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The Brave Cowboy Paperback – April 1, 1992
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“The Thoreau of the American West.” (Larry McMurtry)
“Abbey is a fresh breath from the farther reaches and canyons of the diminishing frontier.” (Houston Chronicle)
“Abbey writes with fierce eloquence of landscape and city, of stunted souls and drunken despair. He can be funny and poignant at once” (Publishers Weekly)
“We are living… among punishments and ruins. For those that know this, Edward Abbey’s books remain an indispensable solace.” (Wendell Berry)
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Top Customer Reviews
But what detail! I really enjoyed Abbey's description of the land around Albuquerque, where most of the book takes placed. I'm ashamed to admit that I had no idea that New Mexico had so many inactive volcanoes. More importantly, Abbey brings the dry and cool desert into sharp focus.
As for the political messages behind the book (anti-draft, anti-establishment), I didn't feel moved either way. I wouldn't call this a molotov cocktail of a book, if that's what you're looking for. Instead, I read it probably the way the way Kirk Douglas read it--as a Western set in Postwar America.
Edward Abbey's writing style is wonderful, as is his plot and character development. It is my understanding that, while his style, prose, and themes remain constant throughout his career, his talent is polished and refined with each novel. Brave Cowboy, being his first widely published fictional work, leaves the reader with a taste of things to come in his later writings.
Few books have made me cry at the end -- usually it's when I think of the time and money wasted on them. This one left me in tears because of a profound sense of loss of another kind, the loss of men such as John W. Burns, the loss of the maverick, the loss of a true voice of the west, and the loss of a west that we will never know except through books and movies.
But one thing impressed me as much as the contents of the book -- its binding. Rarely does anyone discuss this, but I have to say that this edition is the best bound I've ever read. The spine was not stiff and the pages were very flexible allowing me to read one handed almost anywhere. If all paperbacks used this same binding, I wouldn't have to replace my often-read books every eight or nine years. So, from this perspective, the publisher is allowing Abbey's work a much longer life in one edition. Possibly a tribute to Abbey's philosophy, or merely a coincidence, either way I remain impressed by this. This may be the only paperback I own that I can pass to my grandson, as is, for his enjoyment in the future.
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Excellent condition !
A most satisfactory purchase !