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Tom Horn in Life and Legend

Written by: Larry D. Ball
Narrated by: Laurence Lukas
Length: 19 hrs and 44 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Some of the legendary gunmen of the Old West were lawmen, but more, like Billy the Kid and Jesse James, were outlaws. Tom Horn (1860-1903) was both. Lawman, soldier, hired gunman, detective, outlaw, and assassin, this darkly enigmatic figure has fascinated Americans ever since his death by hanging the day before his 43rd birthday. In this masterful historical biography, Larry Ball, a distinguished historian of western lawmen and outlaws, presents the definitive account of Horn’s career.

Horn became a civilian in the Apache wars when he was still in his early 20s. He fought in the last major battle with the Apaches on US soil and chased the Indians into Mexico with General George Crook. He bragged about murdering renegades, and the brutality of his approach to law and order foreshadows his controversial career as a Pinkerton detective and his trial for murder in Wyoming. Having worked as a hired gun and a range detective in the years after the Johnson County War, he was eventually tried and hanged for killing a 14-year-old boy. Horn’s guilt is still debated.

As a teller of tall tales, Horn burnished his own reputation throughout his life. In spite of his services as a civilian scout and packer, his behavior frightened even his lawless companions. Although some writers have tried to elevate him to the top rung of frontier gun wielders, questions still shadow Horn’s reputation.

©2014 University of Oklahoma Press (P)2019 Redwood Audiobooks

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  • 2019-04-07

If you can stand the awful narration...

The book is great, perhaps the best book ever written on the subject. Incredibly researched, highly detailed, and the follow-up about "Tom Horn" legend was a surprising treat.
The narration is awful. I can imagine that the narrator sounded good, at first, to those who choose these things, but they didn't listen to him long enough. His GLOTTAL STOP is the most disturbing feature that left me laughing at parts that shouldn't be laughed at, with the troubling effect of halting my concentration about the subject overall. Really, did someone vet this guy? Evidently, they never had him read the words "mountain," or "Martin." There are actually "T's" in those words, and this guy can't get to them. I grew up in the panhandle area of Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico and while the drawl here is fast and loose, there is no reason to punish the listener of of a supposedly professional work by hearing "mou-un" and "Mar-un" over and over (with extra emphasis on "un"). Really, we don't allow our kids to speak this way in the southwest, and the reason will be obvious to you if you listen to Lucas enough. It's not "hick-charming," or "range-cute," it's just lazy, lazy reading. Add to that the less often mispronunciation (actually, slaughter) and syllable addition of words like "burgularizing" and you'll be in stitches, even though the narrator is describing a tragedy. Or is that a tragedidy? The lazy talk of glo-ul stop has to, well... stop!
-Nevertheless- The book was worth the torture of the listen, but more than once, I considered returning it because of the narration. It is, after all, a good book. I should have bought the text version and read it for myself, I suppose.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • CT
  • 2019-05-13

found it rather dull, narrator didn't help

I was hoping this would be more interesting, as this covers one of my favorite times is American history. I found it dull, and the narrator didn't help draw me in.