“We were down South, in Alabama--Bill Driscoll and myself-when this kidnapping idea struck us…”
Originally a short story by turn of the century author O. Henry, Ransom of The Red Chief is a Wild West misadventure narrated by its protagonist, the wry and cynical conman Sam.
In Sam’s linguistically acrobatic narrative, he and his partner Bill attempt to make a quick buck by kidnapping the son of a small-town banker. Naturally, everything goes horribly wrong.
Witty, irreverent and beautifully evocative of the period and place, Ransom of The Red Chief makes a slick transition from dark kidnap narrative to ridiculous farce as its protagonists’ competence as criminals is steadily undermined.