American history's most famous outlaw comes alive in Ron Hansen's imaginative recreation of the West. The charismatic Jesse James has a quick temper, ...Show synopsisAmerican history's most famous outlaw comes alive in Ron Hansen's imaginative recreation of the West. The charismatic Jesse James has a quick temper, an even faster draw, and holds sway over his ragged ganguntil the arrival of upstart Robert Ford. Torn between worship and jealousy, Ford makes a fateful decision that torments him for the rest of his lifeand becomes one of the most legendary events of the American frontier. "A terrific book".NEWSDAY.Hide synopsis
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Initially I saw the movie released in 2007 with the same title which led me to this book. I enjoyed the movie and depiction of Jesse James outside of bank robberies and into more of an introspective look at his character. Fortunately, the movie closely followed the book which by all accounts was an interesting and very well written look at the final chapter of Jesse?s life. The author Ron Hansen accurately describes the scenery of this time period while also allowing the reader an understanding of the characters surrounding Jesse at this point in his life. Ultimately, you come to understand Jesse with his eccentricities and the complex character he really was.
Although a fictional account the author has relied heavily on newspapers of the period and several first person books to tell his story. It is a powerful piece of Americana that is rarely seen in print today. It shows the heros and anitheros with all their blemishes intact. Not the romantisized version of the West that readers have come to expect. This allows Mr. Hansen to relate this history with a fresh retelling. Although you may have heard the tale of Jesse James death I would bet that you have never hear it this way.
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