Monday, December 21, 2015

Gravetapping: Anything Goes Richard S. Wheeler


Posted: 20 Dec 2015 05:24 PM PST
Richard Wheeler’s latest novel, Anything Goes, is now available in hardcover from Forge. It is Mr. Wheeler’s “first print novel…published in three years,”and it, like all of Forge’s Westerns, is handsomely designed. 

Richard Wheeler’s fiction has won an astounding six Spur Awards and the Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Western Writers of America. I have been a longtime fan of his work, and he, at least by email, is one of the kindest, polite, and knowledgeable people I have corresponded with. Earlier this year I conducted an interview with Mr. Wheeler—one I’m particularly proud of—you should read

I am also planning to review Anything Goes in the next few weeks, but until then here is the publisher’s description

Anything Goes: the enchanting story of a vaudeville troupe that makes its way to Western mining towns, from renowned master of the Western novel, Richard S. Wheeler.

“The cowboys, gold miners, outlaws, gunmen, prostitutes, and marshals who populate the Wild West never see much big-city entertainment. Most towns are too wild and rowdy for entertainers to enter, let alone perform in. All that is about to change.

“August Beausoleil and his colleague, Charles Pomerantz, have taken the Beausoleil Brothers Follies to the remote mining towns of Montana, far from the powerful impresarios who own the talent and control the theaters on the big vaudeville circuits. Their cast includes a collection of has-beens and second-tier performers: Mary Mabel Markey, the shopworn singer now a little out of breath; Wayne Windsor, "The Profile," who favors his audiences with just one side of his face while needling them with acerbic dialogue; Harry the Juggler, who went from tossing teacups to tossing scimitars; Mrs. McGivers and her capuchin monkey band; and the Wildroot Sisters, born to show business and managed by a stage mother who drives August mad.

“Though the towns are starved for entertainment, the Follies struggles to fill seats as the show grinds from town to town. Just when the company is desperate for fresh talent, a mysterious young woman astonishes everyone with her exquisite voice.
“The Wild West will never be the same. They've seen comics, gorgeous singers, and scimitar-tossing jugglers. Now if the troupers can only make it back East . . . alive!”

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