this book is representative of the entire series then I feel disappointed. A problem for me was the slim characterisation and the way events conveniently happened to carry the plot from point to point.

Still the series is still popular with a lot of readers so what do I know?

The complete list of Mountain Man titles courtesy of Fantastic Fictions follows:

1. The Last Mountain Man (1984)
2. Return of the Mountain Man (1986)
3. Trail of the Mountain Man (1987)
4. Revenge of the Mountain Man (1988)
5. Law of the Mountain Man (1989)
6. Journey of the Mountain Man (1988)
7. War of the Mountain Man (1990)
8. Code of the Mountain Man (1991)
9. Pursuit of the Mountain Man (1991)
10. Courage of the Mountain Man (1995)
11. Blood of the Mountain Man (1996)
12. Fury of the Mountain Man (1993)
13. Rage of the Mountain Man (1994)
14. Cunning of the Mountain Man (1994)
15. Power of the Mountain Man (1995)
16. Spirit of the Mountain Man (1996)
17. Ordeal of the Mountain Man (1996)
18. Triumph of the Mountain Man (1997)
19. Vengeance of the Mountain Man (1997)
20. Honor of the Mountain Man (1998)
21. Battle of the Mountain Man (1998)
22. Pride of the Mountain Man (1998)
23. Creed of the Mountain Man (1999)
24. Guns of the Mountain Man (1999)
25. Heart of the Mountain Man (2000)
26. Justice of the Mountain Man (2000)
27. Valor of the Mountain Man (2001)
28. Warpath of the Mountain Man (2002)
29. Quest of the Mountain Man (2003)
30. Trek of the Mountain Man (2002)
31. Ambush of the Mountain Man (2003)
32. Wrath of the Mountain Man (2004)
33. Destiny of the Mountain Man (2005) (with Fred Austin)
34. Betrayal of the Mountain Man (2006) (with J A Johnstone)
35. Rampage of the Mountain Man (2007) (with J A Johnstone)
36. Violence of the Mountain Man (2008) (with J A Johnstone)
The Last Mountain ManReturn of the Mountain ManTrail of the Mountain ManRevenge of the Mountain Man
Law of the Mountain ManJourney of the Mountain ManWar of the Mountain ManCode of the Mountain Man
Pursuit of the Mountain ManCourage of the Mountain ManBlood of the Mountain ManFury of the Mountain Man
Rage of the Mountain ManCunning of the Mountain ManPower of the Mountain ManSpirit of the Mountain Man
Ordeal of the Mountain ManTriumph of the Mountain ManVengeance of the Mountain ManHonor of the Mountain Man
Battle of the Mountain ManPride of the Mountain ManCreed of the Mountain ManGuns of the Mountain Man
Heart of the Mountain ManJustice of the Mountain ManValor of the Mountain ManWarpath of the Mountain Man
Quest of the Mountain ManTrek of the Mountain ManAmbush of the Mountain ManWrath of the Mountain Man
Destiny of the Mountain ManBetrayal of the Mountain ManRampage of the Mountain ManViolence of the Mountain Man

7 comments:

Chris said...

I see these books all the time at the local library and have always thought about checking one out. Thanks for the review. Love the layout of all the different covers--looks cool!

Randy Johnson said...

This is a series I almost gave up on years ago. Books started coming out padded to get the page length up. The way it was done was Smoke would think about some past instance and great chunks, I mean ten pages or so, would be lifted from previous books and dropped in(I compared to be sure when I started noticing) several times during a book.
All titles with his name alone were his with the exception of two early in the series. The Two ranch hands had their personal quirks reversed(how that could slip through, sloppy editing I guess).
But overall I've enjoyed the series and the writing has got much better with the new authors.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Nice job covering this series for people. Randy's notes are interesting too.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm kind of glad to hear that others have had some reservations about Johnstone's work. I read one of his books years ago, not in this series, and I thought it was so weak in characterization and such a fluff story that I've been put off touching any of his work since.

Steve M said...

Think I've only read one by Johnstone himself - and not one in this series - although I do have quite a few of his books. I've read more by J.A. Johnstone and generally found them enjoyable.

ARCHAVIST said...

Whay threw me was a character called Ring - one moment he's a big hulking brute and the next he becomes a simpleton who kills a man for being cruel to a dog. Most of the bad guys were two dimensional as well. But there were some good buts but I just don't think this writer's for me.

Chap O'Keefe said...

I like that "bereft of emotion", Gary.

Or rather, no, it actually scares me. Today, it seems the trade Publishers are all-powerful by reasons of history and market share.

I suspect that "work for hire" journeymen writers have no more say in the mountain man genre than anywhere else. The mere authors must be subservient to others' wishes when it comes to how much emotion is put in -- or more particularly left in -- their work.

I don't know whether cuts are to blame here, but when they are ill-considered and made on the basis of concepts like removing "unpleasantness", they definitely undermine characterization and lead to jerky pacing.

Believe me!

Keith