Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review - Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West: A Novel

Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West: A Novel
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (March 4, 2014)

From the genius mind of Seth MacFarlane comes his very first novel, A Million Ways to Die in the West: A Novel.  Based on the screenplay written by MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin & Wellesley Wild, the novel is a tie-in to this week's upcoming motion picture of the same name.

MacFarlane wrote the novel during downtime of shooting the movie that stars himself, amongst others.  Writing a novel is much different than writing a screenplay but the creator of Family Guy and director of Ted can write the funny no matter what medium it is being written for, be it big screen, small screen, or print.

If one is familiar with the trailers, they already know that MacFarlane portrays Albert Stark, a sheep farmer whose girlfriend, Louise, breaks up with him.

It's the Old American West, where just about anything can kill you.  Albert would like to avoid all those million ways if he can help it.  However, Albert gets dumped early on by Louise and when she chooses the most insufferable guy in town, Albert decides to fight back--even if he isn't the best shooter in town.

Albert soon meets Anna, a beautiful gunslinger, but unfortunately for him, she's married to the baddest guy in the West, Clinch Leatherwood.  Only Albert doesn't know that and Clinch will want to kill Albert when he finds out.

As far as scenes in the trailer that are in the book, the comment Stark makes after the ice block falls was not the same comment in the book.  That's one of the downsides that comes with writing books based on a screenplay when one knows that there will be a decent amount of improvised lines on set.

This book/movie has every classic trope of a western and MacFarlane does the best that he can when it comes to writing a western comedy.

When I learned that MacFarlane had written a novel based on his upcoming movie, I had high expectations.  The book lived up to my high expectations.  The book is very funny and MacFarlane writes the hell out of a sex scene that features a prostitute.  I hope that he writes some more novels, even if they aren't tied in to a television show or motion picture.

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