Imatge de l'autor

Oakley Hall (1920–2008)

Autor/a de Warlock

31+ obres 1,896 Membres 49 Ressenyes 2 preferits

Sobre l'autor

He is the author of more than twenty works of fiction, including The Downhill Racers, Warlock, The Bad Lands & Separations. For twenty years, he was professor English & director of programs in writing at the University of California at Irvine. He is also the director of the Squaw Valley Writing mostra'n més Program. In 1998, he received a PEN center USA West Award of Honor for a lifetime of literary achievement. He lives in San Francisco. (Publisher Provided) Author Oakley M. Hall was born in San Diego in 1920. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. He joined the Marines and served in the Pacific during World War II. Taking advantage of the G. I. Bill after the war, he studied in Europe and received a Masters of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He founded the creative writing program at the University of California at Irvine and co-founded the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. He wrote the Ambrose Bierce Mystery series and his best known novels are Downhill Racers and Warlock. He died of kidney disease and cancer on May 13, 2008. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys
Crèdit de la imatge: Photo by Barbara Hall


Obres de Oakley Hall

Warlock (1958) 802 exemplars
The Bad Lands (1978) 76 exemplars
So Many Doors (1950) 64 exemplars
Apaches (1986) 42 exemplars
Love and War in California (2006) 30 exemplars
Corpus of Joe Bailey (1953) 16 exemplars
Separations (1997) 14 exemplars
The Girl in the Red Jaguar (1954) 8 exemplars
Lullaby (1982) 7 exemplars
The Downhill Racers (1969) 7 exemplars
The Adelita (1975) 7 exemplars
Mardios Beach (1955) 6 exemplars
Too Dead to Run (1954) 5 exemplars
Murder City 5 exemplars
A Game for Eagles (1972) 4 exemplars
Report from Beau Harbor (1972) 3 exemplars
The Children of the Sun (1983) 3 exemplars
The Pleasure Garden 2 exemplars
The Pawns of Fear (1955) 2 exemplars
Au turf 2 exemplars
Hall Oakley 1 exemplars
The downhill racers 1 exemplars

Obres associades

Warlock [1959 film] (2005) — Original book — 20 exemplars
Wonders: Writings and Drawings for the Child in Us All (1980) — Col·laborador — 18 exemplars
TriQuarterly 48: Western Stories — Col·laborador — 2 exemplars


Coneixement comú



Warlock is a microcosmic tale of man's obsession and struggle for power. The small, fictional South-Western town is the fulcrum on which the righteous and wicked vie to rule, the town's inhabitants perpetually caught in the crossfire.

Since Warlock is not deemed substantial enough to deserve its own county seat, and the nearest court being a day's ride away in Bright's City - the law of the land is somewhat hamstrung, amounting to a single jail in a ramshackle hut where the lengthening deputies' names scratched into the wall show the monotonous loss of life and cost of the power struggle.

In an attempt to take matters into their own hands, the inhabitants create a citizen's committee which decides to hire a cultish, golden gunned warden by the name of Clay Blaisedell, in order to gain their own standing in Warlock and kick back at the outlander band of troublemakers and their notorious leader, Abe McGowan.

The path of Oakley Hall's story is far from simple. Truth, morality and honour become convoluted and circumspect in the melting pot of power, righteousness a pinball ricocheting against the countless variables: wonts, desires and limitations of his dustbowl denizens.

“Is not the history of the world no more than a record of violence and death cut in stone? It is a terrible, lonely, loveless thing to know it, and see—as I realize now the doctor saw before me—that the only justification is in the attempt, not in the achievement, for there is no achievement; to know that each day may dawn fair or fairer than the last, and end as horribly wretched or more. Can those things that drive men to their ends be ever stilled, or will they only thrive and grow and yet more hideously clash one against the other so long as man himself is not stilled? Can I look out at these cold stars in this black sky and believe in my heart of hearts that it was this sky that hung over Bethlehem, and that a star such as these stars glittered there to raise men’s hearts to false hopes forever?”

Hall pens the complexity of life expertly and the reader, like his characters, become embroiled in and sullied by his prose. Warlock is a highly crafted and memorable tale that is well worth a read.
… (més)
Dzaowan | Hi ha 21 ressenyes més | Feb 15, 2024 |
In his introduction, [author:Oakley Hall|44545] said that "The pursuit of truth, not of facts, is the business of fiction.' Although Warlock is a fictional story about a fictional town in a fictional state, it offers up more truth and insight into the events that happened in Tombstone, Arizona, than did any of the hundreds of so-called Factual accounts of those historical events.

What we know about the fictional town of Warlock is that it is a silver mining town situated near the border with Mexico. Outside of town live what are called cowboys by friends and rustlers by just about everyone else. The distinction appears to be that some don’t consider crossing the border to round up cattle belonging to Mexican rancheros as rustling, illegal, or even disreputable. Problems arise when these high-spirited cowboys go into town, get a snoot full, and start to act up (i.e.: shoot the barber for giving a bad cut, or the piano player for missing a note). As Warlock is unincorporated, there is no official court or law enforcement, so the town’s businessmen take it upon themselves to form a Citizens’ Committee which proceeds to hire a Marshal (aka skilled gunman) to restore order. Add to this a mine with its usual mix of nasty mine manager and unhappy miners and you pretty much get the picture.

What separates Warlock from other westerns with similar plots is that Hall uses it to carefully examine the subject of justice in general, and frontier justice in particular. There are few black hats in this story and no white hats at all. The so-called good guys all have their demons and the bad guys, for the most part, have their softer sides, if you probe long enough.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” Thomas Pynchon, in his review, wrote that It is the deep sensitivity to abysses that makes Warlock, I think, one of our best American novels.

Society, then and now, is a fragile thing. Per Pynchon, "the collective awareness that is Warlock must face its own inescapable Horror: that what is called society, with its law and order, is as frail, as precarious, as flesh and can be snuffed out and assimilated back into the desert as easily as a corpse can."
… (més)
Unkletom | Hi ha 21 ressenyes més | Jan 17, 2024 |
Not an awful book, but hate to see so much potential squandered. Choosing to pluck Ambrose Bierce, the famous American satirist, from the pages of history and present him with a mystery centered around the suffragette movement - the topic of many a satirical attack back in the day - would seem an inspired choice if you're setting out to write something clever and witty, but this delivers neither.

For one thing, the story isn't even narrated by Bierce, but by a fellow journalist, a character lacking in both perception and wit. He spends about a third of the novel narrating interactions that involve Bierce, which are the most entertaining parts of the book, but then he spends another third of the book engaged in investigations that have less to do with following clues than serendipity, and the final third courting his pretty Free Love suffragette cousin, which I think is intended as light-hearted fun but merely comes off as predatory and a bit icky.

Appreciated the authentic period detail, but the murder mystery plotline was sloppy and improbable, and I remain disappointed how little of Bierce's cleverness is on display here. Each chapter opens with an excerpt from Bierce's Devil's Dictionary, but I don't think the author stopped to consider the extent to which this might draw unwelcome attention to how much more ingenious the real Bierce was vs. the fictionalized version presented here.
… (més)
Dorritt | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Aug 20, 2023 |
Fiction seemingly based on Tombstone story and the Lincoln County war. The characters are all philosophers, and there is an unreal quality. Has atmosphere of 1958 McCarthy allegory, but I can't really find it in there. Has some sentences like: "But we will have him, or you, and rather him; and you [italicized:] will have him for you will not have law and order." Pulitzer prize finalist. Praised as hyperreal, magical, but not, as far as I can find, deconstructionist. Brief review by Thomas Pynchon at What I like about Westerns isn't here.
… (més)
markm2315 | Hi ha 21 ressenyes més | Jul 1, 2023 |



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