Confessions of J. Ringo

Geoffrey Aggeler, Author
Geoffrey Aggeler, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (310p) ISBN 978-0-525-24519-3
Reviewed on: 06/26/1987
Release date: 07/01/1987
This uneven first novel is a fictional memoir of Johnny Ringo, Civil War guerrilla, later frontier outlaw. It is set in the Wild West of Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and Jesse James, where bosoms are ""ample,'' campfires are ``dancing'' and postcoital perspiration is ``mansweat.'' But Aggeler, a professor of English literature at the University of Utah, does question other cliches, and this novel is, finally, a revisionist western. His Johnny Ringo is bookish and introspective, a ruthless killer who suffers for his sins, an observer of his era who knows the limits of his legend. He scoffs at the dime novels mythologizing the exploits of the Younger brothers and Billy the Kid. But he also has to admit that ``Easterners don't want to read about a wild west outlaw who's the outcast of his own dark mind.'' (June 29)
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