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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Magnificent Mendozas - review

My thanks to western aficionado and fellow scribe Ray Foster for reviewing my novel The Magnificent Mendozas (2014).

Here's an excerpt:
'... Armed with a strong cast of characters the story flows with lightning speed that takes it into "unputdownable" territory.

'Ross Morton is a writer who entertains and knows his craft (check out Nik Morton's book "Write A Western In 30 Days"). There will be those who will think of a certain movie and there is a tip of the hat to it but this is not the major element as events encompass more "heroes" than the title suggests.'

Please check out the full review at Ray's blog, 'Broken Trails' here

I enjoyed writing this one as for some years I'd wanted to pay homage to that classic western movie. When I read that at the time the Mexican authorities were a little irate that their countrymen were all seemingly depicted as helpless peons, I thought about switching it around, and make the Mexicans the heroes - male and female - who help out a gringo township. Then the fun started, inventing suitable heroes. Then it seemed obvious - use seven circus performers!  Inevitably, there are changes of viewpoint when scenes shift; I was striving for a cinematic effect. And as Ray hints in his review, a number of the townspeople do heroic things too.

I must admit to being surprised that in the new movie of The Magnificent Seven, while they played with the ethnic mix, they didn't dabble with gender.

The Mendoza troupe comprises Mateo, the leader, and his wife Josefa, both expert knife-throwers; Antonio Rivera, sharpshooter; Juan Suaréz, gymnast and trapeze artist with his companion Arcadia Mendoza, who is also good with bow and arrow; José, younger brother of Mateo, a trick rider who lusts after Josefa; and Ramon Mendoza, escapologist. In order to penetrate the cordon of desperado sentries and free the townsfolk, the troupe employs many skills – tightrope walking, knife-throwing, archery, horsemanship, sharpshooting and escapology.

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