Recommendations of SW Books?

(Reverend Danite) #21

It is a very good read indeed. Not really suitable for Silence’s request for full colour tho’ (as they’re all in black and white - but Extranjero is right about the great stills and the music section.
There’s a buyitnow one on uk ebay at the mo - but it’s a £35 touch, which is way over the odds. There was another to bid for recently with a start of £18 which is more reasonable (but I don’t think it sold). I saw one a while back which sold for £8, which is very good - I’d have bid myself if I didn’t already have had 2 copies (one of which is now in Tigrero’s hands).

Ahhh - exactly why I prefer it.

Beautifully illustrated indeed. But the text isn’t so bad is it? There are a few typo’s but I think the text reads well - and besides that, they use some great words - it’s where I learnt “crespucular” from. The third book is worth owning. It’s the slimmest (123 numbered pages, as opposed to 173 in vol.2 and 141 in vol.1) - but it’s still a beaut, and always nice to have a set (sorry Yod and Phil - teehee ;).) Mind you Ennioo, don’t get too enamoured by the nudy section - it consists of only 3 or 4 pages of (spaghetti) western related photo and illustrated comics/magazines. (Nice tho’.)
Despite all the mistakes, Weisser’s book was useful to me for a while, but it gets little use now (except for a laugh every now and again to see just how far off the mark the man can be). And the hardback version does get advertised for silly money £80 - £160 sometimes … but £30 would be a fair price (if you felt you had to get it. :P)

(ENNIOO) #22

50p for my Opera of Violence from the good old days of carboot sales 8) .

(Phil H) #23

A man after my own heart :slight_smile:

(Extranjero) #24

I probably paid a bit more than that, but got mine in a WH Smith sale in 1980. I hadn’t known that such a book existed, and remember running all the way home to get the money to buy it. I was 15.


It’s good enough, I suppose. What bugs me is the precocious translator trying to over-embellish the original, e.g. in the synopsis of Mille Dollari sul Nero, where the English version starts referring to Garko’s character as “Sartie-boy”!

It can be interesting elsewhere though, such as when he translates Il Monco in For a Few Dollars More as “Lefty”, which gives an insight into what the Italian understanding of that enigmatic title is.

(ENNIOO) #25

Just noticed on the rear cover of Opera of Violence the price stated is £2.45.

(Chris_Casey) #26

The first book on Spaghetti Westerns I ever bought was THE OPERA OF VIOLENCE by Staig and Williams. Great book and I wish I still had it.
But, the sad fact of the matter is that about six years ago, the roof on the place where I was living developed a leak right in the midst of an outrageous Oklahoma thunderstorm. Somehow, of all the hundreds of books I had the only two books that received any rain/water damage were two books that have been virtually irreplaceable. The two books were MELVILLE ON MELVILLE and, yep, you guessed it…ITALIAN WESTERNS: THE OPERA OF VIOLENCE. The two books got so wet that they actually melded together into a great pulpy blob (by the time I got home from work)!
When I found them I was devastated.
Haven’t been able to replace them ever since.


(ENNIOO) #27

Thats bad luck Chris !

(Phil H) #28

Which I think is what I paid for my mine when I bought it new in around 1976-77.
Outrageous price!

(John Welles) #29

I know it’s been mentioned before, but Alex Cox’s book, 10,000 Ways to Die is a good read, despite its errors (which I didn’t notice until Chris pointed them out!). Incidently, it was my first book on Spaghetti Westerns.

(Starblack) #30

As others have stated, The Opera of Violence is an excellent early reference work. I got my first copy (still the one I have today) when I was a mere boy. I think I must have got it after Frayling’s first book (and read it many more times thabn I did Frayling’s - well, you can’t expect a boy to grasp all of the latter’s academic theorising; some of it even bypasses me now), but can’t remember for sure.

I spoke to Laurence Staig on the telephone once, in about 1999 or 2000, about what prompted him to write the book. He struck me as a decent, level-headed chap.

(Søren) #31

Don’t they teach German in Swedish public schools Silence? Learn German and pick up Christian Kessler’s wonderful Willkommen in der Hölle… Definitely the most entertaining SW-book I’ve read. Bruckner’s book is the bible of course but the reviews and articles therein are definitely a bit more dry.

(Stanton) #32

Not only dry. The sorry truth is they are often more or less badly written. It’s not even a good German he writes. And most of the reprinted contemporary reviews are even worser. Nevertheless for the bulk of information an absolutely essential book.

Kessler has also more interesting things to say about the films.

(ENNIOO) #33

Did he still have a passion for the genre when you spoke to him ?

(Chris_Casey) #34

I don’t wish to speak for Starblack; but, I can say that Staig definitely still has a passion for the genre.
He occasionally posts comments at John Nudge’s old Spaghetti Western Web Board under the name of Reduced Wolf.
I was in fairly steady contact with him until I moved to Arizona and have heard from him sporadically over the past two or three years.
He still loves Italian Westerns and their music, that is for sure.
He was playing host to Alessandro Alessandroni in London a couple of years back. He even played my WAY OF THE RECKONING GUN album for him! I was a bit shocked, embarrassed, and pleased with that!
So, yes…Laurence is still passionate about the genre.

(ENNIOO) #35

Nice to hear and thanks for that Chris.

(davidf) #36

picked up a copy of Italian Westerns, the opera of violence at the camden movie mart yesterday thanks to the wife who spotted it ( i didn’t, that’s why i love you Jackie, you have your uses! :P) for £15!

(ENNIOO) #37

Not a bad price for the book these days.

(volonte) #38

What were the errors in that book? I remember some strange stuff with the locations, but cannot remember anything essential.

(John Welles) #39

Chris Casey pointed a few out - I’m struggling to remember what they were. His “incest theory” in the For a Few Dollars More is completely wrong (see the films thread for reasons why).

(John Welles) #40

Also if you read the last couple of pages of this thread:,1317.0.html

You will find Chris mentioning some mistakes in the book.