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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Journal of the Gun Years

Journal of the Gun Years

Richard Matheson

Forge Books


Back East, they told tall tales about Marshall Clay Halser, the fearless Civil War veteran who became known as the "Hero of the Plains" for his daring exploits in the Wild West. But the truth, as revealed in his private journals, is even more compelling.

A callow youth in search of excitement, Halser travels to the raucous cow towns of the frontier, where his steady nerve and ready trigger finger soon mark him as a gunfighter to be reckoned with. As both an outlaw and a lawman, he carves out a legendary career. But fame proves to be the one enemy he can never outdraw–and a curse that haunts him to the bitter end . . . .


It is my unhappy lot to write the closing entry in this journal.
Clay Halser is dead, killed this morning in my presence.
I have known him since we met during the latter days of The War Between The...

Praise for Journal of the Gun Years

“The best novel I read last year.” —Stephen King

“The best western of the season!” —Booklist

“The author gives his story a credibility and honesty unusual in the genre.” —Publishers Weekly

“Breathtaking . . . first-rate . . . impossible to put down. Mr. Matheson has done something remarkable: with a single novel he has placed himself in the front rank of Western novelists.” —Richard S. Wheeler, author of Virgin River

“A novel filled with remarkable surprises . . . a fine and unique book.” —Ed Gorman, author of Sleeping Dogs

“A remarkable western novel. It strips the romanticism from the old West, but retains the blood-and-guts violence, as well as the high excitement of the frontier. Clay Halser's journals are the stuff of myth.” —Norman Zollinger, author of The Road to Santa Fe

Journal of the Gun Years is a three carat diamond. Read and enjoy it without delay.” —Max Evans, author of For the Love of Horses

“Some of the best damn writing Matheson's done in his spectacular career.” —Loren D. Estleman, author of Gas City

Reviews from Goodreads

Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson was The New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend, Hell House, Somewhere in Time, The Incredible Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, The Beardless Warriors, The Path, Seven Steps to Midnight, Now You See It…, and What Dreams May Come, among others. He was named a Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention, and received the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has also won the Edgar, the Spur, and the Writer's Guild awards. In 2010, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. In addition to his novels Matheson wrote several screenplays for movies and TV, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," based on his short story, along with several other Twilight Zone episodes. He was born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, and fought in the infantry in World War II. He earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Matheson died in June, 2013, at the age of eighty-seven.

image of Richard Mathesono
Beth Gwinn

Richard Matheson

Forge Books

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