A twisted pulp epic, in which the fantasy world of the Western is revealed as the perverse unconscious of American life, Oakley Hall's Warlock is one of the most unusual and remarkable inspirations of recent American literature. It is the story of Clay Blaisedell, a celebrity sharpshooter who is called in to impose order in the godforsaken desert town of Warlock, where cattle rustlers rule and Apaches loom. But the more power Blaisedell is given to set things straight, the more things go wrong. Insane General Peach, Washington?s emissary to the region, rampages through it; mine owners connive against their workers, who stew in confused resentment, while the local judge is of course a drunk and the doctor a drug addict. The righteous certainties of the Western hero are shown in the end to be the favorite trappings of a deranged, even directionless, pursuit of power. Oakley Hall?s virtuosic performance is both a remarkable comic pastiche and tragic allegory of American self-deception?a book that looks back to Moby Dick and forward to genre-bending postmodernist inventions. It is also one hell of a Western.