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The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King: A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt and His Times
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The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King: A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt and His Times

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Raising the literary bar to a new level, Jerome Charyn re-creates the voice of Theodore Roosevelt, the New York City police commissioner, Rough Rider, and soon- to-be twenty-sixth president through his derring-do adventures, effortlessly combining superhero dialogue with haunting pathos. Beginning with his sickly childhood and concluding with McKinley’s assassination, the ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Liveright
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  62 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
”I stepped into the roaring crowd of greeters--that was the Roosevelt way.

‘Mr. President, Mr. President.’

Babies were thrust at me. I wanted to rock them in my arms, reassure a mother or two, but I didn’t dare in a field of bayonets that reminded me of monstrous porcupine quills. I could feel my freedom slip away with a sudden pull, like the silent shrug of a straitjacket. I didn’t require bayonets, not at all. Deep within my throat, I let out the Rough Rider rip.


 photo Theodore Roosevelt_zps6mzrjakg.jpg
Theodore Roosevel
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Who knew Teddy Roosevelt lived such a life?! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Upon reading The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King, I quickly realized how little I knew about Teddy Roosevelt. What a life! What a character.

Did you know Theodore Roosevelt was a police commissioner for New York City, a Rough Rider, an environmentalist? (Shhh…don’t tell…I didn’t know exactly what a Rough Rider was prior to reading this?)

No one would have known our fearless twenty-sixth president had a childhood filled with illness, but
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
Oh, this book cover.  Don't judge a book by its cover but, oh my, this one is pretty epic.  There's Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (AKA Teddy / TR / the bull in a china shop / 26th POTUS), with his mountain lion Josephine.

In history class, each president was defined in a brief paragraph with basic information.  If you'd given me a history book with an epic cover depicting any POTUS as a cinematic action hero badass, I would've devoured it.

After reading this historical ficion/biographical fiction nov
Ron Charles
The Teddy Roosevelt who narrates “The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King” is a whirlwind of activity, a man so caught up in the escapades of his intrepid life that he can’t always be bothered with details. As Henry Adams once said, “All Roosevelt’s friends know that his restless and combative energy was more than abnormal,” and that’s the dynamo whom Charyn has spun into being.

The story opens in panicked gasps. Little asthmatic Teddy spies a werewolf at the foot of his bed. The boy’s life mi
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

Who can resist that pulp fiction era cover art, reserved for stories about daredevil heroes?

Yes--That is Teddy Roosevelt, our 25th president, dressed in his Brooks Brothers uniform, custom-made for his fantasy-come-true chance to play at war on San Juan's hills, his sidekick mascot cougar at his side!

I can't think of any other president so deserving of action hero fame, for TR's life was made up of Big Moments that prove that fact truly is stranger than fiction. And Jerome Charyon's Th
Steven Z.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Jerome Charyn’s last book I AM ABRAHAM the author presents an unforgettable portrait of Lincoln and the Civil War. He boldly narrates his story in the first person and mixes his brand of humor with Shakespearean like tragedy. In his current effort Charyn takes on the character of Theodore Roosevelt, entitled, THE PERILOUS ADVENTURES OF THE COWBOY KING: A NOVEL OF TEDDY ROOSEVELT AND HIS TIMES. As he has done in the past, Charyn speaks in the first person beginning with Roosevelt’s relationshi ...more
Rekha Rao
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Brave Heart, Teddie's father, plays a very important role in Teddie's life. From long midnight rounds in the carriage to fighting the bad guys to playing the role of a loving and caring father - Brave Heart had influenced young Teddie's life a lot.

When Brave Heart was out, fighting, sister Bamie took charge of the Roosevelt House. From managing her delirious mother - Mittie, to a servant who did not want to take orders from an eleven-year-old, Bamie's hold on Roosevelt household and Teddie's lif
Steve Donoghue
There are SO many ways to get Theodore Roosevelt WRONG in historical fiction that it was a sharp relief to find him done so well in this latest book by the semi-legendary Jerome Charyn. Here's my full review:
Paul Bennett
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
@LiverightPub @jeromecharyn @CowboyKingTR


In this novel, which Kirkus Reviews calls, “colorful, entertaining” in its starred review, Charyn gives new dimension to Roosevelt, revealing Manhattan’s swampy underbelly after the Civil War, TR’s farcical and dangerous expeditions to the Dakota Badlands, and his personal anguish at losing his mother and wife on the same day.  Like the best of E.L. Doctorow, historical detail is supported by a keen grasp of lang
Ruth Hill
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

So I simply adore historical fiction, and learning about one of the most notable and intriguing characters of history in an entertaining fashion made this book a truly exciting read. I appreciated the fact that the author had a cast list at the beginning of the book (I highly recommend copying this for easy reference as you read). Furthermore, the fact that th
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think that Theodore Roosevelt, who died 100 years ago today, is quite possibly one of the best presidents we ever had and one of the most fascinating men. As a child, I was often sick due to being asthmatic and having allergies that just wouldn’t quit. I always felt that I would never do anything fun because I had asthma. It was my mother who informed me, “Theodore Roosevelt had asthma.” A strange thing to say to a child, but I was a child who was utterly enthralled with reading about Presiden ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm not sure how to rate this book. It was easy to read and entertaining, but as a fictionalized version of TR's life it was almost like a fantasy. There were visions and conversations with dead people that completely undercut the gravitas of the book. I think I should just stick with David McCullough or Doris Kearns Goodwin next time I want to read about an historical figure. I did find it interesting, however, to read a biography told in the first person. But, again, how much was actually base ...more
Jessica Rachow
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2019
I know…I know…don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Generally, I’m not a hystorical fiction fan. Not because it isn’t good reading, but because I’m too interested in the fantasy type novels, and I never give historical a chance. Well, when this book was offered to me, I couldn’t help myself. This time, I judged the book by its cover, and I think it worked out pretty well.

I don’t know Jerome Charyn’s work, but I do really like his style of writing. The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King is narrat
I received a galley of this book to review for Library Journal. Please read my review there when it is published.
Cheryl Malandrinos
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just when you think Jerome Charyn has crafted the best book he could ever write, he comes out with a new one that is even better than the last.

The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King is a novel of Teddy Roosevelt, who would one day become the 26th president of the United States. Covering the years of 1862 when he was still suffering from debilitating asthma, through 1901 when Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is on his way to take a new oath after President McKinley is assassinated, the reade
Misty Rayburn
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have never been an American history buff. I always felt our history was boring and I liked British history so much better, that I minored in it in college. When I was asked to be a part of this tour, I hesitated because even though I’ve read other books by Jerome Charyn and loved them, I wasn’t sure if a book about Teddy Roosevelt was really for me.


If this would have been the way American history was taught, maybe I would have paid more attention! Jerome Charyn brings the
Bette Stern
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This novel is utter joy to read from the first page to the last line. I enjoyed the ride and felt like a sad child when I knew it was over.

After reading this book, I realized that Theodore Roosevelt should be everyone's favorite president. A man whose whole life was dedicated to others, to nature, to our future.

I will share this book with my grandchildren when they are old enough to read it, and I hope they follow the example of our finest president - a true superhero worthy of the Marvel comi
The Library Lady
I don't care that Charyn has a body of critically acclaimed work. I don't care that the reviewer in the Washington Post raved about this yesterday. I don't even care that he is a fellow Bronxite.

I simply hated his writing style. Perhaps it will float your boat. It sank mine.
Tony Laplume
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jerome Charyn is undoubtedly a treasure of American literature, and a champion of that rebel spirit that keeps presenting itself as the true spirit of the nation, so it's not surprising that he finally wrote a novel focusing on the last of the revolutionaries. The results might be bewildering or illuminating, but they're a testament to all Charyn's best instincts.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, a party that had splintered the United States upon election of an unpopular president suddenly foun
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This historical novel relates the life of Theodore Roosevelt, nicknamed The Cowboy King, from his childhood until he takes office as President. Roosevelt grew up a sickly child; his hero was his father known as Braveheart, who fought for those who were poor and persecuted. As Roosevelt grew, he incorporated many of his father's ideals. He couldn't abide to see those who were victimized by the wealthy, those despised because they didn't have the ability to be educated and make it in the upper cru ...more
Jan 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
I couldn't get into this one and DNF'd at the halfway point. The narration was too...breezy? For 1st person, it was really distant and lacked emotion. The plot moved along at a fast clip and not much time was given to the really hard-hitting aspects of Roosevelt's life, such as the death of his wife and mother on the same day. I mean, I get that in pulp fiction like Charyn is trying to emulate, the focus is more on the action instead of the emotion, but you can still convey emotion in that style ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I picked up the book because I though it might be interesting reading about Roosevelt since I had visited his Maltese Cross cabin a couple of years ago. I was wrong. I just couldn’t get into it, and had to almost make myself pick it up to read. After plowing through 115 pages, I finally gave up on this terribly boring book. Life’s too short.
David Dunlap
Jan 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
What an idea for an historical novel: the colorful, larger-than-life Theodore Roosevelt, 26th POTUS. Unfortunately, I just could not get into this book -- it seems rather dull to me (and TR was anything BUT!). IMHO, the best thing about this volume is its wonderful cover. (I stopped reading at page 92.)
Cari Stone
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I am an eager consumer of historical fiction and enjoyed the first half very much... dragged into the last third, but overall, a good read.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
The Roosevelts have always been “interesting” and this book gives a particularly eccentric view of Teddy during his childhood then on into his adult years and his presidential campaign.
Harvey Daniels
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Feb 05, 2019
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Jul 27, 2018
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Gil Roth
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Dec 01, 2018
billie fischer
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Feb 01, 2019
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Jerome Charyn is an award-winning American author. With more than 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon calls him "one of the most important writers in American literature." New York Newsday hailed Charyn as "a contemporary American Balzac," and the L