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Draw: The Greatest Gunfights of the American West
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Draw: The Greatest Gunfights of the American West

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  74 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
James Reasoner has been praised for his well-researched and lively, suspenseful novels. Now, he proves that truth can be even more exciting than fiction. Known for his ability to make history come vividly to life, Reasoner strips away the dime novel legends and Hollywood myths to show us how the gunfighters of the Old West really lived, killed-and were killed. Among the tr ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Berkley
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Mike (the Paladin)
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Pretty good book. This is a set of stories doing it's best to relate factual tales of gun fights in the American west. Of course few of these gun fights were the "classical Hollywood shootout.

Some writers confidently state that one of these, "two men meet in the street and draw" fights never happened. Actually a couple did. I already knew of "Bill" (James Butler)Hickok's shoot out over a watch. That story isn't in this book, but Jim Levy's is.

Here you'll find outlaws, lawmen,
I have a deep and unending love of westerns. There's something so unbelievable about the truth behind the legends of that time, the fact that so many were drawn from what truly happened and nowhere near as embellished as one might think. There's a wildness to the stories, and yes, a romance even behind the crazed sociopaths that ran across the country and territories with guns blazing. So many thought they were in the right - so many courts acquitted them accordingly. How was this only a few gen ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it liked it
I've been a fan of westerns and stories of the Old West for a while so I thought it time I got a book on the real history. The author is honest about areas where the historical information is lacking, or contested, and it gives a good overview of the famous names and fights throughout the Old West's lively history (although the gunfight at the O.K. Corral is only mentioned in passing!).

I do object to the author's writing style though. He's obviously trying to keep the language consistent with th
Matt Coleman
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, non-fiction
Great book for history buffs and fans of westerns. Reasoner makes these stories come to life as if you were watching it on film. The notorious and the good guys are brought out of the cloud of legend and placed firmly back on earth; real men with real emotions fighting to all-too-soon death.

Each chapter could be its own short story. While it could get mundane that each one begins at the moment of action then goes back to pick up the backstory that got us to the current situation, each story was
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Poorly written, the author is not convincing in dramatising the events contained in this book and the entire narrative is littered with uncertainty. Frankly, I think the book warrants one star at best, except that despite its many flaws I really enjoyed it. On the rare occasions I get to sit and take a lunch break at work, the next tale of the Wild West was about the perfect bite size and it is definitely to my meal breaks' detriment that I've finished this book. Crap airport trash reading, but ...more
Sara Donaldson
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
A well-structured and well-written book that really gets into the heart of America's 'Wild West'.
James has obviously researched the stories and his passion is conveyed through his entertaining writing. Not once did I get bored - something that can happen easily with a non-fiction book that relies heavily on anecdote and an amount of imagination to bring the text to life.
I would have liked to have seen an index, and research using more contemporary texts, but these probably don't exist.
I'd recomm
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Breezy, lightweight recaps of the greatest gunfights of the American West, as the subtitle says. Pretty much sums it up. No detailed historical research, plenty of gunslingers gives this the feel of fiction, and Reasoner's intro does say that he (a well-known novelist) did write toward drama if there was any question about the facts.

Don't worry about it, just enjoy it.
Brian Turner
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Everyone knows about the gunfight at the OK corral, but this book looks at the smaller incidents, and tries to put a human touch to them.

A wide range of characters and situations told well.

Ideal as scenario ideas for RPG players (anyone remember TSR's Boot Hill?) or wargamers using Legends of the Old West, Gutshot!, Blackwater Gulch etc.
Kellen 2010-2011
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I found draw to be very i exiting and to be fun to read. BUT if you dont know a big word here and there you might not be able to read this. :) :) B)m :D :) :)
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read. It is such an amazing read. In fact, I loved this book so much that I stretched it out as long as possible as I didn't want it to end.
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An engrossing book, well-written and factual. A good source if you're looking to beef up a college history paper.
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting book about some famous gunfights in the West and what really happened not the movie versions of wrong facts.
Charlie Arnold
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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