TOM MIX DIED FOR YOUR SINS: A Novel Based on His Life by Darryl Ponicsan

TOM MIX DIED FOR YOUR SINS: A Novel Based on His Life

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A biographical memoir, told by Kid Bandera, a fictional 90-year-old sidekick of movie cowboy Tom Mix. Ponicsan's device of using real people as characters--he also wrote Cinderella Liberty and The Last Detail--works well. Tom's life is carried forward from age twenty to his death by auto at 60, and his outrageous innocence and tale-spinning about himself will fitfully remind some readers of another great dreamer on horseback. The story zips along with Tom rising from drum major for the Oklahoma Cavalry Band (he's handsome as an Arrow Collar ad), to rodeo star, dude ranch hustler and movie stunt man. He has a liking for girls in their mid-teens and is forever saddled with aging adolescents, though neither of his young wives manages to keep his wanderlust cooled. Much of the story is quite funny, and Tom himself likable indeed in his naivete and heroic self-delusion, but it's Kid Bandera's tobacco-chaw style (""the boys and me had been all night raising hell and pissing underneath it""), that saves an otherwise episodic tale from spinning away like clay pigeons.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Delacorte