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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
5.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY AND SAD...AND HIGHLY ENTERTAINING READ!!! Aug. 8 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story! Entertaining Nov. 2 2002
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Great characterization! April 21 2000
By A Customer
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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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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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars uninteresting
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... Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2003 by Bryant Burnette
1.0 out of 5 stars PRETTY BOY FLOYD (LARRY MCMURTRY AND DIANA OSSANA
THIS BOOK IS NOT PROOF READ PRIER TO SALES.
BAD SPELLING, NEW PARAGRAPHS WHICH JUMP FROM ON END OF THE STORY INTO ANOTHER FIELD ALL TOGETHER WITH OUT ENDING OR STARTING THE... Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars PRETTY BOY FLOYD (LARRY MCMURTRY AND DIANA OSSANA
THIS BOOK IS NOT PROOF READ PRIER TO SALES.
BAD SPELLING, NEW PARAGRAPHS WHICH JUMP FROM ON END OF THE STORY INTO ANOTHER FIELD ALL TOGETHER WITH OUT ENDING OR STARTING THE... Read more
Published on Feb. 13 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
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
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, Larry....you're much better as a solo act
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. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 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. 18 1999
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