By the author of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
Aged 65, Emmett Dalton is the last survivor of the legendary Dalton gang and now he lives off his memories in Hollywood. Combining fact and fiction, Ron Hansen depicts the outlaw past of the Daltons and the West they travelled. The Daltons brothers turn from being peace officers in the Indian territories to a life of rustling.
When their leader, Bob, meets Eugenia Moore, a schoolteacher who begins to plan their robberies, they become the most notorious outlaws of their time. As their raids, on trains and banks, become more daring and successful the price on their heads and the pursuit of the law increase. Then they ride into Coffeyville, intending to rob both the town‘s banks.
Combining historical research with his novelist’s imagination and ability to evoke character, Ron Hansen rewrites the history of the American West in Desperadoes, and revises the romanticised mythology of violence created by Hollywood.
“Wonderful, moving, funny… delivers the sheer story-telling that great adventure demands.”
“Ron Hansen has turned low history into high art”
“A very superior Western”.
“Mr Hansen’s first novel and it is a stunning one.”
“Hansen’s feel for period and place, his accounts of shootouts, his descriptions of places, wounds, people, dirt and death are superb and his narrative powers are equally fine… A masterpiece.”
“Ron Hansen has captured the flavour of the times: the hard living, violence and humour inherent in the story of one of the legendary cowboy gangs.”
“Anyone interested in the truth and myths of the ‘old’ West is bound to enjoy this novel.”