The Hobby Gunsmith

Editorial, Continued

nice discovery that did come our way.  It started when a reader of The Hobby Gunsmith asked me to send the notifications to a new mailing address.  I noticed it was to a company called Dime Novels, which made me curious so I checked their web site.  It turned out that my reader was the author and publisher of Dime Novels.

   Dime Novels were common during the building of the old west and one of the more famous of the Dime Novel authors was none other than Ned Buntline.  Ned Buntline was supposed to have been the writer who gave the infamous Buntline Special to Wyatt Earp.  A story that I do not personally accept as being factual.

   Dime Novels were probably the equivalent of today's fiction magazines.  They were short enough that moderately literate readers would not be discouraged, reasonably inexpensive, and could be easily carried in the back pocket or saddlebag.

   Dime Novels have been featured in several western genre movies like Tombstone and Purgatory.  I seem to recall seeing a television show about these interesting little books had been so widely read that history was changed by the reader's beliefs that these real-life heroes had done all of the exploits published in these books.  To give an idea of their popularity, over 40,000 titles have been copyrighted through the Library of Congress.

   I looked into the possibility of writing a few Dime Novels a few years ago, but shelved the idea while starting The Hobby Gunsmith.  I wrote to David Brooks, publisher of Dime Novels and offered my complements on his venture.  I was surprised when he offered to send one for my review.


   David sent me two issue of his Dime Novels, Raven and Red Barbre Gets Away.  The novels are five and a half by eight inches and tend to be about fifty pages in length.  The issues I received had the feature story, a poem by Boston John Douchette, and a chapter from another book.

   With the main story occupying about thirty pages, I found the Dime Novels to be a good couple of hours of reading at a relaxed pace.  The stories were interesting and seemed quite complete. 

   My bookcase includes a fairly complete collection of Louis Lamour and Zane Grey novels.  I will be adding the Dime Novels by David Brooks to that collection.

Best Regards,

 Keith T. Chiles, Editor