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Deadwood by Pete Dexter
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Deadwood (original 1968; edition 2005)

by Pete Dexter (Author)

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6081829,915 (3.95)24
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.… (more)
Member:hukkleberri
Title:Deadwood
Authors:Pete Dexter (Author)
Info:Vintage (2005), Edition: Reprint, 365 pages
Collections:general fiction
Rating:****
Tags:Dakota territory, Hickock, Utter, Calamity Jane

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Deadwood by Pete Dexter (1968)

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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
A Masterclass in using sentences to accurately describe and create characters.

"To Charley's knowledge, Jack Crawford was the only man in the West who spoke in footnotes."

"He was carrying a leather bag, and smelled like everything he touched or eaten in two months."

"He looked at a story about a new gun they had out in California that spit seventy rounds in four seconds. They called it the "Peace Conservator." They were always doing some damn thing in California that nobody had thought out the consequences."

A little heavy on the Peeders though. I think the word is used every third page. ( )
  auldhouse | Sep 30, 2021 |
Hard to get into at first, but then the story started to come together. What a cast of characters. How did we survive this period in history? ( )
  Doondeck | Aug 17, 2020 |
It is probably a fine book, but the genre aspects actively repelled me. Not my style at all. ( )
  breic | Apr 17, 2019 |
3.5 stars ( )
  AaronJacobs | Oct 23, 2018 |
I watched every episode of the Deadwood series, and was so disappointed when it ended so abruptly after only 3 seasons. When I saw that this book was actualy the book that David Milch built his series around, I had to read it. The book is similar in many ways to the excellent series, but it is different too. It's actually much deeper and Charlie Utter (one of my characters in the series) is the main character in the book. He is the glue that holds everything together. The book is totally surprising, and there is so much depicted in it. Utter is the voice of reason in the wilds of Deadwood. He's a man who is best friend to the legend, Wild Bill Hickok, and he's a man who studies and examines humankind all around him, and even if he's not surprised at the depravity he encounters, his ability to mediate and provide a voice of reason even under the most shocking circumstanes, helps his friends and acquaintenances through difficult times. Charlie is very much a man of his time (1870's), but he's also a modern man in a changing world. The book is hilariously funny in spots, and totally shocking in others, but through it all we have Charlie making his way through it, and his experiences are so well depicted that it helps us assimilate the multitude of humanity and the multitude of viloence in Deadwood, USA. I didn't think I'd find another book about the old west that I would like as much as Lonesome Dove, but this book can hold its' place beside Lonesome Dove and even rises above in many aspects. ( )
1 vote Romonko | Feb 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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The boy shot Wild Bill's horse at dusk, while Bill was off in the bushes to relieve himself.
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There's nothing you ever heard about Bill that's true, except by accident. -- Charley Utter on Bill Hickok's celebrity.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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The old West as perceived by Pete Dexter is really real and funny in Deadwood, South Dakota, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, and other real life residents such as saloon keeper, Chinese store owners, lawmen. A movie Wild Bill with Jeff Bridges follows the humor while the book also inspired an HBO series with Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane in a period piece drama.
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