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BOOK REVIEW: A TALE OUT OF LUCK
BY WILLIE NELSON AND MIKE BLAKELY
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A Tale Out of Luck is truly a western adventure novel. It has all the elements.
There are horses, cowboys, Indians, drinking, fistfights, shootouts, lost loves, found loves, and a camel. A camel? Yes there is even a camel. And not only is there a camel but he is owned by an albino who is married to a Mexican senorita!
Willie Nelson (yes, that one….the famous country singer/songwriter) has put together quite a story. And it involves all of the above and comes complete with gunfights and the other western items. And it is interesting!
Hank Tomlinson is a retired Texas Ranger who now owns most of the land around the town of Luck, Texas as well as part of the town itself. Hank’s first wife died and so he now “fools around” with the cowgirl who owns the town’s only saloon. Hank has a son from his first wife and a semi-adopted half-breed son. Both of them help to run the Broken Arrow ranch, which is constantly challenged for top dog in the area by the Double Horn Ranch, owned by Jack Brennan.
The story opens with a cattle rustling brand runner being killed by several arrows. The arrows appear to be those that were used in the past by a notorious Indian named Black Cloud.
The mystery begins to get involved however as the good guys get sidetracked from getting the bad guys due to the appearance of a mysterious stallion who is known throughout the area as the meanest, wildest, and fastest horse around. The stallion named Steel Dust Gray lures away a prized thoroughbred mare that Hank Tomlinson had just bought for breeding. And the luring occurred while Skeeter, the semi-adopted son was on guard in place of Jay Blue Tomlinson, the blood son of Hank.
This not only causes a further blow-up between the two boys but it brings into the story the albino “horse whisperer” . As the boys and the albino work on getting back the mare the owner of the Double Horn Ranch stirs up the Indians by taking his ranch hands on a bloody raid of the Indian village under the pretense of finding Black Cloud for killing the cattle rustler.
More and more events continue to happen to keep the reader’s interest. Gun fights between the cavalry and the Indians; the arrival of a Texas State Police detective who is there to arrest Hank for a supposed killing years ago; a battle between Hank and Jack and all their respective hands.
All in all Mr. Nelson (with the help of Mike Blakely) has concocted quite a western adventure. It is amazing in that while reading the book you can almost hear Willie’s voice in the conversations. His songs may have more rhythm but his western writing is very much alive!
REVIEWED BY ALLEN HOTT
DO NOT REPRINT
WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, ALLEN HOTT
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