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Fargo Books In Order

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Publication Order of Fargo Books

Fargo is a series of 23 westerns by American author John Benteen. The series features Fargo as the main character. He was orphaned at the age of 12 years and learned to survive in the Wild West by taking any job that came his way. There’s a lot of action in the series, double-crosses, changing alliances and different missions to be completed. The stories don’t require much emotional investment but will hook you to the last page. Each book is as deep as a television series episode and doesn’t last longer for an avid reader, but it’s like a bag of peanuts and grapette soda- it goes down and satisfies.


Fargo is the debut novel in a series by the same name written by John Benteen. This character is a blend of Sam Peckinpah The Wild Bunch and Robert E. Howard’s Conan. In this book, we meet Fargo looking for a job along the Mexican border. He understands that the revolution to the south makes it an ideal place for a man of his skillset, but Fargo won’t toss in with just anybody. His picks are highly selective based on the chance of success and the profit margin, although at times these picks might be at odds with each other. He is approached by a Ted Meredith, a man who owns silver mine hundreds of mile south of the border. The mine is under attack by a Mexican gang leader by the name Hernandez, and Meredith knows that is almost lost to him, but they can sneak out a mule loaded with silver coins worth millions. He offers Fargo 10% cut of whatever they sneak out of the silver mine and as expected Fargo agrees on the deal.

This marks the beginning of a Wild West chase south the border as Meredith and his hired professionals find a way to smuggle as much silver as they can from the mine. The plot is filled with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you turning pages to find out what happens next. There is a lot of gun fighting, and this is one aspect that makes John Benteen one of the best writers of the Wild West books.

Fargo is the type of man who lives and dies not only by his weapons but by his wits. He is a fighting man who was once a member of Teddy Roosevelt Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War and later served in the Philippines conflict. He is described being tall, weather-beaten and his white hair is always kept close-cropped and wears the same outfit he wore when in the service: comfortable shirt, cavalry boots, jodhpurs, campaign hats, and khaki pants. His primary weapons of battle include a .38 with either shoulder or hip holster depending on the need at the time. However, in most cases, he prefers the .45 automatic for greater stopping power. His knife, Batangas was crafted by Philippine artisan; it has 10-inch blade that fold easily to the handle. It’s razor-sharp and capable of piercing a silver dollar without dulling or breaking. Fargo is an expert with knives, and this gives him an upper hand when he’s confronted by enemies and saved his life more than once on different occasions.

However is all-time favorite weapons is the Fox Sterlingworth ten-gauge shotgun which is engraved with the words, To Neal Fargo, from T. Roosevelt. Fargo and Roosevelt are the only ones who knows what he did to earn the weapon. It’s a deadly weapon loaded with nine buckshot shells. The former president is the only man Fargo will leave everything and come running when called.

When ready for trouble, Fargo wears bandoliers of shells crossed on his chest, one for his Winchester ’93 and one for the shotgun. He’s been everywhere and done anything to survive. His family was killed by Geronimo’s gang when he was a kid and was the only survivor. A neighbor took him not out of love but knew that Fargo would grow into a slave. However, he fled when he was twelve and has since been on his own. Fargo did logging in the great Northwest, was a bouncer in a whore house, and participated in oil rigs, gold smuggling, and professional boxing to survive. During his service in the military, he came into his senses and discovered that trade would sustain him for the rest of his life. He takes commands with high prices and the biggest jobs. Then he goes on an orgy of gambling, drinking, and bedding women until he takes another job. He has no desire to grow old, saves no money, knowing that sooner or later he’ll die from a bullet.

He fought in wars in both central and South America, has wandered the North American continent and was also involved in the battle to save Panama Canal construction. In one of the books in the series, Fargo fights alongside Billy The Kid. He has also been involved with smuggling guns across the border to Pancho Villa having to evade the Texas Rangers after Wilsons raises the Mexican Revolutionary again.

Despite being a tough head and a hard nut to crack, like any other man, Fargo has his weakness. He is afraid of the heights. But this has never stopped him from doing whatever is needed of him.

John Benteen began his Fargo Series in 1969. The series lasted 23 books concluding in 1992 after Dakota Badlands was published. The handling of these novels has been documented by some people as slipshot. The books are marketed as adventure novels and other times as traditional westerns, but they aren’t classical westerns. This is because the time the stories are set was the 1900s to 1918s, and the books go back and forth between those years, and Fargo is in the late ’20s to around ’40s. The first fourteen books in the series were all published by John Benteen, and the rest were written under the pseudonym, John W. Hardin.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Fargo

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