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Would you listen to Wyatt in Wichita again? Why?
John Shirley, one of the founding fathers of the cyberpunk literary genre, turns his considerable talents to the Wild West in this blend of historical fiction and fact. This is the untold story of a young Wyatt Earp, before Dodge City, before Tombstone, and before the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral. As frontier fiction, it's right up there with the best of Larry McMurtry and the early westerns of Elmore Leonard. As historical fiction, the story weaves it's way across the territories from Wichita to Deadwood, crossing paths with well known figures like Bat Masterson, Wild Bill Hickok, Martha "Calamity" Jane Cannary, Charlie Utter, and many others, bringing them to life as never before. The novel is dark, but uplifting; unflinchingly violent, but heartfelt. Shirley's decision to use a period voice even in his omniscient narration was bold, but flawlessly executed, and the narrator, John McClain, captures the cadence and the style perfectly. It's a thrilling, action-packed, rip-roaring tale, well told. Don't miss it!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This is a historical fiction western. Shirley tells the story of the early years of Wyatt Earp. The author has done extensive research on Earp which shows in the story. Shirley uses fictionalized dialogue and actions to tell about the early life of Earp.
The book starts in Ellsworth, Missouri and includes the death of Urilla Sutherland, his first wife from typhoid fever during childbirth. In real life, the tragedy led to Earp’s depression and his questionable behavior. The story proceeded on to Wichita, Kansas and to Deadwood in Dakota territory. There is also a mystery as Wyatt solves the murder of Dandy, a young girl from Louisiana. The story has action and lots of interesting characters and real life people.
John Shirley is an award-winning author. John McLean does a good job narrating the story. McLean is a voice over artist and audiobook narrator.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful