This book is great if like me you wanted to learn about the real gunfights from the old west and the men that took part in them , for me the most important thing about this book is it does not just dwell on the really well known gunfights and gunfighters but also some you may not of heard about . i wanted a book with farely small chapters dealing with individual stories and characters but with more emphasis on the lesser known characters and incidents not just famous ones and more of them , and this book provided me with what i wanted . it gives you enough detail and interest to allow you to enjoy the accounts , but manages to cram an awful lot of them in at the same time . it has made me want to delve futher into the general subject , and has introduced me to many new characters and incidents to research and read about further , and this is why i would recommend it , as a starter book in the subject it is excellent and a great stepping stone to inspire you to read further into this turbulent and fascinating period of history .
Like the other reviewer,i also wanted to know more about the old west..and especially my favourite part..the Gunfighters! This book is full of well written,interesting and genuinely exciting stories of some of the more famous,the not so famous and downright obscure gunfights and fighters. I cant recommend this book enough,is one of the best ive read,and at a really great price..you really cant lose! Try it out,you WONT be sorry.
Forget the glorified and inaccurate Western's you've seen and enjoyed on TV, the cinema or DVD: this is the real, somewhat less glamerous retelling of the old gunfights and gunfighers of the Old West.
It rightly destroys the mythes and glamour that many attach to this period of US history, but its all the better for doing this. What your left with is an excellent account of the real lifes and deaths of gunfighters, well researched and told by James Reasoner.
Do read if you want to get a true feel for real life in the Old West....avoid if you don't want your movie dreams destroyed
This is a fascinating book, well-researched with James Reasoner not unafraid to admit that much that circulated by word of mouth at the time and afterwards may well be apocryphal. It is often the less-celebrated/notorious figures whose histories are the most absorbing. Sam Bass and the youngest of the Earp brothers, Warren, are just two examples.
One of the features most notable throughout is how often key individuals flourished on both sides of the law: the Mastersons, Pat Garrett et al. Most came to an abrupt end but some flourished into later life, notably perhaps the most deadly killer John Wesley Hardin. Others disappeared into obscurity their fates unknown.
Reasoner is no great prose stylist. His matter of fact, somewhat folksy style might seem to be an effective way to avoid dramatizing events that needed no added ingredients. Nonetheless, the writing is rather flat and clichéd, though in the last analysis this does not detract from the impact of these accounts. In addition the book is by no means without humour. Some of the disasters and micalculations are hilarious for all but the participants. It is a world of the most striking contrasts, the colourful and flamboyant Wild Bill Hickock, psychopaths such as Clay Allison and others, dedicated and determined lawmen such as Mike Meagher and those for whom the badge was a cover for their own criminal activities. It’s a book very well worth the reading.