Those Poor, Poor Bastards by Tim Marquitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When Nina Weaver and her pa ride into Fort Coburn, they have no idea of the carnage they are about to endure, for the Deaduns walk the earth...
Those Poor, Poor Bastards is the first in the Dead West series, a weird western from the fine fellows at Ragnarok Publications. If Night of the Living Dead happened in the Old West, it would be Those Poor, Poor Bastards.
While it's the first book in a series, it in no way falls victim to the syndrome common to those sorts of books. TPPB is polished and as smooth as fine Scotch. It's violent, gorey, and delightful.
The cast of characters is pretty large so you know some people aren't going to live through this book or the next. Nina is a halfbreed Indian that feels conflicted about her heritage. Her pa, Lincoln, is just trying to keep things together. You've got tough guy Manning, those asshole Daggett brothers, and a myriad of others, most notably Thomas Mathias, the Black Robe, and his archnemesis, Liao, the Yellow Hood.
Of course, I have to talk about the Deaduns. They are zombies of the angry fast sort, and have a hidden purpose. Things get a little Lovecraftian near the end, soemthing I always regard as a good thing.
The bodycount and gore level is pretty high. There's one particular scene near the end involving a ruptured eyeball that almost made me gag. Also regarding the end, it leads into the sequel but is pretty satifying on its own, unless we have to wait a decade or more like the gap between the third and fourth Dark Tower books.
Those Poor, Poor Bastards is a nugget of Weird Western gold. Four out of Five stars.
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