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The Real Deadwood
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The Real Deadwood

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  172 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Supported by strong ratings and a rich history, The Real Deadwood provides background and historical accuracy for the figures depicted on the hit HBO series, and takes a broader look at the times that spawned them. Covering law and order, politics, journalism, and early medicine, and examining some "historical guest stars" who may play a factor in future Deadwood episodes ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 31st 2004 by Chamberlain Bros. (first published 2004)
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Jul 08, 2016 Bookista rated it did not like it
Offensively dumb short history of Deadwood. Complains Calamity Jane only died of inflamed bowels instead of something more exciting and suggests there were so many murders in Deadwood because everyone was bored. The author's primary interests appear to be prostitutes and Will Bill Hickock's moustache.
Mar 02, 2015 HeavyReader rated it it was ok
This book claims to give the stories behind the characters of the TV series Deadwood. It is written in a style that seemed dumbed down to me, like maybe it was written for an adult who reads at a fourth grade reading level. I got it from BookMooch, so I'm ok with the fact that it wasn't such a great book, but I'm sure glad I didn't pay for it.
Tony Bake
Apr 08, 2010 Tony Bake rated it it was ok
This book is "gift shop gold." Bought it in South Dakota, love the show, the book was overpriced and light on information. Do i regret reading it? No. But not really worth buying.
Todd Haines
Jul 29, 2012 Todd Haines rated it it was ok
Refers to the HBO series too much.
Mar 05, 2011 Carpii rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
Having read a lot of books on the history of the wild west (and old west), I was attracted to this book because its subtext sounded interesting.

I wasnt aware there was a tv drama series called Deadwood, and since the book instantly starts making references to it, I was initially very confused. The author doesnt give any introduction to the tv series, he just assumes you know about it (which I didnt) and also assumes youre interested in it (which I wasnt).

The references to the tv series continu
Nick Dupree
Jun 14, 2013 Nick Dupree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western, history
I got the Kindle edition of this book on rental from the New York Public Library and enjoyed it thoroughly. It aims to serve as an entry point to the "Real Deadwood" and its history for those who have seen HBO's "Deadwood" and are interested in going deeper and introducing themselves to the real historical figures behind the characters. It does well at that. It's a quick read at 176 large-type/wide margined pages but in those pages it covers a LOT, including every major and minor historical ...more
Feb 10, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
An absolute must to accompany watching the HBO series Deadwood - I so enjoy learning the history that inspired the tv show, but also how it distorted or veered from the facts. Plus - it covers many famous visitors and other Deadwood citizens like Mark Twain, America's first woman detective, Kate Warne, and Deadwood Dick (Nat Love) an African-American cowboy (1 in 4 cowboys were african-American). I enjoyed learning about the horrors of gold-prospecting, the hard facts on medicine, saloon-life, ...more
Jun 14, 2013 George rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far, it's good stuff. Ames seems up to the challenge of looking close and clearly into an area of America's "fairylands".

At every turn of the page, I expected a foible, some stumble toward the fable of the frontier. So far, that expectation has been befuddled by clear explanations or a fair gleening of facts garnered through the media that was present.

If you are reading this, you should know that there are many references to the TV series "Deadwood". The author usually gives you a "head-up"
Nov 17, 2013 Katie rated it it was ok
I guess if you watched the television show, this book might be an interesting text to compare the characters you've been watching vs the actual people. As someone who just wanted to know more about the history and people of Deadwood this book was a let down. Especially with all of the author's asides and opinions about the actors/actresses playing particular roles. I don't give a damn that Mr. Ames thinks Timothy Olyphant is too handsome to play Seth Bullock.
Jun 27, 2011 Marielle rated it really liked it
Brings alive all the great historical characters of Deadwood, South Dakota in the Black Hills — from Wild Bill Hickok to Sheriff Seth Bullock; Calamity Jane to Frontier Medicine.

Fast, easy read, and Ames uses the HBO series, Deadwood, as a frequent backdrop and reference point. According to Ames, HBO got its history and characterization dead on for Deadwood. A great guide book to visiting the Black Hills and to watching Deadwood!
Feb 19, 2009 Heather rated it liked it
Nice primer book about Deadwood for those who might just like a quick, thorough overview. This book does reference the tv show a lot, so it almost feels like it should be directly associated with it as like an official companion. If you want deep, new information I would suggest looking elsewhere. If you want something quick to get a general understanding of the city and the times, this is a good choice.
May 31, 2014 Kristel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone that has watched the HBO series of "Deadwood"
I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone that has watched the HBO Series of "Deadwood". It draws the ties between truth and fiction, but also gives the reader real accounts of other events and scenarios going on around town during the same era. Fast, easy read and a great choice when traveling through Deadwood after watching the HBO Series.
Alissa Hankinson
Aug 20, 2007 Alissa Hankinson rated it liked it
Shelves: own
If you're a fan of the Deadwood hbo series this book is a nice little companion read, but it's nothing special. It provides brief biographies of a few of the characters' real life counterparts, but I only found those of Al Swearengen and Seth Bullock interesting as much has been better written about Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane elsewhere.
Jan 08, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Deadwood fans
More of a 2.5 really, this takes a look at the real lives of the town and people on Deadwood (which this assumes familiarity with) and provides a bit of background colour. Not much though, and I would have preferred something a lot more in-depth, but it did also provide some pointers for further reading.
Holly Senecal
Oct 21, 2015 Holly Senecal rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the book and read it at night before I went to sleep. I think it would be excellently suited for a middle school history project. The stories are good and the information is interesting but it just wasn't as riveting as I have found other books about this subject.
Jun 14, 2013 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book in just over an hour. In addition to wide margins, larger type and wide line spacing, it merely glossed over a lot of different information without going into detail on anything. I was hoping for some more substantial reading, even with the scant 163 pages.
Jan 16, 2016 Kristina rated it liked it
A good book to introduce readers to the various characters and traits of Deadwood. It mostly just compares the TV show to reality and thus isn't suitable for those interested in proper research. However for those who've seen the show and want to get an idea of how accurate it is, this is ideal.
May 16, 2016 Nicole rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This book was about what I expected. It was a light read in which the author writes about the Deadwood show compared to the historical Deadwood.
Loved the HBO series and got this book. Good history on the real life cast of characters that inspired the show.
Jan 17, 2016 Kevin rated it really liked it
fascinating look at behind the scenes of the real Deadwood, the heroes villians, and everyday people, fascinating history of the rough and tumble West
Mar 06, 2013 Tracy rated it liked it
This book serves as a guide to the most basic facts, not at all in depth.
It references the HBO series Deadwood so often at first I thought I purchased a book based on the series.
Stephanie Schultz
May 12, 2015 Stephanie Schultz rated it liked it
This book was a very basic, summarized read. I learned a little bit about my favorite South Dakota/Black Hills legends, but its brevity left me wanting much more.
Kealan Burke
Apr 08, 2010 Kealan Burke rated it liked it
Sufficient in clarifying the differences between the HBO TV series and the history behind it, but a little sparse and hurried for my liking.
Apr 19, 2009 Sharron rated it did not like it
This book was so poorly edited that it was almost painful to read. Many interesting anecdotes had clumsy references made to a "Deadwood" TV show (which I'd never heard of before reading this book).
Paul Kerins
Paul Kerins rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2013
Dan rated it really liked it
Sep 22, 2011
Greg rated it it was ok
Dec 28, 2010
Lori rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2012
Robyn rated it liked it
Oct 11, 2015
Carol Pellegrino
Carol Pellegrino rated it really liked it
Sep 16, 2012
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