All the Western Stars

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Jake Baker and Lucas Kraft meet as roommates in a rest home in Georgia. At 73, Jake is quiet and self-contained with a varied, independent past, a wanderer who was once a high-rise construction worker. Lucas is an extravagant, histrionic novelist and poet who has won a National Book Award; he is no longer writing, however. Overcoming initial antipathy, the two unite to escape from the home, sharing a dream of ending their days as cowboys in Texas. It's a dream neither truly believes, but one they credibly realize in the picaresque adventures that make up this endearing novel from the author of The Heart of a Distant Forest. After hitchhiking from Georgia they find work on a ranch near Abilene, Jake in the kitchen and Lucas back at the typewriter. Both land parts as extras in a movie being filmed nearby, which stars Lucas's former wife. As Lucas hatches a plot to effect a marital reunion, Jake has romantic longings for a woman who works on the ranch, both men finding the path to love as compelling and adventurous as any wild-West fantasy they'd imagined. In the end each claims far more than his cowboy dream, discovering friendship and love as well as vigor and true heroism. This is an extraordinarily winning tale in the tradition of True Grit, with a heart as wide as a sky full of stars. (May)
Library Journal
Engaging characters, a good story, and lots of color characterize this novel about a 73-year-old retired construction worker and a former National Book Award winner with a monumental writer's block. Consigned to an old folk's home, they are concerned not with leaving life gracefully but with leaving it still kicking. Life has not diminished them; they will not let old age be foisted upon them. They escape to the West to become desperadoes. There, they earn redemption through sheer high spirits. Luke's dream is to sign on in a ranch war. Jake woos, beds, and weds a widow of 50. This unpretentious, upbeat novel deserves a wide audience. David Keymer, Coll. of Technology, Utica, N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780934601474
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Pages: 340
  • Sales rank: 1,414,914
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.76 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2010

    An indulgent pair of old men bust out of a nursing home and hitchhike to Texas in pursuit of the life of the cowboy.

    I found "All the Western Stars" a quick read for two reasons: the plot was shallow and simple and there was so little to really challenge the intellect.

    There was nothing to like about any of the main characters, and the bottom line lesson (stated, not lived between these covers) was the only thing about life is to love and be loved. Both of the men who set out on the childish saga repeatedly threw caution and consideration to the wind and acted irresponsibly. It was a quick read because I found little to think about, and I just wanted to get finished with it. My book club made me read it.

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