Three-Ten to Yuma and Other Stories

By Elmore Leonard,

Book cover of Three-Ten to Yuma and Other Stories

Book description

The New York Times-bestselling Grand Master of suspense deftly displays the other side of his genius, with seven classic western tales of destiny and fatal decision . . . and trust as essential to survival as it is hard-earned.

Trust was rare and precious in the wide-open towns that sprung…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Three-Ten to Yuma and Other Stories as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

While this is a short story, not a novel, it is, in my opinion, the quintessential psychological Western. Depicting the struggle of an ordinary man saddled with extraordinary tasks, to maintain his honor and his values in the face of temptation, it delves into the minds of the two participants, and takes the reader on a wild ride as they wait for the train. Tension you could cut with a knife replaces action, keeping the reader on the edge of his/her seat until the end.

I love me some Elmore Leonard, and 3:10 to Yuma was no exception. Although a short story, it’s a classic Western in the sense that it’s good vs. evil, and of course, there’s a shootout. A deputy marshal escorts a train robber/fugitive (another Kidd, this time Jimmy) who is headed to Tucson to be tried for his crimes. I love the dialogue and the fact that it takes place in a small town named “Contention.” Leonard was indeed a master storyteller.

The thing I love about Three-Ten to Yuma is the under-dog nature of the entire situation. And I also love its brevity. It seems impossible that such a story can be so tight and compact, so crammed full of suspense (the entire plot that the movie is based on is actually a short story). It still boggles the mind and shows the genius that Elmore Leonard was.

From Stan's list on the Wild West.

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