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The Pistoleer Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 397 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (August 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425154122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425154120
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,905,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From AudioFile

This fictionalized account of the gunslinger John Wesley Hardin's life is told through the voices of those who met him during his violent 42 years. Relatives, friends, acquaintances, and enemies--in all, a broad spectrum of outlaws, gamblers, and working girls--relate adventures and define Hardin's personality, as well as the flavor of the Old West. Scott Brick, Burt Reynolds, and William Windom portray several of the first-person narratives. Each individual characterization adds realism and drama. Portrayed as a family man, married to Jane Bowen until her death, Hardin is arrogant but brave, and somehow sad. Listeners will enjoy the tales and come to admire him. S.C.A. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

What a gripping and entertaining read!
Big Joe
If you want to read a gritty, no-holds-barred story of a real-life western legend (albeit one more notorious than famous) I would highly recommend this novel.
Russell E. Watson
To me it was too dis-jointed - if that is a term.
StevieB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
This was some book ! Absolutely outstanding in every respect - as a story, in its style, very exciting, excellent dialect, really funny in spots, ..... Chapter by chapter I went from hating the arrogant ... (John Wesley Hardin), to wanting to be a Hardin. If he really was as portrayed in this book (which I doubt), he was mostly the kind of person I respect - leave him alone and he'll buy you drinks all night long and otherwise give you the shirt off his back. Meddle in his business, get in his face, or harm his family and he'll whip you or kill you. Now don't get me wrong. Any reader would try to see where they fit in, in that day and time and I am pretty much left with the sad conclusion that I would have probably been a sorry, boot-licking peddler of some kind . . . . not a Hardin.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruce A. on January 18, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a fictionalized account of the life of John Wesley Hardin told by those who "knew" him. You're hooked immediately in the superb narrative, as the author takes many voices and pulls no punches. I have purchased many copies of this book and given them to friends, all of whom loved it. A+++++.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Meszaros on April 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
There was nothing like the American West in the history of the world and figures like Hardin exemplify it; deadly, brave, sad and foolish all at once. His death seemed a relief because by 1895 there was no place left for the bravado of a gunslinger who would draw over an insult.
I found the writing format, the telling through other's eyes, less engaging and certainly less tasty than Blake's current style.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Was easy reading, fast paced, started on a high and finished on a high. This was as true a story on the life and times of one of the deadliest men ever to live as you can find. I have read the few books there are on Hardin and this is in line with all of them, except for one fact. This book is much better reading!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jonathan briggs on May 7, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm all for any novel that has at least one guy per chapter getting his brains knocked out the back of his head by a Colt .44 slug. This is one viscerally violent, action-packed "literary" western. James Carlos Blake uses the form of the oral history to tell the story of "the most feared mankiller in Texas," John Wesley Hardin. Each chapter takes on a different narrator and a different impression of Hardin. Some see him as a postwar hero, others as a vicious, rabid killer. Some admire him, others fear him. Lawmen, whores, ranchers, innocent bystanders, saloon rats, a muckraker named Peckinpah, anyone who has the fortune/misfortune to cross paths with Wes Hardin takes a turn telling the story. If there's one flaw to the novel, it's that at the end, the reader has no clearer understanding of the man behind the fast draw. Who was Wes Hardin the person? How do you reconcile the loving, fiercely loyal family man with the reptilian, thrill-seeking murderer? Was he a sociopath sporting different masks, or was he caught up in a legend that grew too big to handle? It's hard to tell whether the ambiguity is the result of the novel's form and the outsiders' POV or whether Blake couldn't quite grasp his "hero." Or maybe there's no insight to be had. Maybe Hardin was unknowable. Whoever he was, his exploits, factual or embellished, make for a blistering good read. Disappointingly, he never kills a man just for snoring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bordeaux Dogue on March 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
By a master story teller! It is not an easy book to get into, being constructed by a series of episodes which are the remembrances of several persona who came in contact with Hardin.

What a character he must heve been. What a harsh life and period.

As with allhis other books, Blake conveys superbly well the ambiance and the spirit of the epoches he writes about.

I would, however, advise non familiars with JcBlakes novels not to start with this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Digby on August 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very enjoyable read. It's told from the very different perspectives of a variety of people who encountered Wes Hardin. I found that very effective. Hardin was an interesting fellow, worthy of a Bob Dylan song. He was never known to hurt an honest man, as Dylan put it. However, he was rather quick to put people into the category of dishonest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Corey Lidster on June 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
John Wesley Hardin was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a 'good person'. As part of a generation of young southern males who were too young to join the Confederate Army, but old enough to strap on a gun when the insults and injustices of Reconstruction became too much to bear. Jesse James was another one of these Rebels-born-too-late; for many of them, guilt over missing the War - while older brothers, cousins, fathers, and friends fought and died, while entire cities were put to the torch - had to be channeled into hatred, redirecting outward the flames that threatened to consume them. In the early years after Lee's formal surrender to Grant at Appomattox in 1965, many bad decisions were made concerning 'Reconstruction'; the use of black soldiers, some of them former slaves, was one of them. Most southerners, even though only a small percentage were slaveholders before the war, saw the presence of black men carrying guns and issuing orders as an unforgivable insult. Belief that blacks were inferior to whites was something taken for granted; on the other side, many of the black soldiers stationed in the former CSA rightfully and understandably despised the whites who would see them dead or back in chains. In such an environment, violence was an inevitability. The Ku Klux Klan was born in this time and place, and so was John Wesley Hardin's career as a killer. James Carlos Blake views the life and legend of America's most notorious anti-hero through the eyes of the people who knew him, structuring his novel like a series of anecdotes told by the many friends, lovers and enemies who passed into and out of his life. He was a complicated man, extremely well read, even becoming a lawyer during a prison stint.Read more ›
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