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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [Audio CD]

Ron Hansen , G. Valmont Thomas
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 1 2007
Hansen continues his tales of the real West with his imaginative retelling ofthe life of the most famous outlaw of them all, Jesse James, and of his deathat the hands of the upstart Robert Ford.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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"Hansen has turned low history into high art. This is a terrific book." -- Newsday

"Vivid and sustained." -- --New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ron Hansen is the author, most recently, of A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction and of the novel Hitler's Niece. His previous novel, Atticus, was a National Book Award finalist. Other highly praised works of fiction include Mariette in Ecstasy, The Assassination Of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Desperadoes, and the story collection Nebraska. With Jim Shepard, he edited the anthology You've Got to Read This: Contemporary American Writers Introduce Stories That Held Them in Awe. Ron Hansen is married to the novelist Bo Caldwell and lives in northern California, where he teaches fiction writing and literature at Santa Clara University.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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HE WAS GROWING into middle age and was living then in a bungalow on Woodland Avenue. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great surprise Sept. 18 1997
By A Customer
Hansen uses an even approach to all the characters in this story: No demons or straw men, here. I began with the common view that honorable Jesse was killed by the detestible coward Robert Ford. But Hansen made me understand the motives, the differing natures of real people with warm blood in their veins, not the card board cut-outs of popular legend. I came to understand, through Hansen of course, that Jesse and Bob had few other options, given who they were, than to live and die as they did. Jesse born the killer; Bob born the Judas. This, the insistance that the story must be as it is told, indicates the very "true-ness" of the story as told by Hansen. In that respect, they are nearly elevated to Shakespherian status (Hamlet born to avenge his father), and the language does indeed inspire to reach far beyong the pitiful, common mode of the genre. A great book
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This book starts off with long descriptions of interesting facts that lost my interest after about 5. And the rest of the book followed that drawn-out precedent, with some entertaining action, dialog and humor mixed in. I enjoyed the interesting view on America it exemplified that you don't often find in contemporary novels. Jesse James was also portrayed in an astonishing light, but it got old and boring after a while. As soon as the shock wore off, I was just waiting for it to end to see exactly how Jesse was assassinated. I was not let down, but this book just had too much information and too many details without enough plot and dialog for my liking.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Superb prose, but too much of a good thing? April 14 2000
By A Customer
Hansen is an exemplary wordsmith and this is a wonderfully written book. Steeped in vivid detail and obviously painstaking research, it's enlightening and informative. If it fails at all its in its excesses. Can there be too much detail? Too deep an examination of the people and events surrounding the principal players? Unfortunately the answer is "yes," and those excesses make this book a tough, slow read. The fine quality of the writing, however, will certainly make up for some of the lapses in storytelling for many readers, especially those with higher literary standards.
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By A Customer
Hansen's second novel is a beautifully written tale of the murder of Jesse James by member of his gang. In-debth discussion of hero worship. This historical novel is based on fact, and delves into morality of killing a killer. Incredibly lyrical prose transports the reader back to 1880's Wild West. A towering achievement in fiction writing.

(reviewed by) James P. O'Connor 11/6/96
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