Today is the official publication date for Nathan Ward’s newest bio, Son of the Old West — The Odyssey of Charlie Siringo: Cowboy, Detective, Writer of the Wild Frontier. Something to kick off another Biography Month here on These Mean Streets. It’s coming out of the stall bucking, already the No. 1 New Release on Amazon in the category of Bios and Memoirs of Criminals, and running pretty hot in the stampede of Adventurer and Explorer Bios.
Last time I whipped up a Biography Month Nathan’s 2015 bio of Dashiell Hammett, The Lost Detective, provided the excuse. Before that, it was the cool bio of hobo and writer Jim Tully by Mark Dawidziak and Paul Bauer back in 2012.
I’ve got a few piled up, from the new autobio of Danny Trejo (happened to spot one of the Trejo’s Tacos outlets when I was cruising around LA on the 2nd) and a gorgeous new translation of Kafka’s diaries.
Plus I think I ought to mention some books I haven’t read through after many years — the doorstop award-winning bio of Captain Cook, where I tried, I really tried. And the Eugene Manlove Rhodes collection A Bar Cross Man, that’s one tough sled — Rhodes is one of the primal Writers of the Old West like Charlie Siringo, and probably needs some smooth new writer like a Nathan Ward to speed it all up.
And unexpectedly, Jimmy Buffett just died, reminding me that he got pretty pissed off when Steve Eng did an unauthorized bio on his life in 1997 (and responded with an autobiographical book of his own in 1998, an instant bestseller). I’ll dig around and see if I can find Steve’s report on it at the time. Buffett called him “some hack from Nashville,” and Steve reveled in his hard-won title. I bet he wouldn’t have objected if they’d carved it on his tombstone.