Billy Gashade: An American Epic [NOOK Book]


Billy Gashade is a wandering musician crossing the young United States in the late 1800s, and introducing us to its most colorful characters along the way. Calamity Jane, Billy the Kid, Chief Crazy Horse, Oscar Wilde, and many many more cross paths with Billy in this sweeping epic of American History.

At the publisher's request, this title...

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Billy Gashade: An American Epic

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Billy Gashade is a wandering musician crossing the young United States in the late 1800s, and introducing us to its most colorful characters along the way. Calamity Jane, Billy the Kid, Chief Crazy Horse, Oscar Wilde, and many many more cross paths with Billy in this sweeping epic of American History.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

Loren D. Estleman pulls out all the stops in this ambitious novel, taking the reader on a grand tour through the west, and introducing colorful characters along the way. Billy Gashade, a traveling piano player, crosses paths with the likes of Oscar Wilde, Calamity Jane, "Billy the Kid, " and John Wesley Hardin. 384 pp. Print ads & publicity. 20,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YAIn this picaresque novel, a well-to-do Eastern boy of 16 is wrenched from his comfortable New York City home during the Civil War draft riots. Caught up in a mob, he is seen injuring, perhaps killing, a crony of the powerful Boss Tweed. With the approval of his judge father, the teen is provided with an assumed name, Billy Gashade, and propelled into the dubious safety of the 1860s American West. A fairly accomplished pianist, Billy is hired to play in a series of saloons. His adventures offer him a series of encounters with such legendary figures as "Wild Bill" Hickok, Jim Bridger, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane, Crazy Horse, and a meeting with Oscar Wilde. A fast-paced, lively read.Frances Reiher, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
In a delightful if remarkably unsentimental change of pace, Estleman (Stress, 1996, etc.) offers an engaging account of an innocent abroad in the Wild West.

Looking back on a long and eventful life from Depression-era Hollywood, the octogenarian narrator recalls his lost youth. Obliged to flee New York City at age 16 after badly injuring a Tweed crony during the draft riots of 1863, he left behind his privileged status as the only son of a wealthy businessman. Adopting the name Billy Gashade, the well-bred tenderfoot finds refuge in a Kansas brothel where both the soiled doves and their clients fancy his piano-playing abilities. Captured in the course of a brutal attack by Quantrill's Raiders, Billy rides with the guerrillas and is befriended by Frank James. After Appomattox, the wandering minstrel (who learns to play the banjo and guitar on his educational travels) winds up in Fort Riley, Texas, where he encounters commanding officer George Armstrong Custer. By now a self-sufficient rover, the erstwhile aesthete, who's developed a taste for wine and women as well as for the songs he sings to get his supper, treks the frontier. Along his wayward way, the resolutely nonviolent Billy has brief encounters with the likes of William Bonney (a.k.a. Billy the Kid), Chief Crazy Horse, John Wesley Hardin, Wild Bill Hickok, and Oscar Wilde. Having loved and lost (to consumption) the fair young maid to whom he was paroled after running whiskey to Indians in the Oklahoma Territory, Billy returns to Manhattan nearly 20 years after bolting it, just in time to bid farewell to his dying father. Parlaying his musical talents into a low-profile career in Tin Pan Alley, he eventually heads West once again, this time with the infant film industry.

A fine picaresque tale that brings to vivid, mock-heroic life many of American history's western icons.

From the Publisher
"Estleman rivals the finest American novelists with his gritty vision and keen ear."—Washington Post Book World

A brilliant creation. The dialogue is magical, the prose poetic, the characters earthy and real."—El Paso Herald Post

"His entire story is a song, lyrical and alive with biting wit, drama, and the grace of a fine tale well told....Rousing and entertaining."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429911764
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,125,510
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Loren D. Estleman was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BA degree in English Literature and Journalism in 1974. In 2002, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters for his contribution to American literature.

He is the author of more than fifty novels in the categories of mystery, historical western, and mainstream, and has received four Western Writers of American Golden Spur Awards, three Western Heritage Awards, and three Shamus Awards. He has been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Britain's Silver Dagger, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2003, the mammoth Encyclopedia of Detective Fiction named him the most critically acclaimed writer of U.S. detective

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