Paradise Sky

Narrated by: Brad Sanders
Length: 14 hrs and 8 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (291 ratings)

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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 listeners say about Paradise Sky

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  • Overall
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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.

12 people found this 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.

6 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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yeehaw

This book was surprisingly good. The protagonist has an interesting past leading to an interesting present and a too-happy ending, but along the way is lots of good stuff. I'm going to check out more things this guy wrote.

2 people found this helpful

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Most entertaing Western tale since Lonesome Dove

I found Paradise Sky by Joe R. Landsdale to be highly entertaining. Never a dull moment. It made you laugh and cry. The narrator Brad Sanders was perfect. I truly hope Joe Lansdale writes more novels about African-American legends of the Old West. Paradise Sky is definitely a must read for fans of Western Literature.

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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?

2 people found this helpful

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Love Every Minute!!

The narrator was exactly right! Perfect voice for this book. I loved the fact that while it was a fictional novel that it was based on an actual African American cowboy. The story and plot were excellently crafted by the author. The main character faced hardships due to his race and circumstances but overcame everything to become a great man.

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More storytelling gold from a master

Nobody writes like Joe R. Lansdale. His work is full of hilarious, folksy one-liners that put a unique spin on dark and gritty subject matter. Paradise Sky tells the story of Nat Love, the famous African-American cowboy, also known as Deadwood Dick. There are several aspects of this story that I enjoyed very much. First is the perspective the Nat Love himself, growing up during the Civil War and its aftermath. One of Lansdale's forte's is his keen eye for human nature, particularly the East Texas and the American South and the mindset of bigotry. Bigotry, in the form of an attempted lynching, is what puts Love on his path. In all his books, Lansdale writes about the darkest parts of the human soul, and Love's story is chock full of that, told with consummate wit and a convincing voice. We're right there with him as he's stuck in the middle of the Indian Wars, ventures to Deadwood in the Dakota Territory to seek his fortune, and wins a shooting contest that gave him the name Deadwood Dick. But the demon-hounds of bigotry are always right there at his heels. I also really enjoyed Lansdale's characterizations of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Al Swearengen, and Colorado Charlie Utter, all historical figures that feature prominently in my own short story "Blood Lust and Gold Dust", which is also set in Deadwood at about the same time as this book. It's fun for me to see that Lansdale and I read some of the same books in our research.

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Not so Tall Tales of the Wild West

Follow the life and times of Deadeye Dick a young black man trying to navigate thru life after the Civil War. Indians, outlaws and bigots, oh my! Wonderfully read and most entertaining and perhaps a bit closer to historic accuracy than the usual Western.

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Believable Western

I like western but don't usually read them since a lot of them follow the same story. Drifter or ranchhand gets into trouble, it catches up to him, he escapes, he meets a family whom always has a girl at that ripe age, he changes for the betterment of her, his past catches up with him but he fights his old ways, prevails, and then they live happily ever after. That is NOT this story. I cried, I laughed, I felt like I really knew the character having listened to how he changed from a young teen into a man. I won't spill what happens but let's just say out on the west with Native Americans, an unruly black horse with humor, pistols, Wild Bill, and a few wh*res makes for a great western with the oddest happenings. You won't be disappointed.