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The Log of a Cowboy: A Narrative of the Old Trail Days Audible – Abridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 3 hours
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Abridged
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books
  • Audible.com Release Date: December 15, 1999
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0000544OH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a lot of fun to read, taking the reader back in time to a late-1800s cattle drive from Texas to Montana. The book is written well with spare prose, wit and exceptional details about a cowboy's often difficult and sometimes boring life on the trail. There's refreshingly little of the syrup found in so many western stories. It's written simply enough for pre-teens interested in the west, yet it will yield a lot of enjoyment for the seasoned reader.
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Format: Paperback
Andy Adams was a prolific writer, and thanks to the University of Nebraska Press, some of this former cowboy's output is still in print. This true-to-life story of an 1882 cattle drive is his best known, and its retelling 100 years later in Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove" is evidence of its importance among early works of Western fiction.
Here the protagonist is a young cowboy much like the author, who trailed beef from Texas to Montana at a time just after the buffalo herds were being extinguished from the short grass prairies and homesteading had not yet fenced in the high plains. Oklahoma was still "Indian Territory," Little Big Horn was a recent memory, and Native Americans were in the last shameful stages of being forced off the open rangeland. The railroads were snaking across the land making frontier boom towns where law and order either prevailed (Dodge) or more often did not (Ogallala), and the vast cattle herds of Texas and Mexico finally had a market and access to it.
Adams was born into this world and as a young man cowboyed during the height of the cattle drive era. His book is an account of one trek, delivering 3,000 head of cattle to the Blackfoot Agency in northern Montana. For the protagonist, the initial excitement wears off once the daily routine is established, and besides the occasional stampede and wet weather, the highlights of the journey are brief visits to the cowtowns they pass along the way and the many river crossings, some of which pose enormous difficulties.
We get to know all the men in the outfit by name, and a few stand out, including Flood the foreman, McCann the cook, and the protagonist's trail mate The Rebel, who is older and wiser and something of a mentor.
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Format: Paperback
I have found this to be one of the best western books ever written. Written 100 years ago it has the feel of life in the late 1800s not glossed or romanticized.

If you're interested in this book take a look also at the website westwardho dot us. Although they don't intend to print fiction, they are thinking about making an exception for this terrific title. Why?

The folks at westwardho say, "Log of a cowboy is so near to truth that it is hard to call it fiction. It certainly is more true to life than some of the news articles written in the recent past!"

I appreciate much of the modern miracles we take for granted - internet, mobile (cellular) phones, satellite TV and the ability to produce tremendous, special-effects driven movies. Still, I wonder if we are missing something in all our instant self-gratification lifestyle...

Don't get me wrong, I am not one to call the old days the good days. We not only have more luxury today, we also have more opportunity and greater political and intellectual freedom. I am merely trying to point out that many of us fail to seize opportunity and fail to recognize the value of our more primitive instincts.

Read THE LOG OF A COWBOY and see if you don't also wonder. Then also try finding a copy of Africa's equal, MEMORIES OF A GAME RANGER. If you also will peruse my ABOUT Me profile at Amazon's book reviews and you'll find a few more gems you probably never heard of but that you will thoroughly enjoy - Bill Anderson.
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Format: Paperback
This book tells the story of a cattle drive from the Rio Grande to Montana in 1882. It was written in 1903 by a former cowboy who gives us a clear and candid picture of the hardships of the cattle drive. The book provides insights into the strengths and weaknesses, the good points and bad points of the men we call Cowboys. In additon to telling the story of the hardships of the trail, the book gives us samples of the tales told around the campfire at the end of the long day. Recommended reading for anyone with an interest in the Old West; required reading for anyone who wants to write Westerns.
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Format: Paperback
I have completely lost track of the number of editions and printings I have seen of this book, over the years, and a quick search with Google will produce a number of different free e-texts available on-line. However, almost every edition known to me is missing an introduction; there is therefore (1) no information about the author, and (2) no information as to whether what we have is a novel written in documentary style, or an actual nonfiction account of a typical trail drive in the early 1880s.

Well, folks, it's a novel, as the largely symbolic names for the characters might indicate: Priest, Flood, Officer, Strayhorn, Forrest, Blades, Wheat, Straw, etc., etc. I finally got around to reading it, and enjoyed it. Nothing spectacular or overdrawn--- it would not be surprising to discover that every incident is based on something that directly happened to the author or one of his cowboy sidekicks during his trail-herding days. All the classic situations are here, including visits to Dodge City and Oglalla, fiendishly difficult river crossings, stampedes, rustlers, con-men and segundos, chuck wagons and remudas, saloon gunfights and card-sharping. The number of 20th Century western authors who turned to this 1903 novel to obtain some authentic details to insert into their own trail-drive sequences is probably also close to uncountable.
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