The Memoirs of H.H. Lomax, #4
Genre: Historical Western Fiction / Humor
Date of Publication: November 15, 2017
Publisher: Wild Horse Press
Scroll down for the giveaway!
Events on the Little Bighorn might have turned out better for George Armstrong Custer had he listened to H.H. Lomax rather than trying to kill him. To save his own skin—and scalp!—Lomax must outwit Custer and his troopers as well as face hundreds of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors swarming Last Stand Hill.
At least that is how Lomax in his inimitable style tells the story in this humorous romp across Old West history. Lomax’s latest misadventures take him from the Battle of Adobe Walls to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. In between, he’s a bouncer in a Waco whorehouse, a prospector in the Black Hills, a bartender in a Dakota Territory saloon and a combatant in the worst defeat in the history of the frontier Army.
Along the way, Lomax crosses paths with Bat Masterson, Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok, General Custer, his brother Tom Custer and the troopers of the Seventh Cavalry as well as hordes of Comanche, Kiowa, Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, not to mention the most dangerous adversary of all—a newspaper reporter with ambition.
Told with Lomax’s characteristic wit, Bluster’s Last Stand puts a new spin on the Little Bighorn and its aftermath. Whether you believe him or not, you’ve got to admire Lomax’s luck and pluck in both surviving one of the darkest days in Old West history and writing about the disaster in the latest volume of The Memoirs of H.H. Lomax.
PRAISE FOR THE H.H. LOMAX SERIES:
“A new series by Preston Lewis features a protagonist, H.H. Lomax, who isn’t much of a gunfighter, horseman or gambler. Instead, he is a likeable loser who runs into old western celebrities like Billy the Kid and the Jesse James gang, and barely escapes.” —Wall Street Journal
“It takes a special talent to write first-person novels based on the premise of ‘lost papers,’ but Preston Lewis is an especially fresh and innovative writer and he knows how to do it.”
—Rocky Mountain News
Fans of the Western as a genre will delight in Lewis’ ongoing spoof of many traditions which fiction writers from Owen Wister to Elmer Kelton captured well enough to turn into key parts of our myths and folklore….Lewis’s wit is at times Puckishly wry, at other times bawdy in the manner of Chaucer. It is always engaging. —Texas Books in Review
Several Old West historians have blessed the Lomax books as expertly crafted fiction. —Dallas Morning News
Judging this “memoir” by its cover would be as big of a mistake as judging H. H. Lomax at first impression. Without the well-written synopsis or blurb to guide you, you could mistake this book for a cheesy spoof novel based on the title and artwork. And you would probably walk by and miss out on the funniest and smartest historical fiction book that I have ever read.
Lewis manages to bring levity to a story and a part of history that was rather tragic. The West wasn’t too kind on women and it can be shocking to think of how prostitution often was a more desirable position than being a married woman. Political corruption was rampant and fed racial tensions and uncertainty for all sides involved. Journalism appeared to be a joke early on. And, of course, the treatment of the Native Americans was appalling.
But everything wasn’t so cut and dry then, and Lewis underlines that fact with the wonderfully colorful character of H. H. Lomax. Although gold is the goal, the man is a true diamond in the rough. While the man lacks culture, he certainly has enough brains to make his way without having to rely on Forrest Gump-like luck. He has had so many sudden stops and starts in his life that I was surprised to find out that he was only in his mid 20’s. For some reason, I was imagining a man in his late 30’s or 40’s. Maybe I watch too many Clint Eastwood films.
Speaking of films, when you think of a western spoof, you might think of Blazing Saddles or something similar. Well, this reimagining of events leading up to Little Bighorn is far from corny. While there is some adolescent-leveled humor (i.e., fart jokes and nicknames), Lomax’s wit is often subtle and nuanced. It usually goes undetected because it is so unexpected.
I could write about Lomax for days but then the other characters would feel left out. With the exception of the bullies, Bonner and Quirt, I think that all of the characters are so much more than they seem. We definitely get to see that with Medusa and Buffalo Bill. If Lewis wanted to, he could write spinoff novels about practically anyone in this book (if they survived to the end) and they would be great reads. In particular, I would find it fascinating to read about the people who went against their culture’s grain, like the minister or Crazy Horse.
The pacing felt a little slow at times. About halfway through the book, Lomax is still working in Medusa’s whorehouse and I’m trying to figure out when Custer and the battle come into play. But looking back, the pace was perfect. The battle was short, so even a detailed account shouldn’t run up half a novel. If it did, I would have fallen asleep. Also, I think my favorite parts of the book were when Lomax worked in the whorehouse. I don’t think any men less than Lomax or Lewis could ever drag that sort of sentiment from me.
Even if you don’t care much for history, I think you will find this book entertaining. Lomax’s hilarity and heart of gold (see what I did there?) soften the blow of the harsh realities in this part of history, and make them interesting. Or if you want to set the humor aside, there are some provoking thoughts on morality and perception that might stir you up. I look forward to reading more about Lomax’s adventures.
Preston Lewis is the Spur Award-winning author of 30 western, juvenile and historical novels, including Bluster’s Last Stand published by Wild Horse Press.
Bluster’s Last Stand, a novel about Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn, is the latest volume in Lewis’s well-received Memoirs of H.H. Lomax series of comic westerns that began with The Demise of Billy the Kid. Subsequent books in the series—The Redemption of Jesse James and Mix-Up at the O.K. Corral—were both Spur Finalists from Western Writers of America (WWA).
Lewis’s historical novel Blood of Texas on the Texas Revolution received WWA’s Spur Award for Best Western Novel. His western caper The Fleecing of Fort Griffin in 2017 earned him his third Elmer Kelton Award from the West Texas Historical Association (WTHA) for best creative work on West Texas.
His True West article on the Battle of Yellowhouse Canyon won a Spur Award for Best Nonfiction Article. In addition to True West, his short works have appeared in publications as varied as Louis L’Amour Western Magazine, Persimmon Hill, Dallas Morning News, The Roundup, Journal of the Wild West History Association and San Angelo Standard-Times.
A native West Texan and current San Angelo resident, Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University and master’s degrees from Ohio State in journalism and Angelo State in history. He is a past president of WWA and WTHA. Lewis is a longstanding member of the Authors Guild and an associate member of the Dramatists Guild of America.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
1st Prize: Full 4 Book Set in the Lomax Series
2nd Prize: Bluster’s Last Stand + The Fleecing of Fort Griffin
3rd Prize: Bluster’s Last Stand
*all copies signed*
December 13-December 22, 2017
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