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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 13 reviews
on August 12, 2005
Texan John Graves is not a man to shy away from challenges: he invites them. When he bought his little piece of Texas, he clearly knew he was in for a big one, but I am not sure if he was aware of how his accumulated knowledge of this land would shape the man he was becoming. This book takes you through the process of a bumpy courtship and the resulting marriage between a man and his land.

Already armed with a deep appreciation of Nature, he was able to slowly coax renewed vigor into this misused patch of land through his gentle nurturing of it.

The book is full of his personal adventurers such as stone masonry, animal husbandry, carpentry, and all the hazards inherent in farm life. All presented without regret, with humor and modesty. Inevitably he laments the encroachment of more urban activities as they threaten his bucolic existence. Yet he speaks of the duality of his own urban interactions and compares them to the realities of his rural lifestyle.

This book to me was as much about the man John Graves as it is about his subject, "Hard Scrabble". Tough and complex, like his Patch of Land, he personifies the best Texas has to offer.
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on March 21, 2013
I got this book for my husband who is a voracious reader. He loves history and stories about life in our country...whether these stories are based on true accounts of early explorers or people who wrote about their experiences living on the land and so on. He says it was a "good read" and really enjoyed it.
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on August 28, 2014
Very good book. I live only 20 miles or so from Hard Scrabble, and grew up on the Brazos river ( Goodbye To A River, John Graves ). John Graves wrote with humor,wisdom, history, folklore, and poetry. He died just over a year ago but left use with some wonderful books.
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on September 5, 2013
John Graves is a man who loves the land. His description of his patch makes you see exactly what he is talking about. The work on the property has become his therapy in a way. Be prepared to want to try this form of therapy for yourself. This is a book to read, absorb, and read again.
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on October 20, 2015
great book. great writer. a classic of Texas literature
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on March 5, 2016
Wonderful book.
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on September 9, 2013
While not familar with John Graves' work until his passing I found this book to be an enjoyable almost hard to put down book.
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on July 10, 2014
great book
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on August 28, 2013
This book is a man's ruminations about a piece of land he named Hard Scrabble. The land isn't worth much monetarily, but it means a lot to him.
His outlook on life and his land provides an easy read for anyone wanting to read about rural Texas. Graves did not like to write about human relationships or drama that is usually found in novels, he preferred to write about his land, he said. He wrote what he knew.
Graves was popular in his day, his meandering writing style was different and caught on. He is considered an honest writer, homespun and down to earth. He reminded me of my grandfather although my grandfather had more sense of humor and irony.
Graves died at age 92 at Glen Rose, Texas in July 2013.
He is considered among the best Texas writers.
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