Glendon Swarthout's son, Miles, takes a shot at a sequel to his father's classic novel.
A few years ago, I finally had a good idea for a sequel novel to my father’s famous western, The Shootist, and felt skilled enough to try my hand at it. My resulting novel, The Last Shootist, will be released in October . The story takes up immediately where the original novel ends, with 17-year-old Gillom Rogers (played by Ron Howard in the movie) inheriting the matched Remington .44’s of his now deceased hero, J.B. Books (played by John Wayne).
Gillom flees El Paso, Texas, after several forced-upon-him vengeance killings, and then he travels across the Southwest on a journey into manhood. Along his adventure-filled way, young Gillom breaks green broncs with a wannabe western novelist in the San Andres Mountains above Tularosa, New Mexico; makes friends with a notorious train robber (loosely based on Texas outlaw Sam Ketchum); and ends up in the booming copper-mining town of Bisbee, Arizona.
There, working as a bank guard and practicing his two-gun tricks by lantern light, Gillom turns 18 and tangles with a killer pimp who has kidnapped his saloon-dancer girlfriend. My goal is that their final shootout in a Clifton brothel matches Books’ last gunfight in the original Shootist in intensity and excitement; my hope is that my father would agree.