Brand, Max

About the author

Max Brand (1892–1944) was one of the pseudonyms, and possibly the best known, used by Frederick Faust. Frederick Faust was educated at the University of California. After succeeding in publishing a few stories, he adopted the name of Max Brand, a neutral name which would not generate the hostility his own German name would in war-era America. He started writing Western fiction for the All-Story Weekly in 1918.

He was a prolific writer of Western fiction æ quite possibly one of the most prolific authors on this site, having written more than 500 books. Although this website does cover much children’s ranch fiction, I am resisting the temptation to branch into the adult Western. Max Brand wrote one novel (at least) that was particularly horse-centric: Alcatraz. It has appeared as Alcatraz, Alcatraz the Wild Stallion, and as Devil Horse, and was initially published as a five-part serial in Country Gentleman in 1922.

Finding the book
Easy to find in most of its incarnations, and is now available as a print-on-demand title, if you’re prepared to take that chance. Very good paperbacks are available for much less money, and it is available to read online on Project Gutenberg.

Links and sources
Frederick Faust’s papers are at The Bancroft Library

Bibliography (horse books only)


G P Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1923
Alcatraz the Wild Stallion
Dodd, Mead, New York, 1951, reprinted 1959, hb
Pocket Books, New York, 1961, 1976
White Lion Publishers, London,1973, 325 pp. HB.
Thorndike Press, large print edition, 1991, 327 pp.
Devil Horse
Warner Books, pb, 1979
Berkley, pb, 1987

Marianne Jordon has bought six thoroughbred mares from the East, to improve the bloodlines of her ranch’s horses. However, it looks as if her plans will be ruined when Alcatraz, an abused stallion who fought his way to freedom, steals the mares. The ranch hands fail to get the mares back, and so Red Jim Peris is hired to kill the stallion and recover the mares. Marianne gets more than she bargained for now she has hired Jim, as does he. Rather than killing the stallion, he becomes the only human the stallion will tolerate.