- Paperback: 191 pages
- Publisher: Dell Publishing Co., Inc.; 4th edition (1970)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000PCJPLI
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,236,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Midnight Cowboy Paperback – 1970
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Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a shame because the novel is much more satisfying than the one-note film. The background of the guileless main character, Joe Buck (first cousin to "Being There"'s Chance) is brought out in a series of mysterious incidents that put his fateful trip to New York into perspective.
The book also benefits from a narrative voice that ranges from flat objectivity to the wise and knowing tone of a fable teller. This voice also manages to capture the benign anonymity of big-city life. Against this backdrop, we see Joe Buck wander in search of a truth he can not name.
His destiny arrives in the person of a street urchin/criminal, Enrico Salvatore (Ratso) Rizzo. Those who have not read the book but have seen the film will be surprised that Herlihy's character is a boy -- though of course street-hardened beyond his years. This detail hardly detracts from Hoffman's performance in the film. Yet in the book it lends a poignancy to the character and his tragedy that the movie didn't capture.
Post-modernists may be impatient with the streaks of '60s idealism that run through the book. For me, the book strikes just the right tone for our age: violence is juxtaposed with life-affirming ideals in the novel's summation.
A neglected minor classic; highly recommended.
Instead, I found myself wallowing in Herlihy's literary and psychological genius.
Joe Buck is twenty-seven years old when he leaves Houston for New York. His life so far has been nothing special - one abandonment and betrayal after another. Joe has never really felt a sense of connection to anyone, except one of his grandmother's ex-boyfriends, a rancher named Woodsy Niles who imparted to him a fascination with all things Western. The one thing he's got going for him is his body: he's tall, handsome, and great in the sack. In New York, he's been told, most of the men are homosexual, and the women are terribly lonely. They'd pay good money to spend just one night with a real man . . . a man like Joe. Dressed in a swanky cowboy outfit that took him several months to buy on the meager salary from his dishwashing job, Joe gets on the bus, visions of his glamorous future dancing in his head.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I originally began reading just to detect differences from the film. It was deeply layered and very, very sad. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Ralph Livingston
The movie was great and of course well acted. This book however tells the complete story. The internal struggles and painful life if Joe Buck. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Peace
Can't help but compare the book to the movie. Both are well worth reading and seeing. Excellent!Published 3 months ago by John
I see why this is a classic! Thoughtful and suspenseful..now I need to see the moviePublished 3 months ago by Tiger '84
. . . it's just that, possibly, Mr. Herlihy did not have as rich a life as the writers named above. Perhaps he wasn't charming, or did not have one of those singular personalities,... Read morePublished 8 months ago by VIKI
I have never seen the movie, but will watch soon and compare. This was a great book! The author really paints a descriptive picture of the characters, I could almost see them in... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Michelle
A very well written book. The movie doesn't not convey the sadness or despair of main characters nor the sickness of the people that surround them.Published 12 months ago by phargrov
This is a wonderful book written about people we pass on the way to our "Saturday" lives every day. The book was gritty without being graphic. Read morePublished 13 months ago by TKH IN THE DEEP SOUTH