- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Roots and Branches (July 22, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1620160129
- ISBN-13: 978-1620160121
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,274,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Red Lands Outlaw: The Ballad of Henry Starr Paperback – July 22, 2012
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Top customer reviews
Phil Truman's masterful portrayal of Henry Starr left me with mixed emotions. I couldn't decide if Starr was a good man with a bad heart or a bad man with a good heart. He was plagued from early life with the idea that it was easier to steal than to work for a living, but later in life after spending many years in prison, he decided to teach kids that crime doesn't pay. His addiction to robbing banks cost him two wives, two children, a successful business, and many years on the run from the law. And just when it looked like he was getting his life straightened out, the addiction in his blood overpowered him again and led him back into a life of crime and eventually to death.
Red Lands Outlaw - The Ballad of Henry Starr is a mixed bag of love and hate, hurt and healing, happy and sad. It is a fast-paced spaghetti western in the vein of Two Mules for Sister Sarah and A Fist Full of Dollars. It is apparent that Truman did his homework and set this book in authentic Oklahoma towns and territorial locations. His characters are believable, drawing the reader into the story. His use of historical western figures such as Quanah Parker and Lawman Bill Tilghman bring the story to life without distracting from the main plot of the book. There's a slow spot or two, and the timelines run a little thin at points, but that's not unexpected when creating fiction around history.
This book isn't an epic adventure like Lonesome Dove, but it's not intended to be. It's just a good romp across the Oklahoma Territory sharing the saddle of a true western icon. So if you've got a Kindle or Nook reader, $2.99, and a free afternoon, buy this book, sit back, pour yourself a cold one, and enjoy a good book. You won't regret it.
Author, Polar City Red
Also look at Phil Truman's GAME: an American Novel about Small Town Football
This leisurely western gives us a look at Oklahoma Territory and the Indian Nations. True life and fictionalized details are combined to make for a detailed tale about Henry's life and times. In this, he meets a number of famous people, from Qanah Parker, to Bill Tillghman, to hanging Judge Parker.
The people are the real story here, living in the final days of the old west when some people, like Henry Starr, didn't want the old days to end.
For Henry, the end was inevitable.
One of the things I love about this author is his skill in putting me at ease. It's a lot like sitting by a fire, listening to my Grandpa tell fun stories about his life.
There is humor, sadness, melancholy, some suspense but the last few chapters are a surprise but well worth the wait.it certainly leave the reader wishing they might have done someone to help Henry Starr.
I think I'll read it again!
Truman's prose is flawless and he is a good storyteller. There is a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid feel to this novel which isn't a bad thing since Starr had a reputation for being a gentleman bank robber. Starr's extended prison stays are underplayed and the ending is compressed. I could have read much more of this story. Still, this is a fine addition to the canon of the fiction of the American West.