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Pretty Boy: The Life and Times of Charles Arthur Floyd

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  6 reviews
In this outstanding work, Michael Wallis magnificently recreates the vanished, impoverished world of Dustbowl America that has not been as poignantly rendered in prose since John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Wallis evokes the hard times of the era of Steinbeck as he follows the life of Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd from his coming of age at a time when there were no jobs
Kindle Edition, 545 pages
Published (first published April 1st 1992)
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Carol Storm
"By the end he wasn't no boy nor no man no more. Jus' a walkin' chunk of bland cliches!"

Thus spake Ma Joad in John Steinbeck's THE GRAPES OF WRATH. Her sad, resigned elegy to real-life bandit Pretty Boy Floyd is a lot more moving and a lot more exciting than this pleasant but bland biography, which piles up lists of bank robberies and hangings in exhaustive detail but never offers even the faintest insight into the personal demons that drove Charles Arthur Floyd to a life of crime.

Wallis spends
Cary Lackey
This book was long on corn pone and hero worship, but short on what really turned Oklahoma farm boy Charles Arthur Floyd into the sociopathic "Pretty Boy" Floyd. There was way too much unneeded prose about what life was like in the 20s and 30s, and less on what really motivated Floyd to do what he did. Jeffrey King's "The Life and Death of Pretty Boy Floyd" was more objective and less reverential than Wallis' take.
Jul 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A interesting book tries to be fair a compex and not very task .
Katherine Addison
Unfortunately, as a biography of Pretty Boy Floyd, this is a mediocre social history of Oklahoma in the '20s. It suffers from its author's inability to focus,* which one suspects is at least partly due to the fact that there simply isn't enough known of Charles Floyd's short life to make a 350 page book. Wallis is also a poor hand at organizing his narrative, and he never usefully comes to grips with the fact that almost all of his sources are contemporary newspaper accounts and interviews. Many ...more
Mar 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books-read
Wallis tells the tale of Charles Arthur Floyd, an Oklahoma hood turned into Public Enemy Number One. Floyd's crimes were small in comparison to most - say John Dillinger - but he seemed to get the attention of the press and law enforcement in disproportionate size.
Apr 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this plays Charles Arthur Floyd as somewhat a victim; I still consider him a reckless and cruel individual that used everyone he encountered.
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Michael Wallis is the bestselling author of Route 66, Billy the Kid, Pretty Boy, and David Crockett. He hosts the PBS series American Roads. He voiced The Sheriff in the animated Pixar feature Cars. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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