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A Million Ways to Die in the West by Seth…

A Million Ways to Die in the West

by Seth MacFarlane

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Showing 5 of 5
Broad and obvious, like all his other work. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
Fall-down uproarious and knee-slappingly hilarious. I expected nothing less from MacFarlane, who is this generation's Mel Brooks, in my humble opinion. The book was so good, it makes me want to go nowhere near the movie, because there's just no way it's going to measure up. It's not even possible. A funny-bone western, who'dathunk it in the first place? MacFarlane, that's who. ( )
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
I decided to read the book before viewing the movie. The book was decent. There was plenty of humor to be found, and the sarcastic, often pessimistic main character definitely brought a smile to my face. I'm not a fan of westerns, but I still enjoyed this book. In my opinion, the best scene in the entire thing is the intimate moment between Ruth and Edward. After waiting for so long, you'd think Edward would dive straight in without a second thought. But that isn't exactly how things played out and, I must say, that was hilarious. It was one of the best moments in the whole story. ( )
  AlphaHikar | Dec 10, 2014 |
The trailer for Seth MacFarlane's movie, A Million Ways To Die in the West, had just hit the internet (and it looked hilarious!) when I saw him on The Daily Show plugging the "novelization" he had done, himself, of his own movie. It was available now, several months before the movie was due to be released, and I'll admit curiosity got the better of me.* I had to check it out for myself.

As far as novelizations go, I suppose this could have been worse. The writing was fair. It didn't suffer any obvious pitfalls (like shifting tenses or POV's). It's hard not to be a fan of The Family Guy and *not* hear Brian Griffin's voice when you read the dialog of the main character, Albert, especially after hearing that voice (i.e., MacFarlane's own voice) speak those exact same lines in the movie trailer, but that's nothing against the writing.

At times I felt he was trying a bit too hard to use big words when a simpler turn of phrase would do, sort of a rookie mistake. Take this line for example: “Charlie Blanche and Albert Stark could not have been more contrasting in their deportment: Blanche was a grizzled, weathered-looking mass of aggression, who looked as though he hadn’t smiled since the days of Lewis and Clark." Okay, skip the fact that he starts off comparing two people and then only describes the first (leaving you to fill in the blank for the second). That's forgivable. But "deportment"? I read that word and stumbled on it. It felt as if he had a thesaurus handy as he was writing and wanted to impress somebody. Besides, "deportment" according to my dictionary has more to do with mannerisms and actions than a person's appearance.

Finally, I'll say that the whole thing played out exactly as you would expect a 90-minute movie to unfold, with predictable exposition, rising action and denouement, and true to just about any Seth MacFarlane penned story, it had it's fair share of comedic non-sequitor dead alleys that added nothing to the story except for humorous asides (a bumbling doctor, a gun slinging preacher, a religious prostitute, etc.).

Time will tell how this novelization stacks up against the movie. I suspect it won't, not very well. Regardless if the movie is a hit or a bomb, there will minimally be a group of MacFarlane loyalists who will turn the movie into a minor cult classic (at least), but nobody will hold up this book as anything more than a marketing gimmick.

Given my standards for books and writing in general, I couldn't in good conscience give this 3 stars, so I knocked it down a half-peg, but I suspect any fan of Seth MacFarlane (as I am) will read this and find some enjoyment in it (as I did).

* NB: I think he touched a nerve in me when he talked to Jon Stewart about the novelizations of movies he'd read and loved as a kid back in the 80's, and I remembered that I, too, had enjoyed a few myself back then. Anybody who knows the name Alan Dean Foster will know what I'm talking about. ( )
  invisiblelizard | Apr 6, 2014 |
Fun book! Blend today's crass swear word filled language, with Seth Mcfarlane's humor (think the unrated version of Ted) and have it take place in a crappy Arizona frontier town in 1882 and you have "A Million Ways To Die In The West". Very very funny. ( )
  zmagic69 | Mar 11, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553391674, Hardcover)

From the creator of Family Guy and director of Ted comes a hilarious first novel that reinvents the Western.
Mild-mannered sheep farmer Albert Stark is fed up with the harsh life of the American frontier, where it seems everything and anything can kill you: Duels at high noon. Barroom brawls. Poisonous snakes. Cholera-infected drinking water. Tumbleweed abrasion. Something called “toe-foot.” Even a trip to the outhouse. Yes, there are a million ways to die in the wild, wild West, and Albert plans to avoid them all. Some people think that makes him a coward. Albert calls it common sense. But when his girlfriend dumps him for the most insufferable guy in town, Albert decides to fight back—even though he can’t shoot, ride, or throw a punch. Fortunately, he teams up with a beautiful gunslinger who’s tough enough for the both of them. Unfortunately, she’s married to the biggest, meanest, most jealous badass on the frontier. Turns out Albert has just discovered a million and one ways to die in the West.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:20 -0400)

Pays homage to the traditional Western with a modern comic spin, following a cowardly sheep rancher who seeks the help of a gunslinger's wife to win back the woman who left him.

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