- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Harvest Books; 1 edition (May 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156031213
- ISBN-13: 978-0156031219
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,596,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chasing the Rodeo: On Wild Rides and Big Dreams, Broken Hearts and Broken Bones, and One Man's Search for the West Paperback – May 1, 2006
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The rodeo is in W.K. Stratton's blood. He attended his first one in utero just days before he was born (on Will Rogers birthday, naturally). He is also the son of a bull-riding cowboy that left him and his mother when Stratton was an infant. The search for this elusive "rodeo bum" father is an underlying theme of Chasing the Rodeo but its main focus is on the action in the ring. Stratton spent a year following the professional rodeo and bull-riding tours and he explores the circuit with a keen and sympathetic eye. He writes about the history of the sport and its place in the mythology of the West, cowboy legends, current stars, and classic rodeo towns, such as Prescott, Arizona, and Pecos, Texas--both of which claim the title as the true birthplace of rodeo. He also looks at the growing popularity of rodeo and bull-riding and what it means for its future now that major events have corporate sponsors and are held in Las Vegas casinos rather than fairgrounds. While acknowledging that the big money prizes are good for the athletes, Stratton worries that marketing considerations will force the sport away from the very traditions that make it interesting. As proof, he bemoans the fact that helmets and Nike shoes are starting to replace Western hats and boots at some rodeos. Still, he encounters plenty of true Western spirit and memorable characters during his journey to keep his love for the rodeo alive and his enthusiasm for his subject proves contagious. Even those who have never considered attending a rodeo will likely find themselves enthralled by this wild ride of a book. --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Stratton has penned a lively, earnest portrayal of the lives of the cowboys—and cowgirls—who compete in the dangerous but apparently addictive sport of rodeo. The author is a Southwestern native, and his estranged father was a "rodeo bum" about whom Stratton (Backyard Brawl) knew relatively little. A quest to discover more about this man, whom he calls "Cowboy Don," provides a framework for Stratton's exploration of rodeo itself, and while this hunt is certainly not the book's strongest aspect, it doesn't become overbearing or distracting, either. The volume's muscle lies in Stratton's crisp descriptions of the wild, harrowing events and the towns that host them. The same way some people simply can look natural in skin-tight jeans, boots and shirts with pearl buttons, so too can Stratton wax cowboy poetic about "rank horses," "broncs" and his beloved "501s" without sounding corny. His affinity for the sport clearly colors his opinion about the concerns of animal rights activists, an issue he addresses in an author's note. Still, his book demonstrates rodeo's rich tradition, and it vividly illuminates the trials both inside and outside the ring. Agent, David McCormick. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Stratton's prose is deft and flowing. He led me from his own memories of a legendary bull ride to the party-hearty bars at Pendleton and the lure of the dirt arena. The search for his father never intrudes; it bolsters Stratton's exploration of the compelling urges that rodeo creates in both professionals and fans.
Sometimes poignant, sometimes rowdy, always interesting--this book goes on my shelf of favorites.