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1. Calamity Jane 1852-1903: A History
 
2. Calamity Jane, 1852-1903;: A history
$19.52
3. Calamity Jane: The Woman And The
4. Calamity Jane: A Frontier Original
 
5. A History of Calamity Jane: Our
$9.88
6. Calamity Jane: Her Life and Her
$12.49
7. Calamity Jane
 
8. Calamity Jane
 
$5.00
9. American Frontier: Calamity Jane
 
$7.95
10. The Slow Reign of Calamity Jane
$1.98
11. Dead Man's Hand (Wild Bill)
$16.64
12. Calamity Jane (Tall Tales)
 
$23.60
13. Chick
 
14. Buffalo Girls
$8.84
15. Deadwood
 
16. Buffalo Girls (G K Hall Large

1. Calamity Jane 1852-1903: A History of Her Life and Adventures in the West
by Nolie Mumey
 Hardcover: Pages (1950)

Asin: B001KTUG4K
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2. Calamity Jane, 1852-1903;: A history of her life and adventures in the West
by Nolie Mumey
 Unknown Binding: 146 Pages (1950)

Asin: B0007EDJBQ
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3. Calamity Jane: The Woman And The Legend
by James D. Mclaird
Hardcover: 378 Pages (2005-09-30)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$19.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0806135913
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Forget Doris Day singing on the stagecoach. Forget Robin Weigert's gritty portrayal on HBO's Deadwood. The real Calamity Jane was someone the likes of whom you've never encountered. That is, until now.

This book is a definitive biography of Martha Canary, the woman popularly known as Calamity Jane. Written by one of today's foremost authorities on this notorious character, it is a meticulously researched account of how an alcoholic prostitute was transformed into a Wild West heroine.

Always on the move across the northern plains, Martha was more camp follower than the scout of legend. A mother of two, she often found employment as waitress, laundress, or dance hall girl and was more likely to be wearing a dress than buckskin. But she was hard to ignore when she'd had a few drinks, and she exploited the aura of fame that dime novels created around her, even selling her autobiography and photos to tourists.

Gun toting, swearing, hard drinking--Calamity Jane was all of these, to be sure. But whatever her flaws or foibles, James D. McLaird paints a compelling portrait of an unconventional woman who more than once turned the tables on those who sought to condemn or patronize her. He also includes dozens of photos--many never before seen--depicting Jane in her many guises. His book is a long-awaited biography of Martha Canary and the last word on Calamity Jane. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Calamity Jane
This was great!I wanted the book but did not want to pay $32.The service was great-quickly received and in very good condition.Thank you

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Well Researched
McLaird gets high points from me for such thorough and painstaking research - he really gets down to separating fact from legend and it's enlightening.However, I would have liked to have seen more of what she actually did and less of what she didn't.All in all, a worthwhile read for fans of Martha Canary/Calamity Jane and those with an interest in old west history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent biography
I did not pick up this book because I was particularly interested in Calamity Jane. No, I was going to attend a presentation the author,James D. Mclaird, was giving to the National Outlaw-Lawmen Association meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota. I wanted to know what he would talk about. (His presentation was excellent, by the way.)
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, especially the discussion of Calamity Jane's legend. And, not long afterward, I spotted an autobiographical pamphlet of Jane's on a table at a bookseller's. I grabbed it immediately. Fifteen bucks ... and autographed in the BACK, not the front. Ha ha! I'd like to have met Jane. I was pleased to meet James D. Mclaird, and I'm glad to have read this book! Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Self-Made Calamity
Though it's not mentioned in this biography, it's worth noting that cowboy artist C.M. Russell, who was more or less Calamity's contemporary, and who shared at least one mutual friend, cowboy Teddy Blue Abbott, never painted nor even mentioned Calamity in any of his artwork, stories, or recollections. It was Russell who wrote, "The worst old timer I every knew, looks dam good to me." James McLaird's painstaking new book suggests that perhaps Russell didn't find Calamity scandalous but dull.

Martha Jane Canary / Calamity Jane was, in her childhood and adolescent years, an example of resourcefulness and grit. She survived a broken home, neglect, and abandonment. That she survived at all, much less as a camp follower who chanced to visit some famous camps, would be enough to earn her a footnote in history books. Had she never returned to Deadwood after her first visit, she'd probably have some polite mention in the town's history. When she came back a second time, she was an item of nostalgia; but when she returned a third time, she was a nuisance and embarrassment.

James McLaird has done nothing less than a phenomenal job, and possibly a thankless one. He sifted and sorted through every book, article, memoir, and dime novel that might make mention of Calamity in order to establish just who she was and how much of her legend had any basis in fact. And the truth is neither flattering nor thrilling. If Calamity has anything to be memorialized for, apart from occasional nursing duties, it would be her travels. When not following the U.S. Cavalry into the Black Hills, she followed the railroad as it pushed its way across the West. She hobnobbed with Wild Bill Hickock, but probably never shared a bed with him. She was nowhere near General Custer and the 7th Cavalry when they encountered Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. She tended bars, drove wagons, whored, drank, and fought till she was asked to leave town, and might have continued to do so comfortably if she hadn't become a celebrity. Behind her dime novelesque fa├žade, she was a bitter alcoholic, aging prematurely and sinking toward an early death in her late 40s.

McLaird paints as sympathetic a portrait as he can. Calamity fell victim both to herself and the legend she engendered. Some years after her death, she was exploited again by Jean McCormick, a con artist who fabricated an elaborate and clumsy hoax to "prove" she was the daughter of Calamity and Wild Bill Hickock. McLaird commendably restrains his sarcasm and lets irony speak for itself. The McCormick ruse not only found believers in the 1940s, but continues to have adherents in these days of "Deadwood."

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Thorough, Reliable Information on Calamity Jane
In the past 20 years I've read a lot of information on Calamity Jane, and James Mclaird's book is the most reliable, well-researched book on the subject of this woman. Most of the information floating around about her is false, and Mclaird painstakingly dissects myth from fact, including how each myth or rumor was started in the first place. Since reading Calamity Jane:The Woman And The Legend, I feel like a pseudo-expert on her myself, and can easily spot misinformation and poor research whenever I see it in other publications. I highly recommend this read for Old West enthusiasts, students who are looking for a topic, and anyone interested in what a genuinely thorough biography is supposed to be. If you're considering another source on her life other than this one, don't bother because it's probably a jumble of misinformation. This book is the only way to go. ... Read more


4. Calamity Jane: A Frontier Original (Legendary Heroes of the Wild West)
by William R. Sanford, Carl R. Green
Library Binding: 48 Pages (1996-05)
list price: US$21.26
Isbn: 089490647X
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5. A History of Calamity Jane: Our Country's First Liberated Woman
by Stella Foote
 Hardcover: 242 Pages (1996-01)
list price: US$18.95
Isbn: 0533112737
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6. Calamity Jane: Her Life and Her Legend
by Doris Faber
Paperback: 80 Pages (1997-08-25)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$9.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395865395
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Who was Calamity Jane? Simply a legend created by a popular novelist? Or did Calamity Jane, born Martha Jane Cannary, really live the life she claimed? Doris Faber sorts out fact from fiction to tell the true story of a remarkable American woman who was part of the legend that celebrated the freedom and adventure of the West. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Readers review
The book contains very interesting photographs. However, it provides very limited information on Calamity Jane herself. Just the basics regarding her life are discussed. I think the book is too expensive for what it is offering. ... Read more


7. Calamity Jane
by Roberta Sollid
Paperback: 226 Pages (1995-01-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$12.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0917298330
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Stories about Calamity Jane have fascinated readers for generations.This book, one of the first authoritative factual sources, separates the mythical, romanticized Calamity depicted in dime novels and Hollywood films from the real, flesh-and-blood woman.After thirty-five years, it is back in print with new scholarship to place it in historical perspective and re-examine the legend. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Scholarship suffers from extreme prejudice
History is full of contradictions and ironies. This book is one of them.

How else can you explain how the one book historians claim is the most historically authentic Calamity Jane narrative, appears to have been written by the one scholar who despises her the most?

After years of exhaustive scholarly research, what does Roberta Beed Sollid have to say about Calamity Jane? In the introduction, Ms. Sollid calls..."the much publiciz-ed Calamity Jane, a well-meaning but good-for-nothing frontierswoman."

And, Calamity Jane is not the only one insulted in this book. A number of individuals and whole categories of human beings are described in negative terms. Even tourists visting the historic town of Deadwood, South Dakota, are described as "gullible".

Now, I do not mind that Ms. Sollid attempts to debunk the Calamity Jane myth and bring the real life of Martha Jane Cannary into the light of history. She does give the world new primary source material from her interviews of Deadwood citizens, and overall, she collects a considerable amount of authentic material.

But, Ms. Sollid cannot seem to keep her negative feelings out of what should have been a scholarly work, and I believe that this predjudices the text in both content and conclusion. Calamity Jane deserves better.

3-0 out of 5 stars Dated De-Mythologizing
In 1949 when this work was being researched, it was a major focus for historians of the American West to correct the exaggerated romantic legends that had grown up around many memorable frontier figures.In our skeptical day and age that focus is far less helpful.Roberta Sollid did an excellent job of debunking the many unsubstantiated stories that surround "Calamity Jane".Unfortunately, this work totally fails to help us understand the real person and how she came to survive as a frontier woman who frequently fulfilled roles usually reserved for men.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Factual Investigation
This was a source for my term paper in college. The author is somewhat confusing as she consistently identifies several lies about Calamity Jane before telling the facts. Some of the time I couldn't figure out if what she was currently discussing was fact or fiction. However, after sorting through her analysis I was able to put together an exceptional list of facts that lead to an A on the paper. I would recommend this as a reference tool because it is the one book on Jane that I have found to actually assist in disproving the fictions of her life.

5-0 out of 5 stars The amazing truth behind hollywood myth of Calamity Jane.
It's a thrill to see this historic treasure back in print. I found the 1951 edition of Sollid's "historical criticisim" in the basement of my University in a cracked and brittle condition. After spendingmonthsof wading through the various versions of Calamity Jane's life here was afirst hand investigation into not only all the source material I had readbut also of jail records, court reports, newspaper archives and interviewswith Deadwood oldtimers who knew "Calam'". The term"historical criticisim" is somewhat misleading if it implies adull achedemic read. Sollid's passion for her subject leads her to boardthe bus in the summer of 1949 to visit numerous towns in Montana, SouthDakota and Wyoming where she searched local archives and interviewedtownsfolk ranging from Catholic nuns to the Deadwood bar-tender who waspallbearer at Calamity Jane's funeral. As Sollid progresses her scholarlytext begins to ignite. This book contains many photos of Calam' that I hadnever seen elsewhere, including a macabre photo given to Sollid by theundertakers' widow. This gem of a book cuts through the glamorisation ofCalamity Jane by Hollywood fake up artists and challenges the equallyabsurd sketches of her character by predominatelymale historians of the20th century. A wonderfull tribute to the memory of Martha Cannary Burkea.k.a. Calamity Jane. Discover the woman behind the myth. ... Read more


8. Calamity Jane
by Ellen Crago Mueller
 Paperback: 24 Pages (1981-08)
list price: US$5.00
Isbn: 0936204281
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9. American Frontier: Calamity Jane at Fort Sanders - Book #8 (Disney's American Frontier, Book 8)
by Justine Korman, Ron Fontes
 Paperback: 73 Pages (1992-09-01)
list price: US$3.50 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1562822640
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Editorial Review

Product Description
An unconventional heroine spins tales, outwits troublemaking prospectors, and disguises herself as a man to scout for the U.S. Army. ... Read more


10. The Slow Reign of Calamity Jane (New Canadian Poets)
by Gillian Robinson
 Paperback: 123 Pages (1995-01)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$7.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1550821172
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11. Dead Man's Hand (Wild Bill)
by Judd Cole
Mass Market Paperback: 176 Pages (1999-02)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$1.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0843944870
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
No man could handle a gun as well as Wild Bill Hickok, and few men used one as often. That's why he's hired by Allan Pinkerton's new detective agency to protect an eccentric inventor on a train ride through the worst badlands of the West. With hired thugs out to kill him and angry Sioux out for his scalp, Bill knows he has his work cut out for him. But even if he survives that, he still has a worse danger to face--a jealous Calamity Jane. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars PORTRAITS OF WILD BILL


I have read all 8 books of this mini-series, and enjoyed each one.I have many books of non-fiction concerning Wild Bill on my shelves also. For me these fiction books are very enjoyable offering interesting views of Hickok both fictional and not as they meander along.

As of this writing, Leisure Books is getting ready April 1, 2008, to reprint the entire series, and that alone should give some indication of the past interest in this mini-series of a few years back.

It's too bad the other reviewer here did not see the value in this series, it is really an enjoyable read for one and all who enjoy western fiction.And few other real life personages from our western past has had more 'fiction' doled out about his life, many times under guise of 'non-fiction'.At least in Judd Cole's entertaining books it is correctly labeled fiction rather than fact.

The story is not overly difficult: a new invention, an ice making machine is being patented, with some men trying to wrest the machine from the German scientist inventor.One of the immediate uses of ice on the plains was the reducing of fever in diseases, especially the scarlet fever now raging in the big pest house east of town in Denver. Due to a large, inexhaustable availability of man made ice, the death rate has dropped 80 per cent. As this new invention is put on display aboard a train, Wild Bill is hired by Allan Pinkerton at $5 per day, to guard both it and its inventor. One episode quickly follows another, even a Lakota war party attack, before the tale reaches it end.But touch Wild Bill for luck, it is a good read and a good series.

One small note:Judd Cole has Wild Bill drinking Old Taylor Bourbon in the book, yet the earliest I can determine an Old Taylor distillery being established is 1887. This novel can be dated by mention of 3 years after Promontory, Utah, 1869, and George Pullman cars in 1870, which makes the date of the novel, 1872. Sorry.........these dates make Old Taylor Bourbon being in existence pretty slim. Great reading none-the-less.

The reprinted Wild Bill series is now showing up in bookstores, get them before it is too late. This is the 2nd printing since '99 and there will probably not be another, book-a-roos.

Semper Fi.

1-0 out of 5 stars *DONT* WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY
The book " Dean Man's Hand " is a horrible book. The author puts way too many adjectives in the story. If you read it, you'll know what I mean. Every single sentence has like 5 or 6 adjectives. After a while, it gets boring to read. The only parts I like are when Joshua keeps annoying Wild Bill, the main character. One time, Wild Bill and Joshua went to meet a friend of Wild Bill. While they were going there, they found the girl who loves Wild Bill. She didn't know it was him because she hadn't seen him in years. So she was about to shoot him. I also DO NOT like how the author uses too many big words. Even though I know what they mean, it gets annoying to not just have simple words. She uses words that I have never heard and have to ask my dad. I think that's good, because it gives you a bigger vocabulary, but it gets frustrating that I have to put down my book and go ask my dad what it means. Do not waste your time or your money. It is a dull book that I would not reccomend to anyone. ... Read more


12. Calamity Jane (Tall Tales)
by Larry Dane Brimner
Library Binding: 32 Pages (2004-01)
list price: US$23.93 -- used & new: US$16.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 075650600X
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The life story and adventures of a legendary American frontierswoman Calamity Jane, whose real name was Martha Jane Canary. ... Read more


13. Chick
by Dave Sargent, Pat Sargent
 School & Library Binding: Pages (2001-06)
list price: US$23.60 -- used & new: US$23.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1567636772
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14. Buffalo Girls
 Hardcover: Pages (1990-09)

Isbn: 0685389170
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15. Deadwood
by Pete Dexter
Paperback: 384 Pages (2005-07-12)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$8.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400079713
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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DEADWOOD, DAKOTA TERRITORIES, 1876: Legendary gunman Wild Bill Hickcock and his friend Charlie Utter have come to the Black Hills town of Deadwood fresh from Cheyenne, fleeing an ungrateful populace. Bill, aging and sick but still able to best any man in a fair gunfight, just wants to be left alone to drink and play cards. But in this town of played-out miners, bounty hunters, upstairs girls, Chinese immigrants, and various other entrepeneurs and miscreants, he finds himself pursued by a vicious sheriff, a perverse whore man bent on revenge, and a besotted Calamity Jane. Fueled by liquor, sex, and violence, this is the real wild west, unlike anything portrayed in the dime novels that first told its story. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

4-0 out of 5 stars deadwood.....more than a tv series
I've wanted to read this book for a long time, it seems strange it is out of print. Yes, it is a different take on the west, (and a refreshing one) but in the hands of Pete Dexter, a memorable one. He is such a good writer that a review is beyond my capabilities....just read it!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars excellent, if uneven, historical novel
Like many fans of the HBO series, I came to this novel hoping to experience the wonderfully colorful characters from another angle.This book definitely succeeds at that:you get Charley Utter, Seth Bullock, Al Swearingen, and Calamity Jane in very different form and interpretation, in many ways more deep and certainly as a coherent, serious novel.

The following will contain no spoilers.In this, the principal character is Utter.He is too big a personality to merely be Hickok's sidekick:smarter and more thoughtful, he has greater depth of character and is not on the same path to self destruction.Bullock and Swearingen, while vital actors in the politics of the town, are mere shadows in this version, appearing now and then.Jane is also more fully center and is the same caring drunk with fanciful illusions. As the greatest celebrity of the Wild West, Hickok is in syphalitic decline, losing his sight and strength, even his will to live; living only in the moment, gambling and barely keeping it together.While trying to take care of him, Utter begins to see him in a new way.Though Utter lives largely in the present as well, he cares for others in a diplomatic and ethical way, defending himself when necessary with typical violence of the times, but merciful if not always compassionate.You like him, admire his business competence, and believe in him more than any other character.The plot is about his survival and good works.There is a roster of highly unusual characters, such as Hickok's wife Agnes, the bottle man, and the actor's wife, all of whom existed.For the most part, the characters are multi-facetted and extremely subtle.It has the best fictional interpretation of Hickok, for example, that I have ever seen.This is at times first rate.

As a reading experience, the novel offers many thematic riches and patterns to unravel, if you enjoy such things.In a way, it is about how the actions of all the actors shape the soul of the city, though there is virtually nothing about politics.Bullock is an opportunist, hoping to avoid entanglements (rightfully in fear of his life) while maintaining his reputation; he is ambivalent about Hickok and covers for his partner, Saul Starr.Utter is the character that evolves the most and along with Bullock, survives intact.Some (though not Utter) are also conscious of their reputations as part of their legacy that is creating careers for themselves - there is a lot about what celebrity meant back then, when myths were being made.In my reading, Utter only wants to live according to his code.There is no doubt that this book must be re-read, which I will certainly do to plumb the additional meanings.For example, there is an episode with moose-hunting that deeply affects Utter, in particular his understanding of Hickok, but even after reading it several times I am not sure I get it.That is a sign of the density of the novel.

The historical aspects are treated in a very interesting way.I had an academic history next to me with a good index I could peruse for accuracy and take.I found that any important occurance of import to the town was unerringly accurate historically, for example the details of where the fire broke out, all of it woven into a very complex narrative from multiple points of view.Where the author departs from history is ascribing specific event details behind the action, such as who set the fire, the sexuality of Swearingen, and the intimate thoughts of a Chinese prostitute.No one could ever know those kinds of things, so it is the fictionalist's art in the finest tradition of historical novels, of the same quality as Gore Vidal.You often get a feeling you are witnessing bleakly unvarnished history, before the myths were immortalized, which is great fun and an aspect of all first-rate historical novels, e.g. Vidal's Lincoln.

Unfortunately, there are flaws to the book that spoilt the reading experience at times:some of the plot lines and scenes did not strike me as believable, but rather as dime-store melodrama.For example, there is a major romantic subplot with Saul Star that has no basis in fact so far as I know, and leads to truly catastrophic consequences for everyone.I just couldn't suspend my disbelief about it.

In spite of these criticisms, this is a great novel in many respects.Recommended with enthusiasm.

5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting and Poetic
An old friend and I went to the bookstore four days ago. I bought him a Raymond Carver collection and he bought me this novel by Pete Dexter. Every day since I couldn't tear myself away from its pages.

Dexter has really crafted a first-rate plot here. You are always anticipating something and without fail you are always stunned by where the story decides to go.

I have no particular draw to the western as a genre. Before DEADWOOD, BLOOD MERIDIAN was the only novel of this type I had read. Where McCarthy's language often takes the tone of scripture, zooming out to a majestic scale that separates you from the experience of his characters, Dexter always keeps you right there on that human level, working poetry into the quotidian and finding something honest and moving in the most surprising places.

Highly, highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Western Pulp Fiction
I never would have believed I'd read , much less enjoy , a western novel . The over the top violence is often comical and , Dexter's use of dialog is amazing . The broken english and colloquialisms ,of even the dumbest charactersare hilarious , witty , and insightful . Often both . There were caracters I came to care about and miss upon their demise . " Laugh out loud" is a cliche tossed around in too many reviews . Personally I've only found only a few writers that funny and I read a lot . ( John Kennedy O'Toole , Barry Hannah , Padgett Powell , Mark Leyner , and now Peter Dexter ) . I laughed out loud often and , at times , even cried . Its that good . Can't wait to read more of Dexter's work .

5-0 out of 5 stars Fiction as good as it gets
I knew what a great writer Pete Dexter is, but somehow missed this book.Ordered a copy after enjoying the superb Deadwood television series.Pete Dexter's book Deadwood is as good as any fiction I have ever read.I am trying to stretch out the reading experience to savor each paragraph, every sentence.Looking forward to reading more of his books. ... Read more


16. Buffalo Girls (G K Hall Large Print Book Series)
by Larry McMurtry
 Hardcover: 442 Pages (1991-10)
list price: US$20.95
Isbn: 081615242X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Pulitzer prize-winning author Larry McMurtry returns to the territory of his masterwork, Lonesome Dove, to sing the song of Calamity Jane's last ride. The CBS miniseries starring Angelica Huston and Melanie Griffith will air during May sweeps period. Previously published. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting read but not factually accurate
Once again Larry McMurtry spins a tale of the Wild West.The characters in Buffalo Girls are well-illustrated, with interesting character sketches about their appearances, thoughts, foibles, and quirks.The story is poignant, describing the adventures of a rag-tag bunch of the last of dying breed:those who settled the West.There is a sense of sadness about this book, which reflects the characters' own melancholy.I felt that McMurtry used his creative license well, especially in the "letters to Jane" approach, but towards the end of the story the historical bent is completely off-track.While much of Calamity's life is lost to history, it is known that she married and did have a daughter.This is completely ignored in the book.I will give him credit, though--McMurty knows how to end a story!Worthy of your time and consideration, especially if it leads you to read the excellent Lonesome Dove.

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor Condition
This book was described as being in "good condition". That wasn't the case when I received it. I'd say it was in poor condition as the book was coming apart at the spine.

5-0 out of 5 stars sad and lovely
One of my favourite books, and my favourite LM novel. No matter how often I revisit it, it always gets a tear.

4-0 out of 5 stars buffalo girls
enjoyed this book because I like stories of the old west.Others may find it boring.Not half as good as lonesome dove.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Journey With Legends Of The West
This review refers to the Audio Cassette Book (Unabridged,Simon and Schuster)Edition of "Buffalo Girls" by Larry McMurtry and read by Betty Buckley. Reviews are mixed together. This audio book has the ISBN of :0671727818.

I found "Buffalo Girls" to be a most enjoyable listen. Although it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, I loved the characters and hated to leave them when the book was finished. I liked it enough though, that somewhere down the line, I will listen to it again.

This novel interweaves famous historical figures, places and events with stories of great friendships and life at a time when the Wild West was becoming a bit more civilized. Calamity Jane, more subdued in her mid-life years, writes letters to her daughter Jane about her colorful life, pals and travels. Her friend Dora DuFran runs a brothel, but always has a room ready and waiting for her beloved Calamity. Their friendship is long and true. They consider themselves, probably the last of the "Buffalo Girls". Calamity also reminisces of her love for Wild Bill(dead for sometime now), adventures with traveling buddies, Jim Ragg (who's love for hunting beaver is his main focus on life),Bartle Bone and "No Ears" an old Indian with great foresight. Now all in their older years(and Calamity on a long drinking binge), they join up with Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull, and head to England on a great ship to perform in Cody's Wild West Show, the last great adventure of their lives.

I have always enjoyed stories of the Wild West and the legends that lived it. Calamity has been one of my favorites, and there have been so many different interpertations of this woman who defied the expectations of womanhood in the 19th century. Most recently I have come to love the Calamity on "Deadwood", and have a feeling, that that Jane comes closest to the real deal. If you have seen it , you know she is not exactly glorified. So when I first started listening to Betty Buckley, she seemed too feminine and too sweet to be Jane. I also was expecting a more adventurous storline. But I have to say, considering the fact the this Jane is older, maybe a litttle tired, and more reflective of life, that Miss Buckley was an excellent choice. And the storyline as well was one more of the love between these friends, and the strong bonds developed over the years.There are also some great touches of humor sure to bring a smile. As other have said, the ending is totally unexpected, but this is afterall a novel, and you wouldn't want it to be totally predictable.

There are 8 cassettes with a total running time of 12 hours to get completely involved with the characters and McMurtry takes you on a wonderfully descriptive trip back in time. The quality and sound is excellent, and I loved the Western folk songs and the lonesome cowboy harmonica playing at the end of each side.

So I would say if you are looking for an action-adventure packed type of Western, you should probably pass this one by. But if you love tales of these legendary, bigger then life figures, and want a new take on them, this book is perfect.

Saddle Up with Calamity Jane once more, Happy Trails, and enjoy the read....Laurie ... Read more


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