This hilarious and informative study of "alternative Westerns" takes aim at sub-par cowboy fiction. Author Bill Pronzini presents hundreds of laughable one-liners and juicy excerpts of deliciously awful dialogue from pulp magazines of the 1920s and '30s as well as paperbacks of the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Pronzini also offers plot summaries, anecdotes, historical tidbits, and little-known facts about writers from the heyday of the horse opera. Discover the meaning of slang terms such as "slicker 'n slobbers" and "doogin pin" and marvel at a plot element "so bold, so dazzling, so casually insane" that it elevates Jackson Cole's Black Gold to the greatest of all alternative classic Western novels. Meet Chuck Martin, the writer who solemnly "buried" the characters he killed off in his stories in a private cemetery in his backyard, and get acquainted with a gallery of memorable fictional characters, including Ridin' Rand of the Rio Grande, the world's first rhinestone cowboy. The author of Gun in Cheek, a similarly affectionate send-up of crime fiction, Pronzini provides a comic survey that will delight all fans of popular Western fiction.