I just received this book from Amazon.com, and even without having read it, I'd urge the members of this forum to buy it. It concerns a survivor of the Goliad massacre, who later was involved in a murder, and who was hanged for it. This is the central event in the book, which in a broader sense deals with early Houston, and its many types of inhabitants, from noblemen to the lowest low-lifes. To be honest, I bought it simply for the magnificient pen and ink drawings of Gary Zaboly, who seems to just get better and better. But, having thumbed through it, it seems like an absolutely fascinating book. Most on this forum would find the dramatic account of the Goliad massacre alone worth the price of the book. Mark
It is indeed a page turner. I read it in January, and it is a fascinating account not only of the murder, but also of early Houston and the shaping of the character of Texas.
Even if the book were disappointing (far from it!) the price would alone be justified for the illustration of what is now downtown. I've lived in Houston my whole life, and to see how radically different it is just shocks me.
A review copy of Texian Macabre unexpectedly arrived in the mail yesterday, and it looks like it will be an eye opener. We all knew some of those early Texans were boozers and losers, but this book plumbs the true depths of some of the depravity that passed for everyday life in Houston during the early years of the Republic.
Post by Don Guillermo on Apr 4, 2008 6:20:13 GMT -5
On the subject of new books and to some a macabre subject, a correspondent to Sons... alerted me to his new book Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers by Jay Stout.
Stout is a senior military analyst in the defense industry after service of 20 years as a Marine Corp fighter pilot (37 missions in the first Gulf War). He's the author of other books as Hornets over Kuwait, The First Hellcat Ace and Hammer from Above: Marine Air Combat over Iraq. Stout analyzes the Goliad action from a military analyst's perspective.
Post by sloanrodgers on Apr 4, 2008 10:48:18 GMT -5
I have a copy of Texas Macabre now, but I had to go the book store to get mine. I came across this sad story a few years ago and thought someone could do something with it. My compliments to Mssrs. Hardin and Zaboly.
Houston was certainly a violent, disease-ridden place in it's early years, which is probably one of the reasons folks wanted to move the capital to a safer locale.
I'm far enough into Texian Macabre to say that it's essential reading for anybody wanting to understand the character of the men who fought the Texas Revolution as well as the nature of the citizens of the Republic of Texas. This book will grab you and not let you go.
Post by sloanrodgers on Apr 10, 2008 13:38:30 GMT -5
I especially like the "macabre" nature of each Zaboly illustration. They go well with The grim chapter titles/fonts, the story of the hangings and history of Houston. Fantastic piece of work Prof. Hardin. I hope to get it signed in blood someday. Ugh! no, ink will do.
Yep, Gary Zaboly's illustrations in this book show a different side of him. They're a bit reminiscent of some of Jack Jackson's grittier visions, and they really take you down into the netherworld that was 1830s Houston; you can almost smell the brimstone. Zaboly's skills at rendering just keep getting better and better. And, it's heartening that in this day and age, there are still books being produced with original illustrations of this caliber: an artform that had almost died out years ago.
Funny you should mention that, RangerRod. On Saturday, April 19, I'll be signing copies of TEXIAN MACABRE at the San Jacinto Symposium. Those of you in the Houston area be sure to drop by and say howdy. I'll be pleased and proud to sign your copies. In ink. I love you guys, but really . . .
As for the nature of the illustrations, we worked hard to set that "macabre" tone. I asked Gary to capture the mood and attitude of the old CREEPY magazine of the 1960s. Since Gary and I are about the same age, he immediately understood the reference.
That's the great thing about working with an artist who's on the same wave length.
Or, to say that another way, Gary is as sick and twisted as I am.--SLH
I found him great to work with too when we were doing the Jacobite Army book for Osprey, he told me he was having a lot of fun working on this one - I'll look forward to seeing it at the symposium - and second the welcome; this is a good solid forum here and its good to see you
STUART In battle men are apt to lose their self possession, and do very absurd things.
Stuart, it's good to hear from you. I look forward to a long visit in Houston next week. If we can break away from the symposium, I'd like to take you--and any other ASF members who might be interested--on a walking tour of the Rowdy Loafers' Houston. We would, of course, make every attemp to avoid the animal carcasses.
Thanks for all the messages of welcome. ASF members seem a companionable lot.
Not to worry, Steve. Alamo references abound in TEXIAN MACABRE. Did you ever wonder what became of Susanna Dickinson following the battle? Well, she arrived in early Houston where she lived and, err, "worked" in Pam Mann's Mansion House.
I don't wish to spoil it for you. Let's just say that she boosted the morale of many a Rowdy Loafer. Or, at least, those who could aford her.--SLH