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Extended Audio Sample Etta: A Novel Audiobook, by Gerald Kolpan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (435 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gerald Kolpan Narrator: Kirsten Potter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455192199
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When Philadelphia debutante Lorinda Jameson’s bankrupt father commits suicide, the infamous Black Hand mafia is dispatched to collect his debts—or her head. The young orphan rechristens herself “Etta Place” and goes west to earn her keep as a waitress in a remote railroad outpost. But fate and murder soon intervene, and Etta joins forces with Butch Cassidy’s notorious gang, The Wild Bunch. In their hide-out at Hole-in-the-Wall, Wyoming, Etta meets Harry Longbaugh, a.k.a. the Sundance Kid, and begins the passionate and tragic romance that will be the great love of her life. Every step of the way, Etta’s life on the lam is fraught with danger and excitement.

Weaving together Etta’s diary entries, Pinkerton Detective Agency memos, and recreated newspaper articles, Gerald Kolpan’s history-based novel brings to life the riveting story of an extraordinary woman.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An expansive saga that spans the 1890s to the 1930s, moves between the dusty trails of Colorado and Wyoming to the genteel salons of New York City…Actress and narrator, Kirsten Potter, adds…value with a clear voice that glides seamlessly between Etta’s different personas, Eleanor Roosevelt’s romantic sensitivity, and Kid Currie’s crassness, plus she delivers authenticity to the various mixed-media voices.”

    Tom Alderman, Huffington Post

  • “The sketchy details of the life of Etta Place, outlaw and paramour of Harry ‘Sundance Kid’ Longbaugh, are imaginatively filled in by first-time novelist Kolpan in this winning tale of the Wild West…Kolpan’s snappy storytelling makes it impossible not to want to ride along as the characters careen toward their tragic ends.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Hold onto your hats…The listener will smile when Potter tells of how Etta crosses paths with Teddy Roosevelt, Wild Bill Hickok, Pinkerton agents, and even Eleanor Roosevelt. This charming novel crisscrosses North and South America at the end of an era.”

    AudioFile

  • “Incorporating Etta’s diary entries, telegraph messages, and news clippings into the narrative, Kolpan vividly tells a tale that is both outrageous and entertaining, sure to be compared favorably with Larry McMurtry’s novels of the Wild West.”

    Library Journal

  • “In this rollicking debut novel, Gerald Koplan imagines the life of this mystery woman, placing her in a time and place filled with colorful characters…Koplan clearly loves his wayward heroine, who’s incredibly beautiful, tall, smart, and cultured…Koplan is also good at taking the reader back to the sights, sounds and smells of the early 20th century…Etta is indeed a bully adventure!”

    Bookpage

  • “[A] winner…The life Kolpan creates for Etta is perfect—adventurous and complex with a great sprinkling of real historical figures. It’s not the truth, but it’s better than. It’s life at its storytelling best.”

    Library Thing

  • “Emmy Award–winning TV journalist Kolpan extends his resume impressively with this picaresque debut novel, focused on ‘the woman’ who knew Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid…Few will have any more success resisting Etta than do the many men, women and other critters encountered during her memorable adventures. Great fun and—beneath the hijinks—a surprisingly substantial novel.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Mr. Kolpan fashions a thoroughly entertaining tale [through] vivid imagination and gifted storytelling…This book is jam packed with historical detail and characters. I found Mr. Kolpan’s depiction of Etta’s life both mesmerizing and intriguing…I recommend this book for any reader, not just those who love historical fiction. Men and women alike will be attracted to this story.”

    The Printed Page

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peggy Donnelly | 2/17/2014

    " inside story of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid from the perspective of a female member of the gang. Refreshing twist with an insight into Eleanor Roosevelt. Purely fiction but enjoyable nonetheless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katharine | 2/6/2014

    " You will love it. I've read it 5 times now and never grow tired of the whip-smart action and brilliant heroine, Etta Place-- girlfriend of the Sundance Kid. (Yes, a bit of self promotion.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 2/6/2014

    " etta place - companion of the sundance kid - not much known of her actually, so this is a fictionalized account of what could have been her life... i liked it, would give it 4.5 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 1/31/2014

    " I absolutley loved every page of this book and wished it was 500 pages instead of 300. Historical fiction based on facts of "Etta", the girlfriend of The Sundance Kid (of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame). Great story telling starting in 1898 Philadelphia going on to Grand Junction, Colorado and ending in New York City. The author makes you feel like you are riding on the horse behind her. Was glad to finish it only in the fact that I couldn't get anything else done but read this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 1/30/2014

    " This was an interesting novel loosely based on a real woman, Etta Place, who was connected with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I listened to it in the car and really enjoyed the author's imaginings of Etta's adventures. I would recommend it if you like historical fiction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Toni | 1/29/2014

    " It was okay slow towards the end. Not one of my favorites "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 1/20/2014

    " Thanks Laura!! What a fun novel on how the West was won!! It was clever and entertaining!! I think my great grandpa's second wife dated Butch Cassidy! (Before they got married of course) Scary! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sean O'Brien | 1/20/2014

    " Great potential that simply fell short... I was very interested until about half way through then I had to force myself to go further. I even enjoyed a little bit here and there, but really I found there to be too many stories that mad little sense all thrown together. More of an awww how beautiful Etta is, what a nice thief, how kind, thoughtful, and beautiful. blah blah blah... Just when you thought there would be great description of scenery and emotion and building of characters... you get lame descriptions and you have to completely make everything up for yourself... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Robles | 1/11/2014

    " I enjoyed this book. At the end the author talks about what parts are factual and which parts are fiction. I am not much of a "western" book reader, but would recommend this book to others "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/4/2014

    " Novel of the mysterious girlfriend of Harry Longbaugh, aka the Sundance Kid. Etta was quite a character, and though her life and the plot was perhaps a bit far-fetched, it was an enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kriste | 12/12/2013

    " Interesting, well-written, I like the idea of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid being cast as robin-hoods, rather than just bandits. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Magi | 12/11/2013

    " madison ave meets the wild west "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monica | 12/6/2013

    " A very fun read, about Etta Place, the Sundance Kid's paramour. I checked her out on Wikipedia and there are many holes in her bio which Gerald Koplan has fascinatingly filled. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 jillian | 7/15/2013

    " Totally over the top - but also brilliantly imaginative. This book recreates the life of the infamous Etta, a mystery woman traveling with the Sundance Kid and the Hole in the Wall Gang after tragedy strikes her own life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dad | 4/16/2013

    " I enjoyed this historical-fiction novel, but the fiction was more than I could handel. Etta was deeply involved with Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid, Elenor Rossevelt, Teddy Rossevelt, Buffalo Bill, a Maffia Don, etc. ??? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leslie | 2/22/2013

    " Easy adventure book. Etta was an interesting person but the story was just okay. I listened to it while working around the house. It was pleasant to keep the tasksoving along. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 12/5/2012

    " I enjoyed the characters in this book. It began to drag a little toward the end,but all in all a pretty good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 8/16/2012

    " Initially seemed promising, but Etta developed into a female Forrest Gump taking on the identities of Annie Oakley, Eleanor Roosevelt's love interest, a member of the Hole-in-the Wall Gang and the Black Hand... Ludicrous is a more apt description. Disappointing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanine | 7/5/2012

    " I love historical fiction. I have enjoyed this fictional account of Etta Place who was the real life love interest of The Sundance Kid. I really enjoy the way the book it written using the diary format, news clippings and first person voice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 3/31/2012

    " I found this book at our tiny library in Cambridge, ON (after having to take it back to the library at home when I was half finished). I don't know how much of it is true, but I found it fascinating. I'm glad I got to finish it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 4/6/2011

    " Absolutely loved this book! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shelli | 3/8/2011

    " I won this book on first reads at goodreads! This book wasn't bad....it just didn't capture my interest like I thought it would...I found myself drifting a bit....but still a good story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 3/4/2011

    " I enjoyed the characters in this book. It began to drag a little toward the end,but all in all a pretty good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wanda | 11/5/2010

    " I didn't like this book quite as well as Karen but was still a good read. Karen was right in that it would make a wonderful movie and I pick Angelina and Brad Pitt for the stars! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamara | 8/30/2010

    " The story is about Etta Place,Sundance Kid's
    "woman". Some of it is historicaly correct, but most
    is fiction. I listened to it on CD and enjoyed it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cathy | 7/28/2010

    " Well, it was a fast read. That's about the best I can say. The author lost me when he felt the need to make a historical character gay in order to add an unnecessary sexual element. Ugh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 5/25/2010

    " just read this for book club and really enjoyed it, couldn't put it down. well written and imaginative historical fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 5/19/2010

    " I would never have chosen to read this book on my own, but it was a book club selection...and I really enjoyed it! I very much like the life Koplan has created for Etta, it's a really fun read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Holly | 4/17/2010

    " I had high hopes for this history of Lorinda Jamisen of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame, but the story dragged. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheri | 4/9/2010

    " I give this novel 5 stars because I found it very engaging and entertaining. It is a quick, fun read. It isn't a 5 on the 'fine' literature scale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trudy | 4/2/2010

    " Wish it was an acurate biography, but it is just fiction with what little facts are known about Etta Place. Enjoyed it, had a couple of trashy parts and one character with pretty bad language. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 3/26/2010

    " Thanks Laura!! What a fun novel on how the West was won!! It was clever and entertaining!! I think my great grandpa's second wife dated Butch Cassidy! (Before they got married of course) Scary! "

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About the Author
Author Gerald Kolpan

Gerald Kolpan was born in New York City and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. He now lives in Philadelphia.

About the Narrator

Kirsten Potter, who graduated with highest honors from Boston University, has narrated numerous audiobooks and has performed for television and in theaters across the country. She has won several awards, including eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. Her work has been recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and by AudioFile magazine, among many others.