This isnt cassettes, but a downloadable audio book from Recorded Books via my library & listened to on my MP3 player. Ed Sala is the narrator & at first I didnt think I was going to like his voice. Its kind of scratchy, old & often drops too low, but it really fits the story, except for when he tries to do the female voices. Luckily, there are very few.
Seriously, hes awful at them.I pretty much quit reading most formulaic westerns years ago. They were cliches run rampant with plots laid out in the first few paragraphs. Grey is the reason. He was one of the first authors to become a millionaire & molded many of the violent, romantic myths of the old west. His success launched a host of imitators, many of whom used his version of the west as their own. So, I wasnt expecting a fresh western from Grey. After all, he first published this novel in 1914. Hes old school & the last time I tried reading one of his novels, I wasnt too thrilled.What really surprises & delights me about this story is just how well the cliched young, quick-draw, gone-down-the-wrong-road-but-good-at-heart-anyway kid is drawn.
After looking at the back end of those cliches all these years, seeing it from the front end is surprisingly refreshing. How can that be? I dont really know, just that it is. I think part of that comes from the laconic, gravelly drawl of Sala, but no reader can make a poorly written story into a delight. Theres an economy & down-home fun to Greys prose that just makes it fun to listen to.The story started out well for the first 9 chapters when I wrote the above.
Chapter 10 suddenly bogs down with a loooong description of our heros mental state. It was incredibly verbose & boring, pounding the same ideas into me until I was ready to surrender. Then the pace picked up & was good again for next 4 chapters until we reach the end of book 1. Unfortunately, there was some time travel going on. We skipped ahead a few years & then looked back, completely out of keeping with the story to this point, which had all been in the present tense.
Ill give it 3 stars.Chapter 15 is a new book & chapter in Bucks life & it breaks much of the previous mood. It starts out quite refreshingly, totally expected, but not terrible. I was glad to see the book get back on track & listened through chapter 16 with delight. Chapter 17 started out with a lot of promise & then suddenly the book becomes a complete train wreck.
Stupid, gaping plot holes, horrible dialog, & so much less that it is not worth listening to, although I did. At the end, there is one slight, redeeming moment, (view spoiler)[ Buck doesnt beat a bad guy to the draw (hide spoiler)]