Cactus Tracks and Cowboy Philosophy

Cactus Tracks and Cowboy Philosophy

4.0 3
by Baxter F. Black
     
 

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Described by The Washington Post as being able "to make a dead man sit up and laugh," Baxter Black--veterinarian/doctor turned poet/columnist/raconteur--has been making living people laugh with his novel (Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?), syndicated columns, appearances on The Tonight Show, and regular pieces on National Public Radio. Now this

Overview

Described by The Washington Post as being able "to make a dead man sit up and laugh," Baxter Black--veterinarian/doctor turned poet/columnist/raconteur--has been making living people laugh with his novel (Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?), syndicated columns, appearances on The Tonight Show, and regular pieces on National Public Radio. Now this complete illustrated collection of the commentaries that have aired on NPR?s Morning Edition presents Black?s latest dose of medicine for animal and human alike. Ranging from a riotous account of two cowboys chasing down a cow in the nude to a very touching piece about a rancher who loses his wife to cancer and finds out the true worth of his friends and neighbors, Cactus Tracks & Cowboy Philosophy brings together Black?s best-known and most adored work.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Black (Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?) lives and works in the mountain West, "tending critters" and being a part of the lifestyle he loves. In the 119 short essays and poems collected here, all of which he has read on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, he celebrates the world of cowboys and farmers, pickup trucks, feedlots, wild horses, baler twine, stock shows, range fires and rodeos that is "different from the world of most public radio contributors." He and his friends know how to laugh at themselves--as he posits, what else is there to do when elk invade the beanfield, your horse gets spooked by a moose and falls over backward on top of you and ewes go on a rampage at the agricultural fair? The pieces are slightly irreverent, sometimes poignant and always imbued with respect and admiration for the self-reliance and independence "a lot of us from the West are proud of." Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
YA-A new source for students who rebel at poetry assignments. Black, known as a "cowboy poet," has gathered together his popular broadcasts on National Public Radio. His prose and poetry are rich in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures of the ranch, prairie, and high country. According to the author, cowboy life dangles "between humor and tragedy" and laughter helps one to get through the tough times. Some of the selections grab the heart, too, including a Christmas poem, "Joe and Maria, The First Christmas...Cowboy Style." Black has a way with words. A hard rain is a "fish-drownin', hat-soakin', slicker-testin' downpour." Older chickens are "blue-haired layers that had lost their bloom." YAs who dream of living the life of a real, honest-to-John (Wayne) cowboy will hoot and holler at this book, and be inspired to try their own unique way of tellin' a tale.Judy Sokoll, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Black (Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?, 1994), comic western versifier and former physician to equines, ruminants, and other large domestic animals, rechews his whimsical cud with short pieces originally emanating from the airwaves of NPR.

In over 100 little essays, stories, poems, and songs (and a glossary of feedlot lingo), each read in just the time it takes to soft-boil an egg, ol' Bax' stretches his tales tall and spins his poems. The stories recall the likes of Josh Billings and Artemus Ward of yesteryear, and the galloping poetic rhythm hasn't been so securely ridden since the days of the late Robert W. Service. Black hog-ties his rhymes (e.g.: "fish" with "leash," "up front" with "elephant") with a force emblematic of John Wayne. His stuff, as Baxter advises, "should always be read aloud (or at least move yer lips)." The dialect is ripe with "figgered" and "knowed" and sechlike. Enough final "g"s are dropped to delight any English lord. But what need of syntax and grammar when the book, on the whole, is simply fun, educational for the tenderfoot and redolent for cow people? Some efforts, naturally, work better than others; someone might have introduced Black to the notion of culling. For the most part, though, the seemingly ragtag ramblings are cleverly constructed to tickle fans and bemuse those, not wise to the difference between cow patties and beef patties, who just like the idea of being a cowpoke.

Cowboy Black throws the bull, the cow, the stallion, the mare, common barnyard critters, and even the kitchen sink into these pieces with assurance and, generally, to good effect. Just put on yer five-buckle overshoes, watch where you step, and join the fun.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140276831
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1998
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
598,659
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.95(h) x 0.65(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Baxter Black is the author of eleven volumes of cowboy poetry and the bestselling novel Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky? He is a regular commentator on National Public Radio and writes a weekly column, "On the Edge of Common Sense," which appears in newspapers nationwide.

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Cactus Tracks and Cowboy Philosophy 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this book, Baxter Black uses a unique style of writing that adds to the ranch and barnyard style poetry. It is like you are listening to a real cowboy speak. The detailed writing makes you feel like you¿re standing right there in the barnyard watching the action or listening to stories with a bunch of cowboys. I feel that Baxter did a great job writing this book and a great job with explaining the cowboy lifestyle.