Now in his 80s, [Charyn] seems ever more daring ... Charyn has found a path all his own — neither a substitute for biography nor a violation of it ... For fans of Roosevelt, this is tremendous fun. But readers unfamiliar with his life and the political history of the late 19th century should be forewarned: There will be no coddling on this breakneck tour. The five dozen names listed in the novel’s dramatis personae offer a handy guide to who’s who, but those terse descriptions will hardly bring the uninitiated up to speed ... [the front cover] strikes just the right tone, as does this delightful novel.
This fictional biography, as narrated by the subject himself, has the fascinating flavor of those infamous but sought-after 19th century dime novels ... With an included Cast of Characters—and what characters they are!—listing almost everyone mentioned in the novel, and authentic archival photographs, The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King would be a rousing tale of adventure even if it wasn’t based on fact.
Instead of a travesty, Charyn here gives readers the very first truly terrific [Teddy Roosevelt] novel... It’s a breathless and at times very strange novel, sharing its odd kaleidoscopic quality with Charyn’s The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, for instance ... it’s hard to imagine a reader who could finish this book and not yearn for a Charyn novel about the next decade in his hero’s life.