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Pretty Boy Floyd Audio Cassette – Oct 1 1994

14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (a) (Oct. 1 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671518925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671518929
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 10.8 x 18.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

As plain and affecting as a Woody Guthrie ballad, this re-creation of the crooked career of the Depression-era desperado/folk hero is Pulitzer Prize-winner McMurtry's (Lonesome Dove) first collaborative effort; he and screenwriter Ossana originally wrote this story as a filmscript. In 1925, after foolishly paying with (ill-gotten) cash for a brand-new Studebaker and driving home to visit his teenage wife and infant son, 21-year-old Oklahoma farm boy Charles Arthur Floyd is arrested and imprisoned for armed robbery. Released after four years, Floyd loses his new job because he's an ex-con. Arrested twice for vagrancy, he returns to the outlaw life and meets rodeo rider-turned-bandit George Birdwell when both he and Floyd strut in to rob the same bank at the same time. The outlaws embark on a reckless spree marked by small-town heists and artless women until Floyd-captured and convicted but escaped-kills a deputy and Birdwell is shot dead by a bookkeeper during a bank robbery. Heading north, Floyd eventually becomes the quarry of legendary G-man Melvin Purvis. Told in homely prose that's perfectly wedded to its subject, this engaging tragicomic novel is as much a study of quiet desperation as of crime and punishment. 275,000 first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates; author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pretty Boy Floyd, is somewhat fictionalized account of the true life of Charles Arthur "Chock" Floyd, the son of Oklahoma farmer and notorious gangster. I listened to the audio version of this book and it was most impressed, despite having reservations about wanting to hear about gangsters. (Not my usual fare). I was, however, most impressed with this audiobook. McMurtry and Ossana do a great job of bringing Pretty Boy Floyd to life. Even the minor characters have great personalities, and McMurtry and Ossana really DO manage to get into Pretty Boy's head.
The Story: Charles, "Pretty Boy" is a small-town boy, with country charm, who is married to a young half-Native American woman named Ruby Hargove. They have a son named Jack Dempsey Floyd. When money becomes scarce, Charles headed north looking for work. After trying various jobs, Pretty Boy tries to make money the easy way- by robbing an armored car. What follows is the tale of Floyd's life. You see him get further and further embroiled into his life as a gangster, have affairs with his girlfriends, and watch as he tries to outwit the law.
Floyd is consistently portrayed as a charming loveable rogue... An'outlaw' with a good heart, a weakness for women, liquor, and a well-cooked meal. (While I doubt many of Floyd's victims found him quite as so charming) the story worked for me. The novel moved at a brisk pace and was overall, greatly entertaining. I would recommend this novel for those interested in Gangsters or the life of Pretty Boy Floyd.
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By A Customer on April 21 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
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. McMurtry and Ossana give Floyd a charismatic, misunderstood character, one who robbed banks with a touch of wit and charm. This is in stark contrast to some other accounts of him being a ruthless and vicious criminal.
The book starts off covering Floyd's first payroll heist. It also tells about his adventures in jail and his attempt at a normal life. However, being an ex-con, he wasn't trusted and had to return to crime. The book then follows his various heists, his jail escape, and his adventures with his partners, wife and son, girlfriends, and friends. The reader is also treated to an inside look at his home life with his wife and child and how the life of crime distanced him from them. Ultimately, Floyd's career ends and McMurtry paints a sad picture when Floyd is finally brought to justice by Hoover and the soon-to-be FBI.
This book started off very exciting. I was drawn into the short chapters and Floyd's exciting adventures. However, I found a pattern to the book, which made it difficult to remain interested in: Floyd robs something, Floyd visits his girlfriend(s), visits family and friends, law catches on, Floyd goes and robs something else and repeat. Also, I didn't find much sympathy in the character. McMurtry did color him as a good-hearted man with a wild streak, but I didn't buy into it. He was still a thief. However, his character is interesting and at times, Floyd's adventures are funny and poignant -- which save this book.
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By A Customer on Sept. 26 1999
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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