Vivat Rex Benedict

Friday 22 November 2013

Time, I think, for a Rex Benedict revival. I have just finished reading the above book with Bo, Last Stand at Goodbye Gulch, and it has much the same fine qualities as Good Luck Arizona Man, on which I blogged earlier. Two more of his cowboy stories sit ready on the side table, Goodbye to the Purple Sage and The Ballad of Cactus Jack.

There is not much to be found about Mr Benedict online, but Last Stand at Goodbye Gulch includes this glimpse of the man:

About the Author

Rex Benedict writes that his biography can best be set forth in periods:

“There was the Oklahoma Period, where I was born and raised; the Northwestern State College Period, where I was educated; the U.S. Navy Period, where I flew from aircraft carriers; the European Period, where I translated and dubbed movies; the Greek and Roman Revival Period, where I pined among the relics; the Freighter Period, where I cruised endlessly on blue seas; the Corsair Press Period, where I privately published my greatest works and gave them all away; the Translation Period, where I translated many books, including The Decameron, into many languages, hopefully the right ones; the Juvenile Novel Period, where I astounded myself and others by writing Westerns; and finally the Terrace Period, where I now sit on West 88th Street in New York City, marvelling at it all.”

An antiquarian book site gives Rex Benedict’s date of birth as circa 1920. It also describes him as a British poet, so who knows. The rather perfect cover illustration for Last Stand at Goodbye Gulch is by Quentin Blake. It was published by Hamish Hamilton, London, in 1975. The first American edition was in 1974.