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City of Rocks

City of Rocks

A Western Story

Book - 2012
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Joseph Roper was interviewed several times in 1938 as a contribution to the American Legends Collection, a part of the Federal Writers Project. Speaking into an Edison Dictaphone, it took many cylinders for him to narrate the events of his life connected with the Ian McCandles gang that had made him, at the age of seventeen, a legend not only in Idaho Territory but in the American West.He recalled: "A lot of people go to those moving-picture shows and think they're seeing the real McCoy, but that's not the way it was. You take a guy like William S. Hart, or that kid, John Wayne. They try to come off rough-barked, but they're nothing but a bunch of lilies compared to men like Ian McCandles.I'll tell you something else about those cowboy pictures. They're clean, barely a smudge of dirt anywhere, but what happened out there in City of Rocks wasn't clean. It was grimy and smelly and gut-numbingly cold. Men died, and when they did they didn't just grab their chests and fall over. They got knocked down hard and the life spilled out of them like blood from a butchered hog. I guess I ought to know since I was there. Since it was me who did most of the killing that day."
Publisher: Waterville, Me. : Five Star, 2012
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781432825577
Branch Call Number: WESTERN ZIMMER 2012
Characteristics: 200 pages ; 23 cm


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Sep 22, 2020

Michael Zimmer has written wonderful westerns, check them out. I gave 4-1/2 to this one,as some of his embellishments were a little unbelievable , really- how much can a young man endure, however you will not be disappointed. Quite an unusual premise -[be sure to read the foreward and the whole book]-in that this story was fashioned after the Western Writers Project (WWP) part of the new deal implemented by president Roosevelt in the 1930s, It's recollections (American Legends collection) taken from about 1939 to 1941or so of recollections from old timers from 1887 to 1912 if I recollect. I feel like Zimmer pulled one over on me. Great story from/about a young man who was involved in the capture of a gang in southwestern Idaho. Great descriptions, excellent plot, thoughtful perspective by the main character.


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