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Editorial Reviews

"Paradise Sky is a rowdy, funny, suspenseful, and often quite moving yarn." (Booklist starred)

Publisher's Summary

A rollicking novel about Nat Love, an African-American cowboy with a famous nickname: Deadwood Dick.

Young Willie is on the run, having fled his small Texas farm when an infamous local landowner murdered his father. A man named Loving takes him in and trains him in the fine arts of shooting, riding, reading, and gardening. When Loving dies, Willie rechristens himself Nat Love, in tribute to his mentor, and heads west.

In Deadwood, South Dakota Territory, Nat becomes a Buffalo Soldier and is befriended by Wild Bill Hickok. After winning a famous shooting match, Nat's peerless marksmanship and charm earn him the nickname Deadwood Dick as well as a beautiful woman. But the hellhounds are still on his trail, and they brutally attack Nat Love's love. Pursuing the men who have driven his wife mad, Nat heads south for a final, deadly showdown against those who would strip him of his home, his love, his freedom, and his life.

©2015 Joe R. Lansdale (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Too often overlooked in American literature is that lineage descending from our early humorists such as Bierce, and from Twain: regional, darkly comic, bizarre. That's where Joe Lansdale lives." (James Sallis, author of Drive)
"Classic Lansdale, his own self peppered throughout by much piney backwoods philosophizing on everything from religion to whoring." (Austin Chronicle)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 02-15-17

A Rip Roaring Tale

This is a historical fiction about the famous black cowboy/buffalo soldier, Nat Love (1858-1920) in the 1870s. On Independence Day, 1876, in Deadwood, South Dakota the town put on a shooting contest. Love won all the events in the shooting contest. The towns people proclaimed him to be Deadwood Dick because of his performance.

Lansdale tells of his early life as a 20-year-old ex-slave. He fled a lynch mob for looking at a white woman and headed west. He became a buffalo soldier and the story becomes fascinating.

Lansdale is a master storyteller. The book is well written; the plot, pace and character development is excellent. The story is told in the first-person narration. There is humor, action, and overall a good old fashion western story. There was frequently in the story a play on words, in a humors way, that was unexpected in a western.

The book won the 2016 Spur Award for the Best Historical Western.

Brad Sanders does an excellent job narrating the book. He has a great voice that is perfect for a western story. The book is fourteen hours long.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Another Joe Lansdale classic

Joe R. Lansdale is a true story teller. The narrative takes time to build, establish interesting characters, and includes plenty of LOL humor. Good choice of narrator. Brad Sanders gave the right "voice" to Nat Love aka Deadwood Dick.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim N
  • Chicago, IL
  • 02-20-16

A Terrific Western

I'll keep this review brief because I don't want to reveal anything about the plot that's not in the description.

Joe Lansdale can WRITE. He's a superb storyteller with a flair for character and a sense of humor that always serves his books well. His characters are believable and this novel can make you laugh and make you hurt. It's a great listen, all the more so because Brad Sanders does an excellent job reading it.

Don't just take my word for it. Listen to it for yourself! It's the real deal.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Django? Western yes, but NOT the same old plot.

Lots of twists and turns keep you interested, main character anti hero leads a band of ragtag characters on a chase across the west with style and flash. The action would make a good movie and the writing makes it feel like it is a movie. What else could you want if you are a western fan?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Paradise Sky was a very entertaining book.

I really enjoyed the narrator, Brad Sanders. The story was really good until they arrived in Deadwood. There just wasn't enough time left to have any real interaction there. It is however, a very sweet tale as it turns out, despite all of the violence down South. I would recommend this book, mainly because it is very funny. The lines are hilarious. And as I mentioned the narrator was perfect..

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Great read!

Fun, rollicking somewhat historical novel centers around the trials & tribulations of a former slave in a racially unbalanced post Civil War era.
As with many of Joe R. Landsdale's novels, we follow main character Nat Love as he makes his way from East Texas through the infamous Deadwood and on through Kansas, Arkansas & back again picking up all sorts of interesting characters along the way.
I wish I could give the narrator 10 stars. He voices the character so well I'd swear there are several readers. I see how this book could drag on if it had any other reader. But I think the narrator is what makes this a 5 star read.
Go for it! You won't be sorry!

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Do not purchase.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Impossible to say how to go from 1-star (is it possible to go negative on the scale?).

0 of 8 people found this review helpful