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Hard Scrabble: Observations on a Patch of Land Paperback – 2002
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Top customer reviews
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.
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.