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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 August 2008
Hansen's well-researched novel focuses on the critical events of Jesse James' final years, the relationship between James and his eventual assassin Robert Ford, and the subsequent life of Robert Ford and his brother Charley. But this is no Western adventure novel. Instead Hansen concentrates deftly with characters and situations; the impending sense of doom is never far off. There is a wonderful insight and attention to detail that gives the reader a feeling of spying on events and lives unobserved:

"Jesse was on the subject of the first electric power plant, which Thomas A. Edison was constructing on Pearl Street in New York City. He explained, incorrectly, how the incandescent lamp worked, and Charley stabbed at the dirt with a stick or pinched scarlet eruptions on his shoulder and neck or measured the others with sidelong glances."

Although the assassination takes place with almost one-third of the book remaining, Hansen captivates the reader until the end. Indeed, it is perhaps the events after Jesse's demise and the consequences for the lives of the Ford brothers, such as their forays into Barnum-esque theatre and battles with capricious celebrity, that provide some of the novel's finest moments.

The Assassination of Jesse James... is a marvellous, well-researched page turner that will appeal to anyone who enjoys intelligent writing. Be warned though, the typeface on the Souvenir Press paperback edition is eye-strainingly small.
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on 14 May 2008
Stunning book: the factual made mythic by imagination and the style of writing. Jesse James takes on a legendary aura - although the book is built around real events - and is stalked by a sense of approaching and inevitable disaster in the guise of the coward Robert Ford. Some tension is inevitably lost after Jesse's slaying, but the progress of Ford's life and death is fascinating also. I found this account totally convincing and moving also in its exploration of deceit and its consequences, and the slowly building tragedy that unfolds.The pages dealing with the morning of the murder and all the small details of that day are quite brilliant as time itself seems to fall into slow-motion. The book also fills in some of the details that are a little confusing in the fine film that grew from it... Wonderful.
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on 30 October 2016
Good book.
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on 27 January 2017
Excellent
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on 29 March 2014
A gift for my daughter good quality book cover although second hand. She will definately recommend the store to other book fans as she is extremely happy with it.
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on 19 March 2007
I consider myself as an avid book reader to know a great book when I see one and the first two pages of this book are 'the best'first two pages I have ever read bar none, this book is all that the synopsis says it is, its probarably the greatest western ever written and I cannot wait to see the film.
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