Death in the Desert: The Complete Guide to Spaghetti Westerns (Howard Hughes)

Howard Hughes has a new book coming out soon on European Westerns. Available now for pre order

This will be a far more extensive and comprehensive guide than his previous books on the subject; covering around 500 films.

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£25? Now that’s what I’d consider a fair price for what the book’s claiming to offer. Hughes has got an easy, conversational style I respond to, too. Ten months away though, is that normal to be on sale that far forward? It IS definitely happening, is it? Or is it contingent on (X-amount) of pre-orders 'twixt now and then?

I’ve pre-ordered it anyway (via the swdb link, of course):

I like his writing style too.

In terms of English-language materials, he’s really up against Kevin Grant’s “Any Gun Can Play” as a comprehensive guide since Alex Cox’s “10,000 Ways to Die” is more selective. Although, I wonder if this will be more of a dictionary in terms of style and completeness? For that, I usually turn to Marco Giusti’s “Dizionario del western all’italiana” which of course is in Italian (I can’t comment on Bruckner’s book because I find German too hard to read) so an English language offering will be welcome.

Yes, I appreciate Hughes’s “no-nonsense” (Frayling) approach to writing about films and enjoyed his Stagecoach to Tombstone and Once Upon a Time in the Italian West. Haven’t read his other books.

Then again, a more academic, less conversational style doesn’t bother me either.

PS: @Phil_H, I’ve added the author’s name to the thread title. Hope that’s okay with you.

As far as I understand from Howard the reviews will be similar in style to those in his Kamera guide, i.e cast and background discussion but with no ratings.

As such I think it will be the extensive guide book in English which we have wanted for a long time. Something akin to Weisser’s book with the subtle difference that Howard will have watched all the films discussed in it. He is just adding the last couple of reviews to the content now I believe and then it’s in the hands of the publishers for proof reading etc.

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Added it to the SWDb - since nobody else did :wink:

Amazon UK lists the release date as June 30, DE as Sept. 30, hopefully we won’t have to wait 13 months. Looking forward to it regardless. lists the US publication date as February 28, 2018, but based on prior experience I expect this in the fall. Preordered, of course ($33 and falling).

Never knew this was coming out but I’ll deffo get it, Love OUATIIW.

Just had a message from Howard on this.
Release date is delayed and will definitely not be June now. However, it shouldn’t be too much later he hopes.
He will let me know the definite date as soon as he knows it.


For what it’s worth, which may not be much, my pre-order from Amazon UK is now showing “will dispatch” on July 4 with an arrival date to me of July 11-15. Knowing Amazon I won’t hold my breath but looking forward to it regardless.

Mine has been saying “Arriving 6 Jul - 8 Jul” for some months now (I think). Previous form suggests they’ll go through the whole “Dispatching today” thing as normal before finally admitting defeat and emailing me on the 9th of July to say there’s been a supply problem (this is how it went when 88Films reneged on their releases of The Mercenary and Navajo Joe a few months ago).

Not due for another seven months according to Google:

28 Feb 2018 according to

Looking forward to this as I’m nearing the end of Kevin Grant’s meticulous spaghetti bible.

I spoke to Howard last week and he still wasn’t sure of a definite date.
Apparently there have been issues with the quantity of text and images being greater than expected which has meant a rejig of the print set up. So good news in as much as it sounds like it will be a decent size book. bad news in that it will be slower getting ready.


I can’t wait to see if he praises Once Upon a Time in the West. Not unless he did in his ‘Spaghetti Westerns’ book? I haven’t read that one yet.

Received this notice from Amazon UK, hopefully the book will see the light of day in 2018.


Unfortunately, we’ve had to cancel your order #204-4581486-4553 for “Death in the Desert”, as this item has been discontinued by the manufacturer and we are no longer able to source it. You haven’t been charged for this item.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience caused.

Thought I’d pass this along. I received an email from Tia, marketing manager at I.B. Taurus & Co. and it says the book is currently scheduled for release in March. Subject to delay obviously so I won’t hold my breath.


My understanding is that there have been a number of delays on this for various reasons, the latest of which was the takeover of Taurus by another, larger publishing house.

Now January 30th according to

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