Oakley Hall's mythical Warlock revisits and reworks the normal conventions of the Western to provide a uncooked, humorous, hypnotic, eventually devastating photograph of yankee unreality. First released within the Fifties, on the peak of the McCarthy period, Warlock isn't just probably the most unique and pleasing of contemporary American novels yet a long-lasting contribution to American fiction.
"Tombstone, Arizona, through the 1880's is, in methods, our nationwide Camelot: a never-never land the place American virtues are embodied within the Earps, and the other evils within the Clanton gang; the place the war of words on the okay Corral takes on many of the dry purity of the Arthurian joust. Oakley corridor, in his very nice novel Warlock has restored to the parable of Tombstone its complete, mortal, blooded humanity. Wyatt Earp is transmogrified right into a gunfighter named Blaisdell who . . . is summoned to the embattled city of Warlock by way of a committee of frightened voters expressly to be a hero, yet reveals that he can't, eventually, dwell as much as his photo; that there's a flaw not just in him, but additionally, we think, within the complete set of assumptions that experience allowed the picture to exist. . . . prior to the agonized epic of Warlock is over with—the uprising of the proto-Wobblies operating within the mines, the suffering for political regulate of the world, the gunfighting, mob violence, the private crises of these in power—the collective information that's Warlock needs to face its personal inescapable Horror: that what's referred to as society, with its legislation and order, is as frail, as precarious, as flesh and will be snuffed out and assimilated again into the barren region as simply as a corpse can. it's the deep sensitivity to abysses that makes Warlock one in all our greatest American novels. For we're a state that may, many people, toss with all aplomb our sweet wrapper into the Grand Canyon itself, snap a colour shot and force away; and we'd like voices like Oakley Hall's to remind us how some distance that piece of paper, nonetheless fluttering brightly at the back of us, has to fall." —Thomas Pynchon