Reflections in Dark Glass: The Life and Times of John Wesley Hardin

Reflections in Dark Glass: The Life and Times of John Wesley Hardin

by Bruce McGinnis
     
 


Neither a fictional biography of notorious Texas gunman John Wesley Hardin nor an actual one, Reflections in Dark Glass is based on the personal reminiscences of individuals who knew Hardin best. The book deals with relationships and details not found in the existing literature about the life of Hardin and covers the period from his boyhood to the killing…  See more details below

Overview


Neither a fictional biography of notorious Texas gunman John Wesley Hardin nor an actual one, Reflections in Dark Glass is based on the personal reminiscences of individuals who knew Hardin best. The book deals with relationships and details not found in the existing literature about the life of Hardin and covers the period from his boyhood to the killing of Deputy Sheriff Charlie Webb in 1874, an altercation which brought about Hardin’s incarceration in 1878 in the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
John Wesley Hardin (1853-1895) was 15 when he killed his first man, in 1868 in Texas. By the time he was taken down by a policeman's bullet 27 years later, he had killed at least 40, perhaps many more. In his third novel (after The Fence and Sweet Cane), McGinnis presents a surprisingly soft, if not very believable, take on this notorious gunman. Hardin's story is seen through the eyes of three storytellers who are peculiarly tolerant of his bloodletting. His friend Jim Stephens offers the longest and most intriguing account, primarily of Hardin's youthful days, excusing the young killer's mean streak all the while. An anonymous voice reveals Hardin's rescue from a lynch mob; and the outlaw's African American wet nurse, Julie Ola Faye, provides dialect-heavy, often confusing reflections. Some folks, we learn, viewed Hardin as a defender of post-Civil War Southern spirit; indeed, through McGinnis's fictional prism, his crimes are seen mostly as justifiable self-defense. The generally accepted historical record doesn't bear this out, however, presenting Hardin as a cold-blooded murderer who loved his work and who blew away soldiers, gamblers, lawmen and cowboys with equal relish. Still, McGinnis's revisionist chronicle is told with vigor and atmosphere, making this a worthwhile, if offbeat, literary western.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
John Wesley Hardin (1853-1895) was 15 when he killed his first man, in 1868 in Texas. By the time he was taken down by a policeman's bullet 27 years later, he had killed at least 40, perhaps many more. In his third novel (after The Fence and Sweet Cane), McGinnis presents a surprisingly soft, if not very believable, take on this notorious gunman. Hardin's story is seen through the eyes of three storytellers who are peculiarly tolerant of his bloodletting. His friend Jim Stephens offers the longest and most intriguing account, primarily of Hardin's youthful days, excusing the young killer's mean streak all the while. An anonymous voice reveals Hardin's rescue from a lynch mob; and the outlaw's African American wet nurse, Julie Ola Faye, provides dialect-heavy, often confusing reflections. Some folks, we learn, viewed Hardin as a defender of post-Civil War Southern spirit; indeed, through McGinnis's fictional prism, his crimes are seen mostly as justifiable self-defense. The generally accepted historical record doesn't bear this out, however, presenting Hardin as a cold-blooded murderer who loved his work and who blew away soldiers, gamblers, lawmen and cowboys with equal relish. Still, McGinnis's revisionist chronicle is told with vigor and atmosphere, making this a worthwhile, if offbeat, literary western. (Mar.)
Booknews
A blend of fiction and personal essay on the life of outlaw John Wesley Hardin, purportedly based on written recollections left by Jim Stephens, a friend of Hardin's. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781574410082
Publisher:
University of North Texas Press
Publication date:
03/11/1996
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
6.34(w) x 9.34(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author


Bruce McGinnis is a Professor of English at Amarillo College. His previous novels are The Fence and Sweet Cane.

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