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Barbed wire. Paperback – 1957

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (1957)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000H3CTRW
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,036,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Have read several books by Elmer Kelton and have enjoyed them all. This one is no exception. It is about Doug Monahan and the stringing of barbed wire in Texas when it was not popular. He is fought by Andrew Rinehart who has been there a long time and has always done everything like he wanted. It is time for change and Monahan is determined to make it happen. There are the usual fights, and action along the way. I am guessing that things like this actually happen at that time. The book will keep you interested. Monahan does not run when threatened and he will stand on his own. Heis joined by others in his fight.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In my last 35+ years I've read 80+ Louis L'Amour novels. His 'Western' novels kept me glued to the pages hoping the plane wouldn't land right now; or my wife wouldn't turn off the bedroom reading light; or, heaven forbid, I didn't have to get to work!
Moving to Texas in January 2006, it took me about 18 months to 'discover' Elmer Kelton. I had only visited Texas 5 or 6 times in the last 45 years and all on business. Retirement has found me faithfully reading 'Texas Highways' every month. A few months ago, the magazine had a feature article on Mr. Kelton and I bought a couple of his paperbacks through Amazon.com.
Well, I am 'HOOKED' on his 'Westerns'! I feel as if I'm riding the west Texas range 100+ years ago and enjoying the same types of 'good times', as well as experiencing the same types of 'bad times', of today. Also, I truly enjoy reading interesting subjects & his characters are simply wonderful! Never a 'bad' word (except for a rare 'damn') thrills me!
It is my intent to read all of his books and keep the memories of them in my heart and mind.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Having enjoyed several other books by Elmer Kelton, I looked forward to reading this one, Barbed Wire, one of his first books published (1957). This is a good interesting read about a man who because of dire circumstances goes into the wire fencing business in the era of open range ranching. Naturally, his fences are seen by big ranchers as barriers to water and open range, and a conflict develops. Who will come out on top? Doug Monahan, the stubborn fencer, or Captain Rinehart, the big ranch owner?

Kelton writes life into his characters, and captures the western spirit of pride, hard work, loyalty, and love. I enjoyed this book and look forward to many more Kelton stories. kone
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
BARBED WIRE is a Texas range war story that is told, essentially, from the perspective of a fence builder--although it is told from several view points. The land is split between ranchers and dirt farmers; it is open range country, and the largest rancher--Captain Rinehart--wants it to stay that way.

The story unfolds as the Captain battles against the coming fences that will lock away the water, and cut the land into tiny rectangles of farms and ranches. It is the future; this separation of land that will allow herds to be bred exclusively, crops to be secured against the roaming cattle, and the protection and hoarding of water in a dry country. It is a future that terrifies the Captain enough that he is willing to let himself be mislead into action by his foreman.

BARBED WIRE is an excellent western. It is only my second experience with the work of Elmer Kelton, the first was his novel BADGER BOY, and I wasn't disappointed. The plot is fairly generic, but its execution, characters and authenticity, mark it a few notches better than the norm. The prose is gritty and matches the western plot like a glove--

"It was a sorry way for a cowboy to make a living, Doug Monahan thought disgustedly. Bending his back over a rocky posthole, he plunged the heavy iron crowbar downward, hearing its angry ring and feeling the violent jar of it bruising the stubborn rock bottom. He rubbed sweat from his forehead into his sleeve and straightened his sore back, pausing to rest a moment and look around."

The plot is executed with a tight linear momentum that takes the expected and makes it fresh and somehow new. The characters are tough and realistic, the action is paced with an equitable easiness--a pace that is far from melodramatic, but is exciting and seemingly authentic.

-Gravetapping
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Barbed Wire is a tale of range war between some farmers and one rancher, Captain Andrew Rinehart whose ranch encompassed nearly the entire county. And this challenge to his domain was not going to be easy to overcome by Doug Monahan who was broke and took the farmer's money, and who was not about to let the likes of Rinehart or his guns scare him before he finished the job....A Traditional Western at its best by one of the best, Elmer Kelton.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Warning: Once you read an Elmer Kelton book, you are hooked on his writings. At first, I thought the title "Barbed Wire" was about as mundane as it gets, but I couldn't put the book down. Again another great book by the master, Elmer Kelton.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was published in 1957 ,early in Elmer Kelton's career and shows his mastery of his craft was evident from his very first books . It makes an interesting comparison with a number of Western movies made at roughly the same time.Movies from that era often featured ,in key roles ,a morally ambiguous figure namely that of a powerful rancher ,once admired ,or at least respected ,for his drive and enterprise in building up an Empire ,but now feared for his ruthlessness and determined to eliminate all opposition to his rule.This is often shown as megalomania and psychopathy,and often such figures are shown as prey to physical infirmity .I would draw your attention to such movie examples as "The Furies"(1950),"The Violent Men "(1954),"The Man From Laramie"(1955)."The Big Country","Tall Man Riding " and "Last Train From Gun Hill " are other splendid examples.

A similar figure dominates this book.He is Captain Andrew Rinehart" whose " R Cross Ranch" sprawls across the area around Kiowa County ,Texas.Its boundaries are unmarked and his will has been uncontested for many years.He objects to the construction of a barbed wire fence to mark his boundaries and attacks the fencing crew ,run by the formidable Doug Monahan .In the course of an attack to pull down the fence Doug's friend and mentor Paco Sanchez is needlessly killed by Rinehart's ramrod ,the vicious and psychopathic Archer Spann .Monahan refuses to back down but when the R Cross crew attacks his fences again ,he is on the verge of quitting when a respected local farmer ,and former Union Army colleague of Rinehart,one Noah Wheeler.hires him to build fences on his own range.
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