Cactus Tracks and Cowboy Philosophyby Baxter F. Black
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.
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.
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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.