New audiobook bringing ‘wild west’ history of Las Vegas, NM to life

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LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico man is bringing history to life for your next road trip. He’s created an audiobook based on the rough history of Las Vegas, N.M.

Originally a classic book, Wildest of the Wild West takes readers — and now, listeners — to the outlaw and gunslinger history of Las Vegas with tales of Jesse James, Billy the Kid and even Abraham Lincoln. Jim Terr recently decided to bring the book to life with sound and says it’s a way to enhance the stories.

“I think it brings history alive for people, not just for people in New Mexico, but anywhere, I guess. Such vivid stories,” said Terr. “I hope it will hook people into history like certain books did for me and made me realize that history was there.”

The book was originally published in the late ’80s by Howard Bryan, who passed away in 2011. Terr was surprised there was no audio version and decided to change that this year.

“He writes about Las Vegas New Mexico and how it was the ‘wildest’ town on the Western Frontier, much more so than Dodge City, Tombstone and all of those famous, violent frontier towns,” said Terr. “Just this year, it occurred to me to ask the publisher if I could do an audio book of it. He said yeah, nobody had asked him that before.”

He says when reading back through the book, there were a number of stories that can be adapted into films and series as the state’s film industry grows. With many of the historic sites from these tales still in place, Terr says a trip up north to see them first-hand is the best way to learn about history.

“It’s a beautiful town. It’s got a lot of tourism now, a lot of the restoration of the hotels and stuff. I’m hoping also that this book, to the extent that it becomes popular, the audiobook, that it brings more of a light to Las Vegas and makes it more interesting for more people to visit Las Vegas,” said Terr. “The hotels and places where a lot of things happen are still here so it makes it kind of an interesting live history tour to know about this stuff and come visit Las Vegas.”

Terr is hosting an audiobook signing this Saturday at Coas Books in Las Cruces. The event begins at 10 a.m.

The audiobook is also available online and in some select retail shops, including:

  • Las Vegas – Paper Trail; Books of the Southwest; Tome on the Range; Plaza and Castanada Hotel gift shops
  • Albuquerque – Treasure House Books and Gifts in Old Town
  • Santa Fe – Garcia St. Books; Collected Works; Op.Cit.
  • Taos – Op.Cit.

It is also available at the Santa Fe main library, Las Vegas Carnegie library and New Mexico Highlands University library.

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