Oakley Hall's mythical Warlock revisits and reworks the normal conventions of the Western to provide a uncooked, humorous, hypnotic, finally devastating photo of yank unreality. First released within the Fifties, on the peak of the McCarthy period, Warlock is not just the most unique and exciting of contemporary American novels yet a long-lasting contribution to American fiction.
"Tombstone, Arizona, in the course of 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 the various dry purity of the Arthurian joust. Oakley corridor, in his very wonderful 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 through a committee of fearful voters expressly to be a hero, yet unearths that he can't, ultimately, dwell as much as his picture; that there's a flaw not just in him, but in addition, we suppose, within the whole set of assumptions that experience allowed the picture to exist. . . . sooner than the agonized epic of Warlock is over with—the uprising of the proto-Wobblies operating within the mines, the suffering for political keep watch over of the realm, the gunfighting, mob violence, the private crises of these in power—the collective know-how 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 certainly one of our greatest American novels. For we're a state which could, 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 a ways that piece of paper, nonetheless fluttering brightly in the back of us, has to fall." —Thomas Pynchon