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Horseshoes, Cowsocks & Duckfeet: More Commentary by NPR's Cowboy Poet & Former Large Animal Veterinarian Hardcover – September 3, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Cowboy poet, humorist and songwriter Black (Cactus Tracks & Cowboy Philosophy) and cartoonists Black, Gill, Holl and Marsh return in a freshly stirred stewpot of Black's syndicated columns and NPR commentaries, with a seasoning of verses, curses, lists ("Fifty Ways to Fool Yer Banker"), toasts, quotes and random musings: "Do fish ever get tired of eating seafood?" Ex-veterinarian Black writes of many creatures cats, dogs, chickens, cows, butterflies, horses, sheep and whales. But he also covers a wide range of other subjects airplanes, dances, ranches, recipes, rodeos, romance, small towns and weddings: "Putting a suit coat on some of those cowboys was like puttin' croutons on a cow pie." Among the outstanding pieces are his controversial critique of the "bad artists" who made cave paintings; "Chicken House Attack," which features a steer running amok in a building with 25,000 chickens; and "Dear Animal Planet," criticizing the cable channel for ignoring domestic livestock "destined for the food chain." With phrases like "March is the castor oil of months. The collected drippings of winter's oil change," it's evident that Black knows how to lasso the language, but for those who can't keep pace, he offers an extensive glossary of the "cowboy vocabulary." This is campfire humor that sparkles and ignites laughter.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Black certainly has a way of showing urban folk the ways of cowboys and working the land. Black's latest collection of humorous musings follows his tradition of plainspoken, tongue-in-cheek sarcasm that his fans have come to expect. From real cowboy weddings to the history and fate of the cowboy image to living and working with animals, Black keeps the one-liners coming. He also likes to delve into politics and social commentary on homelessness, Animal Planet network, country versus urban life and issues, and overseas American food aid. He truly is a modern-day Mark Twain who loves to pontificate on the simple pleasures in life with his rugged humor and charm. Readers who are looking for the atmosphere, culture, and hardy lifestyle of the West will enjoy Black's observations and style; the combination of sarcasm mixed with earthy dialogue on animal life is highly amusing. Michelle Kaske
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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This is a collection of short, and I mean less than 2 pages short, stories as told by Black on NPR during 2001. (I think that's right...) Admittedly, something is lost in the translation from radio to book form. Baxter has a way with words and the way he says them is as meaningful a part as what he says. I was glad most stories had a brief introduction and for the glossery at the back of the book for those "non-cowboy" types like myself. I also liked the fact that I could read a story or two, put the book down and be able to come back to it a few minutes later or a week later.
I read all 75 (ish?) stories; I found my dad in one story (you know which one, Dad!), really enjoyed about 10, liked probably 40 or so and missed the point, didn't "get" or just didn't like the rest.
Perhaps it is the differences in age and sex (me being a 30-something married woman) or the generational differences or just the lifestyle differences but in some of the tales I had a hard time relating. I did, however, send the book on to my father who is older and wiser and much more learned in the ways of veterinarians, cowboys and politics and I bet he gets much more out of the book than I.
If you are already familar with Baxter's other stuff and like it then I believe you will not find any fault with this newest book. If this is your first Baxter Black book as it was mine then I suggest one of his more favored volumes to see if you like it first.