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Book Review: Aces & Eights by Loren D. Estleman 
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Godzilla

Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:53 am
Posts: 227
Location: Woodstock, IL
Loren D. Estleman is a controversial figure among Western writers. This is because of his repeated criticisms of other Western authors for being historically inaccurate. According to Estleman, lack of accurate history in Westerns is the main reason for the genre's decline and fall. He has also criticized other Western writers for writing so may works about the same historical figures including Billy the KId, Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, George Armstrong Custer, Wyatt Earp Jesse James, Annie Oakley and last but not least, Wild Bill Hickok.

Now, you would think that given his outspokenness about historical accuracy and also about how Western writers should avoid writing about the same real life Western figures, Loren D. Estleman would practice what he preaches. Such, however, is not the case. Turns out that Estleman's own work is often wildly inaccurate and he also writes about the same historical figures that hecriticizes others for doing.

In one of his novels, he had Pat Garrett covering himself with oil of Oleander. In real life, Oleander is a deadly poison, something that Estleman clearly was ignorant of. In another book, he had Doc Holliday making a bed out of Mesquite branches.

In this particular novel, Aces & Eights, he has what amounts to a SWAT squad operating in 1876, 88 years before the first SWAT unit was created by the St. Louis Police Department. Additionally, the historical record of the trial of the killer of Wild Bill Hickok, Jack McCall, was bent out of all proportion for purely dramatic purposes with the prosecutors and defense counsel all being completely fictitious characters.

Essentially, Aces & Eights is historical fantasy masquerading as historical fact. Your time and money would be wasted on this book.


Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:49 am
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Burning Godzilla
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Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:54 am
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I believe I've seen Oil of Oleander advertised on 19th century labels, and the same sort of patent-medicine hucksters today sell anti-aging skin cream which supposedly includes the substance.

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Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:13 pm
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Godzilla

Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:53 am
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Location: Woodstock, IL
supersonic man wrote:
I believe I've seen Oil of Oleander advertised on 19th century labels, and the same sort of patent-medicine hucksters today sell anti-aging skin cream which supposedly includes the substance.



I think you have it confused with Oil of Olay.


Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:13 am
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