Ghost Town

Ghost Town

by Robert Coover

A name rider plods through the desert toward a dusty Western town shimmering on the horizon.

The lonesome stranger reaches the town - or rather, it reaches him - and he becomes part of its gunfights, saloon brawls, bawdy houses, train robberies, and, of course, the choice between the saloon chanteuse or the sweet-faced schoolmistress whom he loves.

Throughout, Robert Coover reanimates the Western epics of Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour, infusing them with the Beckettian echoes, unique comic energy, and exuberant prose that have made him one of the most influential figures in contemporary American literature.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Westerns
  • Rating: 3.64
  • Pages: 160
  • Publish Date: January 10th 2000 by Grove Press
  • Isbn10: 0802136664
  • Isbn13: 9780802136664

What People Think about "Ghost Town"

But to keep goin on, in the face a such shit, a such futility and stupidity and veritable craziness that, son, that is fuckin suh-blime.

But then Cormac went and let hisself be interviewed by thet Operah lady 'n then got chummy with all those Hollywood dyrectors and skinny actresses who walk around with their dinners on a pedestal, which I dont wanna sound anti-booby, but sometimes you kin display em to the point of carycetcher. Which brings me to this'un, which I jest read: Ghost Town. This Robert Coover feller who wrote it, he put all that murderin and rustlin and to-ing and fro-ing in, but added all that stuff what makes a feller spit out his coffee from guffawin. Now heres a pitcher of thet Coover feller they put on the back flap of the book Ima talkin bout: Looks like a nice feller. See thars this Goodreader reviewer name'a Fernoola or somethin like that. She reads all these confusin books and then writes about em using the confusin language thet the arther used. The boys wuz talkin on her one day: Course she aint sweet alla time. And ifn it aint the word, mister, you better go fer cover, cuz for yu know it she'll unleash her upbringin on yu. Yu aint jest talkin jackshit, podnuh. She whupped me my arse with a yardstick fer near a hour wunst'n all I done wuz t'fuckin split a danged infinnytif. Now what you gone and done thet fer?) Whar wuz I? Or dumsquizzled lardasses, like thet Ian feller. I've bin reading this Coover feller fer awhiles now, werkin my way through his or-vrah. He's a sick feller, which probly sez more bout me then him. Fellers, yu know how when yer riding on an interstate and thar's a certain sky? And when they tell yu something real bad is gonna happen, jest say, I'm glad to hear it.

Cuz as some ol' panty-britches wearin' fairy once pro-claimed, "all this world's a stage" but he a' might probally meant a stagecoach er maybe a gallows, which ifn' ya think about it is pretty much the most common stage you gon' find out here in the gal durn INFINITE OL' WEST, which, like the COSMOS, always has been, always is, always will be, and is always becomin', or just circlin' round all blind and creaky on itself like some wrecked wagon wheel a'turnin' all on its lonesome out there in the dead air, up some sea of blighted horizon where the sun is always risin' or settin' or burnin' directly high noon-like, no shade nor reprieve in this desolate sagebrush-demon'd land until those ETERNAL STARS and DUMBASS MOON come out. Hell if I know but I can weave ya some pretty damn good yarns 'bout it - that SPECTRAL PRESENCE at the heart of MYTH that ain't got no face an' no name but is everpresent all the way down this cursed human lineage, at all points and all times, like birth or death or fuckin'.

I'm on record somewhere as having said that novels are inherently and constitutionally flawed. But to keep goin on, in the face a such shit, a such futility and stupidity and veritable craziness--that, son, that is fuckin suh-blime." If you need to identify a flaw, well, that phonetic spelling of cowboy=talk might drive you nuts.

But I think I understand now that this is how Coover's writing works: you are bitten, you are infected, and like a bad strain of malaria, the symptoms of the disease can manifest themselves at any time, for any reason. I wouldn't recommend this book to just anybody.

(3.5) I've read 2 books now by the acclaimed Robert Coover: The Origin of the Brunists and now, Ghost Town. In the 32 year difference between these two, I found that Coover's style hasn't really changed, but has metamorphosed into something a bit different (for me, at least) like the main character does from crotchety-no name murderous villain to perhaps an anti-hero of sorts among an insane array of characters. Coover's ability to create an atmosphere is akin to McCarthy (as has been mentioned a thousand times already), but I won't say he's following Cormac's path by any means. And they fuck dirty, sheriff, says an ugly wall-eyed woman dressed up in a velvet and silk wedding gown, with her fat hairy belly sticking out. They like t'stick it in yu all over the place, a scar-faced motherly type with a missing ear explains. Now dammit, mam, yu jest git covered up thar!" I don't think this book, even with my limited experience, is where anyone should start if you're interested in checking out Bob, but I don't think it would turn you off of him either.

Aint Nuthin But a Ghost Town "Bleak horizon under a glazed sky, flat desert, clumps of sage, scrub, distant butte, lone rider. Aint nuthin but a ghost town. For the first two-thirds of this suh-blime pastiche of the western novel, it seems as if Coover is writing with a degree of condescension for the form. Despite turning his back on the schoolmarm and the town, the kids imagination continues to be fueled by these fantasies. Likewise Coover (as can Rikki Ducornet and John Hawkes and, I would add, Angela Carter) can say and do everything they want to with the novel form in a book that is a mere 147 pages long. Even when you compare "Ghost Town" with the longer "The Public Burning", we still see the protagonist, the kid, essentially enter the world of a comic book, though unlike Richard Nixon, he comes out alive on the other side. Both of Coovers novels feel like a treatment or storyboard for a filmisation of a comic book.

I know whut yu mean. A right smarta things happen but they aint no order to em. And, being Coover, the book is ribald, obscene, but above all it is stylish, wordy, and pristinely executed.

Ciudad fantasma es, por decirlo de algún modo, un potente western alucinógeno en el que su protagonista (un forastero errante que acaba siendo engullido por un espejismo en forma de ciudad) es víctima de las más estupefacientes aventuras.

The Coovers lived in Spain for most of the early 1960s, a time during which Coover began regularly publishing stories in literary magazines, including the Evergreen Review. In 1969, Coover won a Rockefeller Foundation grant and published Pricksongs and Descants, his first collection of short fiction. During the early 1970s, Coover published only short stories and drama, including A Theological Position (1972), a collection of one-act plays, all of which were eventually produced for the stage. By the mid-1970s, Coover had finished his next novel, The Public Burning; it took him more than two years to find a publisher for the work, which was ultimately cited as a National Book Award nominee. Coover received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1985 and a Rea Award for A Night at the Movies (1987), a collection of short stories.