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Pretty Boy Floyd [Audio Cassette]

Larry McMurtry , Diana Ossana
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1994
A Pulitzer Prize-winning author and his screenwriting partner present a fictionalized account of the life and times of gangster Charley "Pretty Boy" Floyd. 8 cassettes.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Pulitzer Prize winner McMurtry and screenwriter Ossana recreate the life of a charming St. Louis country boy who becomes a notorious bank robber during the Depression.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

McMurtry (The Evening Star, LJ 6/1/92) and screenwriter Ossana initially wrote a screenplay based on the life of Pretty Boy Floyd and then decided to expand the story into a novel. The novel retains the tone of a script: it's heavy on dialog and has little character development. Pretty Boy Floyd took on the status of a folk hero in the 1920s, but here he comes across as a cartoon. He's a petty criminal out of control, surrounded by women who can't resist him and stupid accomplices. The women are mostly whores with hearts of gold or long-suffering wives, eager for a few special moments with their man. While this is certainly not McMurtry's best work, his reputation should elicit demand for this novel in public libraries. [Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates.]-Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll., N.C.
--Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll., N.C.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining But Inexcusably Naive Sept. 26 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although this was a generally entertaining book, it was disappointing on two counts. First, it really does read as though it was written by two different authors. The first half of the book lacks depth, while the second half of the book is much more well written. Second, the authors' give an often historically inaccurate and inexcusably sympathetic portayal of Floyd, who was one of the most notorious criminals of his day. The authors would have you believe that he was a fairly decent guy who only hurt others when he had to. On the contrary, Floyd was an extremely self-centered man who cheated regularly on his wife (he often lived with another lover, Beulah Baird, and was known to frequent brothels), and stole from, expoited, threatened, harassed, kidnapped, or killed many innocent victims, including many poor and middle class people. Today, Floyd would be diagnosed as an antisocial personality disorder and he was a sinister man whose criminal deeds, including numourous murders, reaped havoc on dozens, if not hundreds of people. This is the overriding impression that one should have of Floyd and how he should be remembered. McMurtry and Ossana were irresponsible for presenting him in a glorified manner, even though this is a novel. Readers who are uninformed about Floyd's devious nature will be swayed by this book to feel sorry for this egocentric gangster. Therefore, they would be better off reading other, more accurate accounts of Floyd's life, such as Jeffrey King's "The Life and Death of Pretty Boy Floyd."
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2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry,'re much better as a solo act Feb. 19 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Since Larry McMurtry was listed as one of the authors of this book, I picked it up and thought I would enjoy it. Boy, was I ever wrong. "Lonesome Dove" was a masterpiece, and so are the other McMurtry books I've read - but this, by comparison, is amateur night. The writing is stiff and reads like something McMurtry might have written when he was just starting out - and then threw in the trash.
Forgive me, Mr. McMurtry, but you're much better as a solo act, and I'm only sorry that you're not going to write any more novels about that wonderful pair, Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Alright for bed-time! Sept. 3 1998
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you want to learn about the gangster/outlaw breed of Pretty Boy, Ma Barker, Baby Face, etc., & understand more about the forces that created them, forget about this book. Any story told in a pure narrative style, like this one, naturally lends itself to embellishments of the truth, wild assumptions & a good few gross exagerations. This one is no exception. The fact that certain characters' feelings & thoughts in their final moments of their death throws, are clinically & vividly described, says it all. Bottom line with Charley Floyd is that he thought himself too good to become a poor farmer & proved himself incapable of success at any other activity, legal or illegal. He was a thieving, violent, adulterous & under-achieving cry-baby, who, as we see from his choice of cranky, miserable & homicidal side-kicks (Birdwell excepted), was also an awful judge of character. The author however, paints him in such tender tones, that when Pretty Boy's tacky, unsuccessful life of crime comes to it's predictible violent close, I am half expecting to read in the book's Epilogue, of his elevation to sainthood. His great gifts were his good looks & his immense charm, especially with women. What a shame he didn't move West to take part in the then burgeoning Hollywood film industry, or even try his hand as a door-to-door saleman. He was an absolute natural for either. Be that as it may, the narrative style is racy & exciting. The chapters are short, making this a very undemanding, entertaining bed-time read. Sadly, the flimsyness of the content is likely to leave you real hungry in the morning!
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5.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY AND SAD...AND HIGHLY ENTERTAINING READ!!! Aug. 9 2005
By mwyrick
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I don't understand the review by the (supposed) professor...because I don't think he understood this is a work of FICTION. Though it's loosely based upon an historical outlaw, it is a story told by FICTION WRITERS. It was funny, sad, full of colorful, clever, original dialogue, that made me feel as if I knew these characters inside and out. Pretty Boy was considered a folk hero in the late twenties and thirties, professor sir. Read the novel in that context. I think that was the point of the authors--that this was a time and place they wanted to capture with their imaginations, to bring to life for those of us who weren't alive then (and to entertain those who were). It was a rough time, people were poor, hungry, the banks were the enemy because they put entire families out on the streets, with nothing. There was no welfare, no homeless shelters. It was a wild, rough time. I gave this book to my grandpa (a fine, upstanding man if there ever was one), who remembered Pretty Boy Floyd from his own childhood, and he LOVED it!!! If anything, this novel, by the end, shows us how a wrong turn in the road of life can change the course of our entire future...and how hard it is to ever go back...give it a chance, I don't think you'll be disappointed!!!!!
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2.0 out of 5 stars uninteresting Aug. 22 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
McMurtry and Ossana have written a novel that is wholly uninteresting. I'm given to believe that Pretty Boy Floyd is something of a legend, and this novel does very little to tell me why he attained that status. Most of the novel focuses on his exploits with various lovers, rather than on his bank-robbing, which would be fine if there were any more depth to the romantic entanglements than there is to the short-shrifted heists. Worst of all, Floyd himself is a blank. We don't understand why the people close to him remain devoted to him, and therefore I have no idea why I should care about him. All in all, this is a boring novel, and a big disappointment given that one of the authors is McMurtry, who is one of the better novelists America has ever produced.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story! Entertaining
Pretty Boy Floyd, is somewhat fictionalized account of the true life of Charles Arthur "Chock" Floyd, the son of Oklahoma farmer and notorious gangster. Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2002 by Serene Night
Published on Feb. 14 2002
Published on Feb. 14 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars The Life of a Loved Gangster
Charley Floyd, had a simple life and had a wife and son. That all changed after he robbed a armord car. Soon he got caught and spent 4 years in the pen. Read more
Published on April 9 2001 by Derek
3.0 out of 5 stars Great characterization!
Larry McMurtry uses his excellent characterization skills in portraying Pretty Boy Floyd (aka Charles Floyd), a bandit of the Dillinger variety who robbed banks in the early 30's. Read more
Published on April 21 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced, funny, sad, as good as anything he's done solo
What a surprise! I thought the authors might try and glamorize criminal life, but after reading Charley FLoyd's story, I'd want to grow up to be anything but an outlaw. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars It made me laugh, cry, and want more.
Larry McMurtry is NOT a man who would ask to rent a pig. Nor did he write anything less than a great book, in Pretty Boy Floyd. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. Read more
Published on June 18 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars McMurtry and Ossana are FIVE STARS together.
WOW! This book is incredibly written. They showed a complexed version of this worn out outlaw. If I were stuck on a desert island I would unquestionably want this book with me,... Read more
Published on June 3 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Like eating a Twinkie....delicious but nothing there.
Fans of Larry McMurtry need not visit this book for any understanding of whom Charles Arthur Floyd was, what he did or why he ended up doing what he did. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 1999
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