S. Craig Zahler: A Congregation of Jackals



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PROS Well rounded characters Zahler does a solid job of injecting sympathy into most of the lead and secondary characters Goodstead and Dicky are articularly well written Brutality is as creative as we ve come to expect Crimes well thought out and the sense of Arachne peril seems insurmountable at times building great tension The early scenes where TW expels the Frenchman were great Depiction is vivid and unrelenting Visceral and gorgeously described Very exciting top read when the action is happeningCONS POTENTIAL SPOILERS Sloweraced than the rest of Zahler s work Made for a slow read Unlike Zahler s other western Wraiths of the Broken Land the women in ACoJ are not well rounded Perhaps a reflection of the times but this is fiction and artistic license is acceptable so I would ve appreciated a bit Rock Lead Basics punch in characters like Beatrice and Meredith As it is they came across asolite well mannered facsimiles of each other The one exception to this would be TW s date with Meredith where we admittedly see than one side to her beyond that however she and Beatrice fall a little flat Once uinlan and co arrive the tension mounts uickly however there is a notable lack of foreboding and simmer in the build up to this Not sure if this is because of the language used through a lack of character reflection or because such layering is simply absent but I felt we would have benefited from a better growing sense of dread As said above the exception here would be the Frenchman being ejected from town the foreshadowing of this character Lightning Over Bennett Ranch prior to his introduction was brilliantly foreboding but beyond that there was little like this example I felt the final showdown between Dicky and Oswell could have been rationalised much better Given their history that should have been a much difficult decision for the victor but as it was it transpired in a couple of shortaragraphs Again a lack of depth that would have gifted gravitas to the situation Might have benefitted from a short chase Sri Sumarah, Pariyem dan Bu Bei perhaps just something to drag it out a bit and allow the reader to focus on these two characters and make it about them and not the larger groupThe above are minor gripes The following two are a bit substantial and justify the 3 stars The editing is shocking I don t know if it is this Kindle edition only I do not intend to spend a couple hundred dollars on an earlier edition to find out but I was finding editorial oversights in every chapter in the second half this seemed to be the case in every otherage I just hope no one was Class Struggles paid to do the job if so Ierhaps need a change in vocation BIG SPOILER Throughout the novel Oswell Dicky et al refer to uinlan s ferocity and nature on granular level even advising TW in the latter chapters as to what the Irishman will do and why he will do it ultimately describing his character his methods and his limits Even the description of this book cites that Oswell and uinlan were old Wilfred Owen (Routledge Revivals) posse buddies However they rode together ONCE They did ONE job together and the Tall Boxer Gang were invited by uinlan not to join his crew but to jointly execute the job and afterward go their separate ways Theoint is uinlan never knew any of the TBG on a Study to Teach personal level never revealed his inner thoughts motivations history etc to them they worked with him once So how on earth could any of them be in any sort ofosition to understand the mind of someone like that All the knew was how ruthless and cunning and driven he was Beyond that he was merely an acuaintance In my view this story would have resonated much Global Corporations in Global Governance powerfully if the TBG had been their entire collective crew Oswell and uinlan s respective groups as one for the majority of their crimes until uinlan took things tolaces Oswell Godfrey Dicky James were unwilling to go That would have made things all the Angels in Harmony personal and justified Oswell s almost mystic ability to know uinlan s everylayAll in all this was a decent read but I certainly Sketchy Behavior preferred the characterisationace and tone in Wraiths It took me months to get through the first three uarters of the book then one night to get through the rest That s not because it wasn t a good book or was boring Those first three uarters were just too tense I knew something bad was going to happen like a car wreck in slow motion like a deer in the headlights I had to take breaks I grew familiar with these bad men who tried to do right later in life Who regretted Autumn Brides past mistakes and were trying to redeem themselves in their own ways Tragic men I didn t want to see what was going to happen I wanted toostpone it for as long as I could Then the wedding kicks off and goes down From there One of Oswell's old bank robbing gang is getting married out in Montana Territory and the rest of the boys are all invited But someone else will be there too uinlan He.

Couldn t stop reading to see how it would end finishing it in one night I had to watch videos of kittens The Princess and the Three Knights playing with baby goats afterwards in order to come out of my depression and calm my nerves I received this book from theublisher in exchange for an honest reviewI m not a fan of westerns but this was an outstanding book Well written well The Beauty of Believing plotted and shocking in its execution There are some surprisinglot twists too This is not a feel good book by any means but it s Sticky Church probably closer to what the Old West was like in reality rather than some otheropular booksmoviesTV shows A Congregation of Jackals from Craig S Zahler is a masterclass in the western genre A novel that is a step above the rest A story that uses many of the western tropes you know but in new ways From it s opening scene Zahler Forbidden Love Unchained paints aicture of a coming doom The opening chapter of the book is an introduction to two key characters and it works as standalone short story Zahler masterfully racks up the tension until the end The first half of the book is mostly buildup to an impending wedding Us and our characters know that something is coming for them and that it will most likely try to make its move at the wedding The sense of dread that Zahler creates is second to noneThe dialogue is as authentic as you will find in a western It should be noted that this is not a book for the faint of heart Zahler writes scenes that would Witches of the Deep South put George RR Martin to shame This is a violent story where not everyone has a happy ending If you are familiar with his work you know what to expect when it come to the sheer violence he will show Both the mental andhysical violence are at extreme highs in this oneZahler isn t interested in working in the often romanticized west His characters operate in a mean world that is unforgiving His Metro 2033 (Universo Metro) protagonists aren t goody two shoes but men who have committed some grave acts that would see them hang if ever found out The antagonists are made in a similar way uinlan is no Ben Wade 310 to Yuma a man who despite being a bad guy acts with honor does not hurt innocents and is respectful to women uinlan is a man who will do anything to get what he wants and will resort to straight barbarism if neededWon t say about the story due to spoilers but some other things worth notingExposition Organically delivering exposition in a story can become a tricky thing How do you do it without disrupting the flow Zahler finds a way to deliver us the backstory of our charts in a way that feels incredibly organic In fact the story would almost feel odd if the exposition did not happen in this specific wayA story with the darkness of a Congregation of Jackals can become hard to read There are some moments that are straight up chilling Zahlereppers natural feeling humor throughout the story to give the readers a chance to readA Congregation of Jackals is a masterpiece Zahler crafts a chilling tale of deception savagery and redemption If you want a romantic feeling story look elsewhere This is a brutal tale that will leave many of our Christianity players in a worselace than when they started with few glimmers of hope These characters will not be leaving my mind for a long time which is always the sign of a good story Well done Zahler Wowwhat a book During the first few chapters you notice the rich Run for Your Life (Michael Bennett, prose and I almost thought the author was trying a little to hard but soon you just fall into the story and are enveloped in the wonderfully gritty and and in some cases grotesue scenes The story moves fast and gripped me from the start Truly one of the bestage turners I have read in a long time I have heard virtually no hype for this book and was so lucky to come across it If you want a disturbing gritty western that grabs you and doesn t let go Alice-Miranda at Camp pick this up immediately Violent and gruesome A Congregation of Jackals is as modern a take on the Western as No Country for Old Men but one that overlays the standard tropes of the genre with a barbarism that seems believable for its mid 19th century setting and that gives readers a sense that the lawless West may have been far less romantic than they imagine The novel is essentially one long draw toward a brutal climax but characters along the way are exceptionally well craftedarticularly the womanizing Dickey and the soulless villain uinlan Even incidental characters are given depth and an aura of existence beyond the The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature (Penguin Press Science) (English Edition) plot Also admirable is Zahler sortrayals of African Americans who despite the racism of the times were never set up as simple scenery or color for the story or The Association of Small Bombs portrayed as inferior outside of their immediate circumstance It s a subtle. Wasart of the gang once but betrayal turned an ally into a bitter enemy one who will stop at nothing to get his revenge He and his gunmen will be at the wedding out.

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Line that the author never crosses and makes Jackals all the enjoyable Other novels have been far less deft in their treatment of the racial divide in the Old West Zahler deserves recognition for his first novel on several levels Tomorrow morning he would board the continental rail and ride it to the western horizon where his Wilderness Survival Handbook past awaited him like a dark room filled with bear trapsWeddings are such tension filled occasions so much can go wrong The bride may flub her vows or maybe when the minister asks anyone to speak now or forever hold youreace someone will speak Or The White Mans Burden perhaps an unspeakably evil villain from the groom sast will show up and slaughter half the guests Hey it could happen and Visit the Sick pretty much does in this book that makes any wedding scene dreamed up by George RR Martin look like an ice cream social Back in the day Beatrice s fianc ran with a wild bunch called the Tall Boxer Gang They were fairly small time criminals who did what they had to do Then they hitched their wagon to another group and all hell broke loose almost literally Now it s a few decades later and the four original members of the gang are all mostly law abiding citizens In fact the tallest member of the gang is getting married Too bad some uninvited guestslan on crashing the ceremonyI bought this one shortly after reading the author s Mean Business on North Ganson Street Once again I was treated to great characters both honorable and loathsome some terrific dialogue a few chuckles and many many HOLY CRAP moments As with Ganson Street I ll issue a warning Zahler is an author who GOES THERE and then goes just a little bit further The violence is off the charts and bad BAD things happen to horses dogs women children and churches The first half of the book is loaded with an almost unbearable tension you KNOW something REALLY BAD is coming Once you get to the day of the wedding you d better set aside about two hours cause you will not be able to Carry Me Over the Threshold put the book down This is a western that reads like a horror story and you will not be able to unsee some of the things you read I was up late finishing this then I was too wound up to sleep and then I had bad dreams If that s the kind of read you re looking for this book is the answer to yourrayers I gotta go lie down for a while I can describe this book in words astounding horrifying gripping grotesueredemption bravery savageryMy head is still reelingThere was a line in the book by a Mrs Meredith Everston that sums it up The Courtship Basket perfectly That is an extraordinarily evocative chiller 5 STARS Let me first start off by saying that while I am an avid reader I do not have a lot of experience with Westerns However the ones that I have read are not even in the same league as this book And to be honest neither is every other book I ve read in the last few years regardless of genre I expect this book to be on mosteople s top 10 list of the year and on some Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 2 Samuel (The Expositors Bible Commentary people s top 10 of all time Congregation Of Jackals is that damn good What a tremendously groundbreaking andowerful novel Craig Zahler has written here There are no weak areas in this work from the uniuely rendered characters layered with depth and a rich history to the vivid landscapes to the unrelenting danger that brings this nail biting story to a boil This is not your father s western that s for sure Zahler smartly builds the suspense until it is nearly unbearable and then he unleashes a cauldron of hellfire straight in your face There are moments of such extreme violence that I found myself short of breath and hesitant to read on One of the highlights for me is the abundant vocabulary with which the author writes It is a Small Talk pleasure to read someone that has such a strong and confident grasp of the English language If there is one book you read this year this should be the one Congregation Of Jackals gets my highest recommendation I guarantee that you will love it This is a dark compelling and ultimately horrifying Western It isossibly the most violent novel I ve ever readIf any of Cormac McCarthy s Westerns were a little too gory or violent for you then avoid this novel like you d avoid Accidental Pharisees putting your hand inside the nest of a Gila monsterI enjoyed this riveting Western very much but I must admit that when the going got horrific it was almost too intense a read The depravity of the villains is unforgettably disturbing yet this novel contains remarkable dialogue and features likeablerotagonists engaging in amusing asides throughout the novelThink of it as a cross between the movies THE WILD BUNCH MAD MAX FURY ROAD all of the SAW films and THE HUMAN CENTIPEDEConsider this a warning. For blood and to revenge the betrayal in a final showdown Oswell knows there's no way out of it You can't outrun your ast All you can do is face it and hope to survi.

S Craig Zahler is certain to become one of the great imaginers of our time ― Clive BarkerNovelist S Craig Zahler is also the screenwriter director and musical co composer for the movies Bone Tomahawk Brawl in Cell Block 99 and Dragged Across ConcreteHis debut graphic novel Forbidden Surgeries of the Hideous Dr Divinus which he wrote and illustrated will be out in OctoberWhether wr