Barstow - A Post-Apocalyptic Western by G.P. Grewal

Regular readers of my blog will know that I'm a fan of American writer G.P. Grewal. His novel Nihilist 5.0 was one of the first I downloaded when I got my Kindle almost two years ago. I enjoyed reading it and started to look out for other books by this author.

G.P. Grewal writes about outsiders: those who are alone, don't fit in, struggle to make and sustain relationships. I've read all his other books including Machine Wash Warm Tumble Dry and 600 Miles - A Post-Apocalyptic Adventure and it is fascinating to watch him develop his literary themes in books of different genres.

I'm not usually a P.A. reader but those who reviewed his previous book 600 Miles - A Post-Apocalyptic Adventure rated it well (see reviews on Amazon.com) while I enjoyed it because it has a good plot, excellent characterisation and a strong voice through which to explore its themes.

I've never read a Western apart from True Grit (if that counts as a Western) so wasn't sure what to expect in Barstow - A Post-Apocalyptic Western. A hybrid Post-Apocalyptic Western?

However I needn't have worried. This is the best book yet from G.P. Grewal. It's a story about survival; it's a story about love and friendship; and it's a story about law and order. And a whole lot more as well.

There are some fleeting glimpses of cinema Westerns and hints of traditional cowboy films. And The Justifiers, while placed in their immediate environment, exhibit the characteristics of fascist groups over the ages.

The post-apocalyptic is the context and the setting is of devastation, squalor and destruction not to mention privations culminating in cannibalism all described in vivid, graphic terms.

The writing is crystal clear, direct and economical: wry observations give you just enough detail and leave your imagination to do the rest. The main characters are well drawn and although their flaws are exposed you feel strongly sympathetic to them and their predicaments. There's a strong Western voice which feels authentic and some interesting rhythms in the sentence structure which moves the narrative forward at a steady trot.

I highly recommend Barstow and I'm sure it will have strong appeal for fans of P.A. and Westerns as well as those who enjoy novels that combine originality and good writing. 

Details of all his novels are on G.P. Grewal's Author page at Amazon U.K. and U.S.A.; also on Smashwords.