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Paradise Sky

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,741 ratings  ·  322 reviews
A Library Journal Best Book of 2015!

A rollicking novel about Nat Love, an African-American cowboy with a famous nickname: Deadwood Dick.

Young Willie is on the run, having fled his small Texas farm when an infamous local landowner murdered his father. A man named Loving takes him in and trains him in the fine arts of shooting, riding, reading, and gardening. When Loving die
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 16th 2015 by Mulholland Books
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  1,741 ratings  ·  322 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Trouble finds young Willie when he dares to take an eyeful of a white neighbor woman's behind.
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Her husband is exactly the wrong kind of man to cross and he decides that Willie needs hanging because he 'dared to defile' his wife. So Willie is now on the run.
His story takes him to a farm ran by a kindly man named Loving who takes Willie in and teaches him to shoot and to take care of himself. That is short lived and soon Willie is on the run from the angry husband again. Willie changes his na
This is an OUTSTANDING western novel about the life of Deadwood Dick, aka Nat Love.

Willie is an African American boy who was forced out on his own at a very young age, due to an unfortunate glance at the rear end of a white man's wife. This story follows Willie until he becomes Nat and, indeed, a far different man.

This audio book has it all. The narrator, Brad Sanders, is unbelievably fantastic. His performance, combined with the storytelling of Joe Lansdale, makes this one of the best audio b
Now, in the living of my life, I've killed deadly men and dangerous animals and made love to four Chinese women, all of them on the same night and in the same wagon bed, and one of them with a wooden leg, which made things a mite difficult from time to time. I even ate some of a dead fellow once when I was crossing the plains, though I want to rush right in here and make it clear I didn't know him all that well, and we damn sure wasn't kinfolks, and it all come about by a misunderstandin
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
In Paradise Sky, Lansdale recounts the early exploits of a black folk hero of the Old West named Nat Love. The amount to which Lansdale chooses to embellish the historical record is of no concern to me since I read purely for the entertainment value.

The narrative opens with young Willie being invited to a lynching. However, he hadn’t been asked to “hold the rope or sing a little spiritual”, rather he was to be the guest of honor and have his neck stretched “like a goozle-wrung chicken at Sunday
Aug 03, 2015 marked it as to-read
in case anyone else was waiting for this info - it is NOW AVAILABLE in paperback! WOOT!


why is there no paperback release date for this book yet? does anyone know? i didn't buy it last summer because i was trying to be frugal (and YES, i know that libraries exist, but then there's PRESSURE), and i assumed it would have come out by now, but i see no listing for it anywhere.

anyone got any deets?

Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Paradise Sky” by Joe R. Lansdale is a great addition to his cannon.

The story loosely based on the true story of African American cowboy Nat Love (1854–1921), is a fast-paced Western. We first met Nat in the book “Black Hat Jack” (Subterranean; Deluxe Hardcover Edition (September 30, 2014)) where Nat Love, the one and only Deadwood Dick, writes down his version of certain events. “Black Hat Jack” recounts the later years in Nat’s life “Paradise Sky” chronicles the early years . Both books can b
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Joe Lansdale is one of my favorite authors ever, and this is one of his finest novels. I found it hard to put down and stop reading. A very engaging story with colorful characters. PARADISE SKY is just superb!
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. The only thing that could have made it greater are the illustrations provided by Mr. Baldwin. I had read and reviewed the the original publication of this book when it first appeared. With this edition, I would encourage any one who enjoys beautifully produced books to seek this edition out as it will be a prized possession to any library.

Highly highly recommended.

This is number 10 of 350 Illustrated copies signed by Joe R. Lansdale and Ben Baldwin.

Full color panoramic dus
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I only just started reading Joe Lansdale's books. I devoured THE BOTTOMS last year and it quickly moved up onto the bookshelf in my reader's heart that keeps all my favorite books. This book, PARADISE SKY, is the compelling tale of a young man named Willie Jackson in a very unforgiving time for an African American. Due to racial tension and lawlessness, Willie finds himself on the run. He's taken in by a lonely farmer who treats him kindly. But Westerns aren't known for their happy endings and s ...more
Manuel Antão
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Western a la Sergio Leone: "Paradise Sky" by Joe Lansdale

“My name is Nat Love, as you may well know. I am also called Deadwood Dick, and you have wronged me and the woman I love.”

In "Paradise Sky" by Joe R. Lansdale
One of my favourite Westerns is Ford’s “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”.The film contains the famous line “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend” and takes that line as its premise in its examination of how myth
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's hard for me to pick a favorite from Lansdale, but this one is up there in the top 2. A gritty and humorous epic western that had me laughing throughout. Simple, lean prose at its best. Epic is the keyword here. There's a lot that happens to the protagonist, and I could tell while reading that Joe is a pantser who oftentimes probably wasn't too sure where things were headed while fleshing out the story. I've found that type of writing often makes for the most entertaining, original and unpre ...more
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: western
Joe Lansdale proves a rare exception to the rule that advance proof copies of novels sent to booksellers are garbage not worthy of the paper they are printed on. I somehow found myself third in line to read this fantastic western and third in line to be snorting inappropriately on train journeys and struggling to explain why a man dying under his horse is hilarious. The narrative voice adopted by Lansdale's fictional take on Nat Love, black marshall's deputy and former slave, on his flight from ...more
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: western
Another great period piece from Lansdale. Even though he uses a real life character in this story, Nat Love, he dips into a popular writing form from that era, the dime western in which actual true events are only a faint rumor in the storyline.

Lansdale uses a formula of humor with periodic episodes of violence to follow Love from his early years on the run from a lynching party to his days as a pullman porter. In between Love serves a short stint in the army, becomes friends with Wild Bill Hick
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a historical fiction about the famous black cowboy/buffalo soldier, Nat Love (1858-1920) in the 1870s. On Independence Day, 1876, in Deadwood, South Dakota the town put on a shooting contest. Love won all the events in the shooting contest. The towns people proclaimed him to be Deadwood Dick because of his performance.

Lansdale tells of his early life as a 20-year-old ex-slave. He fled a lynch mob for looking at a white woman and headed west. He became a buffalo soldier and the story beco
4.5 stars, rounded down

Western tales are known for embellishments, and with the liberties Lansdale takes with the story of Nat Love (Deadwood Dick), this greater-than-life man moves from myth to legend.

The dialogue is exceptional, and makes this book nearly irresistible. I listened to the Audible version, and Brad Sanders was simply the best narrator for this story, his deep baritone perfect for this book. He takes Lansdale’s perfect imagery of the western plains, and transports the listener the
Brian Keene
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
An absolutely phenomenal historical western, on par with the best of Larry McMurty.
I wholeheartedly enjoyed this engaging rambunctious adventurous story based loosely on the life of African-American cowboy Nat Love a.k.a. Deadwood Dick. Gritty, brutal but wonderfully addictive as humor, perseverance, and a pinch of luck showcases the time, the 1870s, and place, the frontier, from the point-of¬-view of an African-American. A colorful cast of secondary characters (and the appearances of known Wild West persons) adds to the enjoyment of the story. The landscape is also a characte ...more
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Paradise Sky" is a classic western novel about the life and times of Nat Love aka "Deadwood Dick" and might be the best western novel I've ever read with the exception of "The Thicket", also written by Joe Lansdale. Nat Love is a truly unforgettable protagonist trying initially to just survive as a young black man on the run from a lynch mob in post civil war East Texas. Without giving away the plot lines, Nat's odyssey is as original and entertaining a journey by a master storyteller I've ever ...more
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Long tale told by an intriguing voice of Willie who becomes Nat Love. It was a book that centers on Deadwood back in the day of Wild Bill, lawless constant violence and reckless drunken hilarity in turns. That period before the railroads, yet after the Civil War. 1870's. But the travel in Texas and between Kansas/Arkansas was interesting despite the nasty bits of ripe description that I did skim through at times. This book held more dead flesh than a Chicago morgue after a summer weekend.

As much
Brandon Nagel
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely incredible. This might be himself's greatest work to date. Must read if you are a Lansdale fan.
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autographed
Joe R. Lansdale has shown throughout his illustrious career to be an accomplished writer in many genres. Longtime admirers like myself know him primarily in the horror and thriller genres in which he wrote extensively when I discovered him in the 80s. But even then he wrote a few westerns, most noticeably The Magic Wagon and the before-its-time zombie Western, Dead in the West. Lately though, he seems to be focusing on Westerns again. His last novel, The Thicket, was a True Grit style tale of We ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: western
It is near impossible for me not to fall in love with a Lansdale novel at this point. He's become one of my favorite authors for the simple fact that his well-honed brand of storytelling draws me in each time like a moth to a flame, though I don't get burned, but I do get marked each and every time. A Lansdale tale is something you carry with you well after you've read it.

It's his crime fiction that hooked me years ago, but I've come to really appreciate his westerns, and Paradise Sky is a corke
Scott Bell
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
The thing that sets Joe Lansdale apart from other writers is his ability to write "in character"--completely immersing the reader in the narrator's POV. His voice is as natural and fluid as an East Texas bayou, using references as tasty as mama's cornbread and metaphors as country as a John Deere tractor.

Paradise Sky showed us the ugliness of prejudice without shrinking, and captured the spirit of a man who rose above it. My only complaint with the book was that it began to lag in the final 100-
Shane Douglas Keene
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this awhile back and was just now reminded of it via a recommendation from Les Edgerton. This is one of those books that Lansdale writes from time to time that fall into the "Great American Storyteller" category. That place where names like McCarthy, King, and Straub live. Other books like this in Lansdale's lexicon include THE THICKET, THE BOTTOMS, and EDGE OF DARK WATER. If you haven't read those outstanding books, go fix that. And get this one while your at it. Outstanding, groundbreak ...more
Les Edgerton
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best novels I've ever read. Period.
Aug 13, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Sorry Dan 2.0- It's a three for me...but a solid three. :)
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: joe-r-lansdale
I so badly wanted to give this a perfect score, but a few small things held me off!

First, the good. This is Joe R Lansdale. This is Joe R Lansdale in historical fiction mode. Though my favorite Lansdale novel remains The Drive-In, I don’t think this man can do wrong when writing about years gone by, especially stories set in the 19th century.

This novel is everything you’d expect from Lansdale: grim and visceral and action-packed, while remaining hilarious and wacky in the best way. Nat Love is
Chris Miller
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun, rollicking adventure of a western. A little bit episodic, but has a main plotline that pulls you along throughout. Climax could have been a little stronger, but I also really enjoyed the turn of events.

A solid Lansdale offering. I liked The Thicket a little better, but this one was fantastic as well.
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I read Edge of Dark Water, I thought I had seen Lansdale at his best. And then I read Paradise Sky! Right from the beginning this book had me hooked. It's got humor, action and some thoughtful moments, and the story itself is always moving forward toward the final resolution. I just had a blast with this book.

The story is a lose retelling of Nat Love, an African American buffalo soldier and gunslinger who lived around Deadwood, SD. After winning a shooting contest Nat is known by the name D
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Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over forty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in more than two dozen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-e ...more

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