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Fargo (A Fargo Western Book 1)
 
 

Fargo (A Fargo Western Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

John Benteen , James Reasoner
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The brainchild of Amazon Kindle Number One bestselling western writers Mike Stotter and Ben Bridges, PICCADILLY PUBLISHING is dedicated to reissuing classic fiction from Yesterday and Today!

FARGO

Fargo lives with a gun in his fist. Guns and killing are all he knows. And Fargo likes what he knows. Want to start a revolution? Want to stop one? Send for Fargo. Want to blow a bridge, stage a prison break, rob a bank? Fargo’s your man. The Army taught Fargo how to kill with pistol, rifle, machine gun. He became an expert with knives, shotguns and women on his own time. Fargo hates the quiet life. He knows he’s going to get it sooner or later. He hopes it won’t be too much later because he wouldn’t know how to be old and comfortable. So while he lasts, Fargo plans to grab the world by the throat and take what he wants. If the world doesn’t like that, it can try to stop him ... if it can.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Benjamin Leopold Haas was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1926. His imagination was inspired by the stories of the Civil War and Reconstruction as told by his Grandmother, who had lived through both. Ben’s father was also a pioneer operator of motion picture theatres, “ ... so I had free access to every theatre in Charlotte and saw countless films growing up, hooked on the lore of our own South and the Old West.”

Largely self educated (he had to drop out of college in order to support his family), Ben wrote his first story, a pulp short for a western magazine, when he was just eighteen. But when he was drafted into the Army, his dreams of becoming a writer were put on hold. He served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1946, and saw action in the Philippines.

Returning home to Charlotte (and later Sumter, in South Carolina) in 1946, Ben married Douglas Thornton Taylor from Raleigh four years later. The father of three sons (Joel, Michael and John), Ben was working for a steel company when he sold his first novel in 1961. The acceptance coincided with being laid off, and thereafter he wrote full time.

A prolific writer who would eventually pen some 130 books under his own and a variety of pen-names, Ben wrote almost twenty-four hours a day. “I tried to write 5000 words or more every day, scrupulous in maintaining authenticity,” he later said.

Ben wanted to be a mainstream writer, but needed a way to finance himself between serious books, and so he became a paperback writer. Ben’s early pen names include Ben Elliott (his grandmother’s maiden name), who wrote Westerns for Ace; and Sam Webster, who wrote five books for Monarch. As Ken Barry he turned out racy paperback originals for Beacon with titles like The Love Itch and Executive Boudoir. But his agent was not happy about his decision to enter the western market, and suggested he represent himself on those sales. Ben had sent a trial novel to Harry Shorten of Tower Books. Ben’s family remembers it being A Hell of A Way to Die, written for Tower’s new Lassiter series. It was published in 1969, and editor Shorten told his new author to create a western series of his own. The result was Fargo.

The success of Fargo led to the Sundance series. Jim Sundance is a half-Cheyenne gunslinger who takes on the toughest jobs in order to raise funds to fight the corrupt Indian Ring back in Washington. The short-lived John Cutler series followed, and then perhaps Ben’s crowning achievement, the Rancho Bravo novels, published under the name Thorne Douglas.

Ben Haas died from a heart attack in New York City after attending a Literary Guild dinner in 1977. He was just fifty-one.

Fan favourite James Reasoner has hailed Ben as “one of the best action writers of all time”. In TWENTIETH CENTURY WESTERN WRITERS, David Whitehead wrote that Ben Haas “ranks among the most influential and under-rated Western writers of recent times… the hard-hitting adventures of Neal Fargo and Jim Sundance were largely responsible for creating the Western Series market virtually

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 381 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Piccadilly Publishing; First Kindle Edition edition (30 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D47RF86
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,427 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fargo back in (e)print! 13 Dec 2013
By D. C. Stolk TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
At last, thanks to Piccadilly Publishing, the Fargo-series by John Benteen (one of the many pen-names of writer Benjamin Leopold Haas) is coming back into (e)print. Haas was one of the many paperback-writers of the '70s, who churned out masses of original paperbacks aimed at a male audience. What made Haas stand out from the rest of the pack, was that "he was one of the best action writers of all time", to quote western-writer James Reasoner, who wrote the introduction. Not only that, he always managed to infuse the stock-plot of these novels with unusual settings and background-information that was always factually right.

In the Netherlands, where I live, I only managed to obtain a couple of books in the Fargo- and Sundance-series (in their Dutch translation), with most of them found in second-hand bookstores if I was extremely lucky. Now, I'll be able to enjoy the complete series as they are brought back in affordable e-book versions.

For the reader who has never enjoyed the books by John Benteen: you're in for a treat! Hard-hitting action with a believable hero, beautifull babes to be won over (remember, this is "pulp" in the best tradition, aimed at a male audience), interesting settings - Fargo, the first book in this series, for example takes place during the Mexican revolution, the Pancho Villa-era - and when you've blasted through this volume, you'll be wishing that Piccadilly Publishing will speed up their Fargo-schedule!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 3 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I never read the FARGO books when they were first published and I am thankful that I didn't, because now I get to experience the pleasure of immersing myself in a new creation from the pen of John Benteen, a violent era through which Fargo strides with confidence. OUTSTANDING.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An undemanding western 21 Sep 2013
By Alan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved the Fargo series when I was a teenager but, 40 years on, I guess I look for a little more depth in my characters. A fast and enjoyable read for a long flight.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tougher than Bond and Bourne 13 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First read this when I was fourteen in the early seventies. This guy can out shoot and out fight and out ride everybody and everything. Women throw off their clothes the minute they lay eyes on him. This one isn't the best in the series, but If you like your body counts high and a super tough hero, Fargo is the boy for you, he gets the job done. Wish I was fourteen again so I could appreciate it more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert E. Howard's Conan meets Peckinpah's Wild Bunch 23 Sep 2013
By Jack Badelaire - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To me, Neal Fargo is a combination of Robert E. Howard's Conan mixed with Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch. Fargo, John Benteen's (aka Ben Haas) eponymous globe-trotting adventurer/mercenary is in his late 30's, a highly-skilled and incredibly lethal fighting man who's already had a lifetime's worth of adventures by the time we meet him arriving in El Paso in the beginning of the book. Like Conan, Fargo is a lone wolf, a man who really trusts no one and nothing except, perhaps, his weapons. He fights for money and because it's what he's best at, and because he's one of those rare breed of men who, unashamedly, needs to be in mortal conflict with man and the elements in order to feel alive. Fargo knows he'll meet a violent end one day, and you know his only hope is that he dies on his feet, surrounded by his enemies.

But at the same time, the world Fargo lives in is one of chaos. The series is set in the era around WW1, a time of change and upheaval, of increasing mechanism in the manner in which men kill each other. Like the men of The Wild Bunch, you get the sense that Fargo is a man born out of an earlier age, symbolized, I feel, by his shock of white hair, evidence of how life has aged him far beyond his relatively young years. He's a man who is, in a way, better fitted to the latter half of the 19th century than the beginning of the 20th. But to Fargo, it is a small matter; he knows men skilled with guns, knives, and their bare fists are still in demand all around the world, and his reputation is such that he can command top dollar.

In this first novel in the series, Fargo is looking for employment along the border with Mexico. He knows the revolution to the south is a perfect place for a man of his skills, but Fargo won't throw in with just anybody. He picks and chooses based on the most profit and the best chance of success, although sometimes those two might be at odds to each other. Fargo is approached by Ted Meredith, a man who owns half of a silver mine three hundred miles south of the border. The mine is under siege by a Mexican bandit lord by the name of Hernandez, and Meredith knows the mine is lost to him, but perhaps they can sneak out with a mule train loaded down with a quarter million dollars' worth of silver coins. Meredith offers Fargo ten percent of whatever they get out of Mexico, and Fargo agrees to take on the assignment.

I don't want to spoil the plot, because there are a number of twists and turns, some predictable, some not so much. There's a lot of fighting, especially gunplay, and this is one of the areas where Benteen/Haas lavishes a lot of strong detail. Fargo is a man who lives and dies not only by his wits but by his weapons, and he carries a small arsenal with him wherever he goes. I was somewhat reminded of that scene in 1999's The Mummy when O'Connell - a fighting man in the same "globe-trotting adventurer" vein as Fargo - throws his duffel on a table and opens it up to reveal a small army's worth of weapons and ammunition. Fargo always brings with him a steamer trunk filled with weapons and ammo. He carries a .38 caliber Colt Army revolver, a Winchester .30-30 rifle, and, his most prized firearm, a custom-made Fox ten-gauge double-barrel hammerless shotgun given to him by none other than Teddy Roosevelt. Fargo rode in the Rough Riders and fought on San Juan Hill, and as payment of sorts for an unnamed favor, Roosevelt gifted Fargo this shotgun. Fargo cut the thirty-inch barrel down to a more portable thirteen inches, and keeps the weapon loaded with double-ought buckshot. There are several times in the book where this shotgun is fired with both barrels, and the blast of shot has the seeming effect of a Napoleonic field cannon loaded with grape, but I'll forgive Haas the embellishment because, frankly, it's just that badass. Fargo also carries with him a razor-edged Batangas knife, better known as a butterfly knife, that sports a ten-inch blade. Fargo is dazzlingly lethal with this knife, and in one epic fight scene, demonstrates his gift of ambidexterity.

The wonderful folks at Piccadilly Publishing are re-releasing all of the Fargo books as ebooks, and this first novel is a steal of a deal in ebook format for $1.99 on Amazon. It is an incredible read, full of high adventure and epic battles, dangerous villains and sultry women. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and my greatest frustration is that I'll have to wait for the followup volumes to be released (the original paperbacks can be found, but the one I have is rather brittle, and I'd rather just read it as an ebook).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot Damn....hot action...hot gun barrels 24 Mar 2014
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What else can I say....Fargo is a master of living, fighting, no favors given or requested, lively lover w/a steel trap mind....he is a human fighting machine. He seeks women of higher character and good minds...to match his..but it is not -a behind every bush stud muffin having descriptive detailed sex book. I love action packed novels with the good guys finishing first. Fargo is very human in some areas and does make a few mistakes but lady luck seems to be riding on his shoulder most of the time. The author who brings it to ebook status, James Reasoner, has been around for decades and I breathe in his books. He is a fantastic writer in most any genre. Mr. Haas wrote the original series and Mr. Reasoner does him justice in making this into an ebook for the newer generation of readers and some of us old timers from the 40's and 50s..like me. He puts you right in the action with Fargo and you will read it til morning, if you start it at night. It is a hard to put down book. I am an avid reader and inhale books of most any type...if they do not catch my interest within the first 30 pages and hold it, I stop reading it. If you like action, you will not go wrong in this series!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Adventure Western - with some beautiful women 3 July 2014
By Nobbyh2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Set in early 20th century around WW1. A seasoned, wily, battle-scarred mercenary gets an offer of a high-paying job in Mexico where Pancho Villa and others are fighting in yet another revolution. He is an expert with pistols, rifles, shotgun, and machine-guns, as well as fists. He meets a couple of very beautiful women who find him irresistible, despite his battered face. Plenty of action, from the first night in El Paso, through to the silver mines in Mexico and the warring bands seeking supremacy. There is enough treachery and double-crossing to confuse everyone.
Fargo proves himself to be careful, efficient and deliberate, but not even he can foresee every possibility. Fortunately he makes some useful friends and his women are resourceful and clever. Obviously he lives; but is it worth the cost? Does he get any of the silver or any of the women? You'll have to read it to get the answer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fargo back in (e)print! 15 Sep 2013
By D. C. Stolk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
At last, thanks to Piccadilly Publishing, the Fargo-series by John Benteen (one of the many pen-names of writer Benjamin Leopold Haas) is coming back into (e)print. Haas was one of the many paperback-writers of the '70s, who churned out masses of original paperbacks aimed at a male audience. What made Haas stand out from the rest of the pack, was that "he was one of the best action writers of all time", to quote western-writer James Reasoner, who wrote the introduction. Not only that, he always managed to infuse the stock-plot of these novels with unusual settings and background-information that was always factually right.
In the Netherlands, where I live, I only managed to obtain a couple of books in the Fargo- and Sundance-series (in their Dutch translation), with most of them found in second-hand bookstores if I was extremely lucky. Now, I'll be able to enjoy the complete series as they are brought back in affordable e-book versions.
For the reader who has never enjoyed the books by John Benteen: you're in for a treat! Hard-hitting action with a believable hero, beautifull babes to be won over (remember, this is "pulp" in the best tradition, aimed at a male audience), interesting settings - Fargo, the first book in this series, for example takes place during the Mexican revolution, the Pancho Villa-era - and when you've blasted through this volume, you'll be wishing that Piccadilly Publishing will speed up their Fargo-schedule!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 6 Jun 2013
By Edward Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
It's taken me a long time to catch up to John Benteen's FARGO books since they were first published. I didn't know what I was missing, an absolute joy. Fargo is the ultimate warrior. Absolutely BRILLIANT!
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