The Morgan Kane series has become the biggest success in modern Norwegian leisure reading literature. The 83 books in the series have sold 11 million copies in Norway alone, in addition to being published in ten other countries - totaling 20 million copies sold.
In Dec 2011, Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, reported that Morgan Kane had made a comeback as best-seller of eBooks, dominating the top charts of iTunes. The eBooks are published by WR Films Entertainment Group.
The first book, Without Mercy, was published in 1966, and the series is currently on sale in its 15th print edition. The current print edition is published by Aller Forlag.
The Life of Morgan Kane
Morgan Kane was born in 1855, somewhere along the Santa Fe Trail. His parents, Brendan and Gwen Cairn were Irish immigrants - they were killed by an Indian attack when Morgan was two weeks old.
Only 16 years old, Kane kills for the first time when he stabs Walsh, a drifter who contributed to the death of his parents. In 1874, he became a scout for the cavalry and fought in the Indian wars. He left the Army and tried prospecting for gold in South Dakota without much luck and he enlisted in the cavalry again, serving under General Custer. He fought in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, where General Custer was killed. Soon after the Sioux victory at Little Big Horn, Kane left the cavalry and became a gunslinger, riding with Billy the Kid and his gang of outlaws.
By the end of the 1870s, Kane used the nickname “El Gringo”, as a gunfighter in the Arizona, New Mexico and Sonora, Mexico territories, where he joined up with a gang controlled by “El Coyote”. After a battle with El Coyote, he left the gang and in 1881 was recruited by the Texas Rangers. He joined the Texas Rangers, and in 1882, he met his future wife, Linda Swift, and was later appointed a U.S. Marshal.
After meeting Linda Swift again while on a mission, Kane eventually married her. He turned in his U.S. Marshal star and settled down to raise horses on his own ranch.
After two years of marriage, Linda was murdered, and Kane set out to find his wife’s killers. He returned to serve as a U.S. Marshal, fighting many historic gunslingers including the Clanton and Dalton Brothers and John Wesley Hardin. Kane's superiors worried about his use of extreme violence, his excessive consumption of alcohol and at times, his uncontrolled rage. By the close of the 1890s, he was transferred to Alaska, and was later fired.
Kane's health began to decline, and in 1910 he supported and fought with Pancho Villa during the Mexican Civil War. It was here that he met his unknown son, “Diablito”, Paco Galàn. Together they traveled to Europe where Diablito became a famous matador. Later, Kane traveled back to America where he was again reinstated as a U.S. Marshal.
In the last book Louis Masterson wrote, Kane was shot and killed by enemies in a deserted city on the Mexican border, facing overwhelming odds.
The books depict Morgan Kane as a womanizing character with sociopathic tendencies, with a star-shaped scar and damage to tendons which has paralyzed the ringfinger on his gun hand. The paralyzed finger is fixed to his middle finger with a leather strap.
- Born: Autumn 1855, somewhere along the Santa Fe Trail
- Height: 192 cm
- Weight: 75 kg
- Hair: Dark, a white streak of dead hair on right temple
- Eyes: Smoke grey
- His clothing is function and practicality before style or image. In town, he prefers dark suits with long jackets, covering his gun holster.
- Handsome with distinct features
- Unshaven and suntanned
- Wears a single gun holster
- Draws his gun in 0.2 seconds
- Weaknesses: women, alcohol and gambling
- Weapons: Numerous, including the Colt Paterson, Walker Colt, .45 Colt Peacemaker, Smith & Wesson No. 3 Revolver, 1873 Winchester rifle and Krag-Jørgensen rifle.
English language print books
These books were published by English publisher Corgi starting in 1971:
1. Without Mercy
16. Return to Action
31. Blood and Gold
On November 6, 2011, Norway’s largest financial paper, Dagens Næringsliv, broke the story that WR Films Entertainment Group had also acquired the Electronic book rights as part of a strategy to launch the franchise, and to familiarize American audiences with Morgan Kane. WR Films is in the process of releasing all 83 books electronically in the U.S., and the rest of the world, through Apple's iBookstore, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Kobobooks.com and Digitalbok.no. Each book features a high-end poster-like cover, and is marketed with video teasers.
Within three weeks of release, the first three ebooks held the top three best sellers on iTunes in Norway. Aftenposten's headline, "Morgan Kane makes comeback as best-seller", reported that books were being published in both English and Norwegian, with a new book being released every 2–4 weeks.
As of July 2012, these eight titles have been published electronically, both in Norwegian and English.
1. El Gringo
WR Films Entertainment Group acquired worldwide screen rights to do film adaptations of Morgan Kane, and announced in The Daily Variety on May 9, 2011, they will produce three major motion pictures based on the novels. The film will reportedly begin production in the spring of 2012 and will be released in 2013, with an anticipated R rating. While several western-bloggers have had access to the production set of WR Films' eBook covers related to the introduction of the franchise, the same bloggers also report a high level of secrecy surrounding the project. No filmmakers involved have yet to be announced, including the screenwriter who has adapted the novels “El Gringo” and “El Gringo’s Revenge”.
Links to Norwegian web sites:
Links to International web sites: