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Promoted item:(10) JODI THOMAS ROMANCE NOVELS (WESTERN THEMED)

(10) JODI THOMAS ROMANCE NOVELS (WESTERN THEMED)

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About Western Books

Western books are a phenomenon of the 20th century in American pop culture. Western books focus on stories of the heroic cowboy exploring out West, discovering gold, having Main Street shootouts on dirt roads, and getting in bar fights over Wild West women--well, sometimes. Modern Westerns have also incorporated themes of Native Americans, offering a more realistic and developed view of the West. German author Karl May wrote his Wild West stories in full-length form just prior to 1900, although American stories were not yet full length. May's books sparked interest in Hollywood studios to make Westerns into movies. Universal head Carl Laemmle met with May several times to outline ideas for films, marking the beginnings of this film genre. As this was happening, Western literature was taking off in American publications known as 'penny dreadfuls' and 'dime novels.' These books were made very cheaply and were popular among kids and teens during the turn of the century in America. By 1900, pulp magazines had also started featuring Western-themed short stories. In 1902, the first well-known Western by an American was published and the craze in this country had begun. Owen Wister wrote and published The Virginian almost 30 years after May, but is credited for bringing the style to the US.The Elements of a Western Book or FilmFour main elements were needed for the types Western books of the time: a structure drawn from 19th century literature (typically very melodramatic in style), an action story with violence and crime, the idea of Western migration and traveling by horseback, and revenge. These elements made Western books and films popular and successful financially. Today's Western authors such as Louis L'Amour and Zane Grey often take a broader perspective, deepening and enriching the genre.