Friday, March 1, 2013

Cassidy by Lee Nelson

This is a fictional bio of the notorious Butch Cassidy in 500 pages. The author says it would take 10,000 pages to write about everything in Cassidy's life, but I enjoyed reading only the 500. Lee Nelson is a fine writer and fills in the blanks by making up Cassidy's intro to the outlaw world and the stories of his bank and train robberies. Or were they made up? They sounded real to me and may have been. Mr. Nelson researched Cassidy for two years prior to writing the book, so I'm sure he gained insight in Cassidy's world to write a detailed story of his life and times.

The story takes him from a young kid growing up with the Parker family in Utah to his arrest for horse stealing that he didn't do and on to the Telluride bank holdup and then train robberies and tying up with the Sundance Kid and other outlaws like Harvey Logan. He falls in love with a young woman in Wyoming and she is mentioned several times in the book, but he is on the run and can't settle down with her. The author says he didn't find any evidence that Cassidy was killed  in  Bolivia, but goes on to relate his evidence that Cassidy returned to the U.S. I don't know, but Mr. Nelson makes a pretty convincing case and it agrees with The Wild Bunch at Robber's Roost that he did return to the U.S.

I found the story to be exciting, funny in places, and full of deetails of some of the many robberies committed by Butch and his friends.

This book was published by Council Press of Springville, Utah, in 1992. There are some mis-spelled words like "trial" for "trail", especially in the last quarter, but not enough to distract me from the enjoyment of reading the story..


  1. A fictional biography? that certainly sounds kind of strange. Interesting, though!

    1. On the inside cover it says it's a "biographical novel based on the true story of a bold, young cowboy."

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