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Earthstains
Greg Shepard, author
This book is based on the true story of two handsome and charismatic young men who came of age in the Roaring Twenties, capturing the imagination of a nation with a string of sensational bank robberies. Theirs was an era of seismic social and technological change—arguably the most significant period of cultural transformation in our nation’s history. Their generation gave birth to a small but conspicuous segment of the population: pleasure-seeking, self-indulgent profligates known as sheiks and flappers, lifestyles to which these two young men and their female companions devoted themselves. They ushered in a modern age of hedonism that we have continuously added to for nearly a century—and from which we are still reeling. While the two brothers and their father are seemingly bent on self-destruction, two fiercely loyal and independent women, a sister and the wife of one of the brothers—flappers in their own right—later emerge as matriarchs who try to hold together a family that falls victim to a series of indiscriminate calamities. These two young men, Matt and George Kimes, competed with Herbert Hoover and Charles Lindberg for newspaper headlines in 1927. The brothers’ short but explosive careers lasted no more than two months for the older brother George, and just a little more than a year for the younger brother Matt. Still, they grabbed headlines over the next twenty years. In 1945 the Oklahoma Associated Press voted the events surrounding the death of Matt Kimes as their Story of the Year. After his brother’s demise, George earned headlines in 1948–1949 and again in 1959–1960.
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Earthstains by Greg Shepard revolves around the true story of two handsome young men in their twenties, George and Matt Kimes, who became famous for their sensational bank robberies. Their explosive careers grabbed the headlines and became news for the next twenty years. They ushered in a modern age of hedonism and, as they were both on the path to self-destruction, the family was held together by a sister and the wife of one of the brothers. The family would not have become so famous if not for these two notorious young men, and this poignant story explores the human drama surrounding them and the events around them.

The book is a compelling read and the author's detailed narration makes the scenes come alive so readers feel as if they are there with Matt and George while robbing the bank. The author also captures the lust for easy money, fame, and adventure which sowed the seeds of destruction that brought misery to many. The book is fast paced and the author introduces readers to their families, their struggles, the bad choices made by the father, and the relationships they maintained with their sisters and the wife. The author's fluid writing style gives a good movement to the story and it's a tale for all those who enjoy reading historical fiction and adventure. The author also throws light on the era of the Depression and bank robberies by these outlaw brothers with clarity, making it a great read.

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