Son of the Old West


Product Details

$28.00  $26.04
Atlantic Monthly Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.4 inches | 1.25 pounds

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About the Author

NATHAN WARD is the author of The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett, which was nominated for the Edgar and Anthony awards, as well as Dark Harbor: The War for the New York Waterfront. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Crimereads, and Westword and was an editor at American Heritage Magazine for several years. Though he lives in Brooklyn, NY, he has had a lifelong interest in the American West and its history.


Praise for Son of the Old West: "A vibrant portrait of Charles Siringo, one of the most ubiquitous characters in the history of the American West . . . Ward's sharp eye for detail and breezy prose style make this a riveting look at the mythology of the Old West."--Publishers Weekly "The life of a Texas cowboy who ranged the wild frontier paints a broader picture of bygone times in the American West . . . Lively and detailed . . . Illustrations, vintage photos, and maps throughout the text add atmosphere and context to this stirring, multivaried life . . . A well-rendered cowboy tale that fleshes out a larger history of the Old West."--Kirkus Reviews"Nathan Ward's chronicle is a twisting storm of horseback odyssey, snake-bitten fortunetelling, class warfare, and deep-cover pursuit of legendary outlaws. The eye of this hurricane is cowboy detective Charlie Siringo--brave, stubborn, heartbroken and hopeful--who races through perils and adventure like a man who knows we're all watching, all the way to his literal Hollywood ending. Son of the Old West is full-gallop history, and I loved every page."--Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River and So Brave, Young, and Handsome"A veritable real-life Jack Crabb, Charlie Siringo claimed to have seen and done it all in the Old West. Even better, a lot of what Charlie claimed was actually true! In this engrossing book, Nathan Ward expertly guides us along Charlie's meandering trail, from Texas childhood to author of his own legend. At the same time, we are treated to a rich and fascinating portrait of the American West at its wildest."--Mark Lee Gardner, Spur Award-winning author of To Hell on a Fast Horse: Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West

"Nathan Ward skillfully brings to life the enigmatic Charlie Siringo, a gypsy-footed cowboy, manhunter, and writer, who helped merge the Wild West of reality with the Wild West of myth."--Michael Wallis, author of Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride

Praise for The Lost Detective:

"As a devoted Hammett aficionado, I've read most books about him and published his daughter's memoir, but learned so much in this captivating examination of the great author's life that I feel compelled to reread his complete works with far deeper understanding than ever before."―Otto Penzler, Editor, The Best American Noir of the Century"The Lost Detective is full of stimulating insight into how the novice writer shaped real-life experience into vital fiction."―The Wall Street Journal"Ward's focus on the origins of Hammett's writing style and his connecting the events of the author's background to the fiction are the highlights of this brief, accessible biography . . . Highly recommended."―Library Journal"As brisk and conversational as a magazine feature, The Lost Detective invites readers not just to explore Hammett's early years in more detail and consider how those formative experiences helped shape his writing career, but also . . . to look at how the Hammett persona was created. And as we Hammett fans know, there are few personas, few writers in 20th-century literature period, more interesting to read about."―Washington Post"A gritty portrait of the 20th century's great pulp poet Dashiell Hammett, who turned his days gumshoeing for the Pinkerton Detective Agency into bawdy and muscular American classics."―O, the Oprah Magazine"Highly entertaining . . . Captures what it feels like to read Hammett's early work and, as Ward says, 'watch a sickly ex-detective in his late twenties, with an eighth-grade education, gradually, improbably, teach himself to write.'"―Boston Globe"Nathan Ward shows that Hammett's innovative style did not, as it may have seemed, spring fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus . . . With deft investigative work, Ward shows how much of Hammett's fiction owed to Pinkerton reports . . . A lively, witty account of how Hammett came to be Hammett--a portrait of the artist, if you will, as a cynical man."―Chicago Tribune"Nathan Ward's book shines a detective's flashlight on Hammett's early development."―Buffalo News"Hardboiled crime novel fans will find Ward's research into what it meant to Hammett to be an actual detective before he wrote about them quite fascinating."―Shelf Awareness"With its sharp focus and strong hook, The Lost Detective is a fascinating read [that] casts Hammett in a new and intriguing light."―Herald Scotland"Beguiling . . . The Lost Detective is a dazzling display of literary detection."―Sydney Morning Herald