Gary Paulsen Books for Adults

It's hard to believe but Gary Paulsen did write books that were not for children or young adults.

The Murphy series is a gritty western.

Murphy series

This series from Gary Paulsen was written for adults. We've included it because first, there is virtually no information out there about these books, and if there's one thing we hate, it's for book-information to fade away. Second, we've included this series because we plan to give as much information about Gary's books as we can, and so it didn't seem reasonable to exclude them. And third, we have included these adult books because there might be some Young Adults who would be interested in reading them.

In Murphy the setting is established for the series. Al Murphy is an Irish man who escaped the ghetto's of the East by joining the army. After the service, which he didn't particularly enjoy, he wandered for awhile until he lands in Cincherville, Colorado where he takes one of the few paying jobs in the failed mining town. For less than a hundred dollars a month, he's the town sheriff. And despite being a small run down place, the town still manages to have some big town problems. And in this book the trouble begins with the vicious sexual attack and murder of a young girl.

The quality of the writing in this book is a little uneven, but the sense of building chaos is fairly effective as a prod to keep reading. There's a string of meaningless murders that follows the girl's death and I was definitely curious about how the author would wrap this one up.

I thought it was interesting to see Mr. Paulsen write about such a depressing theme. And it's entirely possible that my difficulties with the book stem from the fact that a part of me remained detached, watching him as he handled this the adult material. I've read the second book now, and think it's better. So if you like westerns at all, and love Gary Paulsen, let me recommend Murphy to you. Know though, that it might be hard tracking this book down.

Pam T~

EXCLUSIVE GoodBooksforKids Excerpt from Gary Paulsen's MURPHY novel
Click to see this excerpt from 'Murphy'

NOTE::: Depending on how you define 'spoiler', there might be spoilers in the following book descriptions and comments.

Murphy's Gold
In the first book in this series we were not only introduced to sheriff Murphy and his main squeeze, Midge, but also many of the other inhabitants of Cincherville, Colorado. One of those people was Wangsu. In Murphy he as a minor character; a dignified and industrious Chinese man with a young family.

In Murphy's Gold he and his family take center stage. Unfortunately, it's not in a way that anyone would want. As the story opens, Wangsu's wife stoically reports to Murphy that her husband has been missing for over a week. And from that moment on the lying begins and everyone's story criss-crosses until Murphy gather's enough sense of it to untie all the knots and put things to right.

I thought the writing in Murphy's Gold was superior to that of the first volume. It has some very good imagery that is characteristic of Paulsen's style. And like he does in his Young Adult literature, Gary manages to spin a yarn in relatively few pages.

Enjoyed this one and am now searching the web for the Murphy's Herd and War.

Pam T~

Murphy's Herd
Al Murphy and Midge's plans to homestead go awry when an incident occurs that escalates into a bloody feud.

Murphy's War
When the lawless inhabitants of Fletcher, Wyoming, lynch a powerful Texan's son, Sheriff Al Murphy takes on the power-hungry feed store owner and his rowdy hired hands

Co-authored by Brian Burks

Murphy's Stand
Grieving over the death of his beloved Midge, Al Murphy, former sheriff of Cincherville, gets a new lease on life when his investigation into murder and intrigue involving a lucrative government contract leads to a struggle for survival.

Murphy's Ambush
In New Mexico, retired sheriff Al Murphy pins on his badge again after a rancher and his family are murdered by a band of Apaches. By the author of Murphy's Stand.

Murphy's Trail
Sheriff Al Murphy rushes to the aid of his friend Risa when her husband and sons disappear while on their way to report that cattleman Ben King has murdered two Mexican goat-herders, but he finds that going up against King is no easy task until he gets help from unlikely allies.