Tie-Fast Country

Overview

When Chance Carter, general manager of a TV station, gets a telephone call that his grandmother's health is failing and that he must do something about her, he knows only that he is the only heir to a million-dollar ranch and that his grandmother may have killed his grandfather and the man who was perhaps his father. His idea of a Texas ranch comes from television, and he does not know what he will have to do to slide Rista Wyler off her land and into a nursing home. Nor does he know that the only cowboy Rista ...
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2001 Hard Back Likely First New in Very Fine- jacket Library of Congress Copy Remainder mark, sl edgewear to dj.

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Overview

When Chance Carter, general manager of a TV station, gets a telephone call that his grandmother's health is failing and that he must do something about her, he knows only that he is the only heir to a million-dollar ranch and that his grandmother may have killed his grandfather and the man who was perhaps his father. His idea of a Texas ranch comes from television, and he does not know what he will have to do to slide Rista Wyler off her land and into a nursing home. Nor does he know that the only cowboy Rista has left is Pug Caldwell, an old man who has worked for her since he was a teenager and may want the ranch for himself. Reluctantly Chance leaves behind the world of the Florida TV station, where he is in control, and also leaves Shana, the women he loves but to whom he cannot quite commit. He finds himself more than a world away on the Texas ranch where he has no televison, no phone, no contact with the outside world. And the food is monotonous and not very good. As Chance watches for certifiable signs of senility in Rista and plans what he'll say to a judge, she puts him to work mending fence and doctoring calves with Pug. In chapters that alternate between the past and the present, Rista reveals the tangled story of her life. Gradually she introduces Chance to people and events that his mother had distorted in the telling. He finds out why Rista still searches the ranch for the undiscovered grave of her aunt, killed by Indians; he comes to know his grandfather, Odis, and even his great-grandfather, Claris, men of different temperament and different loyalties. And he learns about Stoddard, the newspaperman Rista loved but could not marry. He even learns some bitter truths about his mother, Cassie, and her hatred for the ranch.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fractured family relationships are as tangled and dangerous as a ball of barbed wire in this folksy western novel by Spur Award- winner Flynn (The Devils Tiger; Wanderer Springs; etc.). This is certainly not a typical western; it reads more like an episode of Dallas, with an injection of verisimilitude. Chance Carter is a Florida TV station manager thoroughly corrupted by shallow entertainment, manipulative news and hatred for his grandmother Clarista, "a woman who killed two men and drove her daughter and grandson from her house." When he gets a call from Texas about the ailing woman, he sees it as an opportunity to put her in a nursing home. However, Clarista is a tough, smart Texas cattle rancher: she is not about to be corralled in a nursing home, and Chance is in for a big surprise when he arrives at the run-down ranch wearing tassle loafers and pleated pants. She puts the city boy to work mending fences, herding cattle, roping and riding. At first he is not happy with how the visit is turning out, but eventually he learns the real reasons his grandmother shot two men, why his own mother left home and why he is such a jerk. He realizes that Clarista is a good ol' gal, and that maybe he was wrong to hate her after all. The narrative alternates between past and present, as Clarista tells of the early days of cattle ranching from 1900 to the 1940s and Chance describes his visit to the ranch. The prose is pedestrian, but this is a funny, comfortable tale with enough barbs and thorns to remind us that life is not at all like television. Southwest author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Life on a Texas ranch, portrayed by Flynn with hard-earned western wit and matchless skill. Back in 1910, Claris McCloud gets his ranch together but will soon need a son to help keep the place fit. "Claris considered going to Fort Worth and marrying a whore. They had a work ethic and when you married one you knew what you were getting." Instead, he weds skittish virgin Celestine, 23, "scant and quiet as a whisper in a wind storm," whom he must rape to get pregnant. She bears Clarista: all rawhide, fast to the saddle, born to herd and rope. When Claris dies, Rista takes over the ranch and finds herself courted by two men. She passes over rakish poet/newspaper editor Stoddard to marry feisty lawman Odis, who gives up his badge and becomes a fair ranch-hand. But daughter Cassie is too hotheaded to stick around the ranch after she gets pregnant; her mind tossing wildly with Hollywood dreams, Cassie takes off. Who fathered baby Chance? Well, even grown-up Chance wonders when he gets an anonymous call telling him that Grandmother Rista is dying and needs his help. Raised by Cassie to be a bow-tie gentleman, his whole childhood spent in front of the tube while Mom ran around, Chance is now a vastly smart, materialistic TV station manager in Florida who's never ridden a horse in his life. He's just buried Cassie when he has to go to the ranch and perhaps warehouse his grandmother in a nursing home. Rista has had her share of tragedy since her daughter took off; she shot Odin and later shot the man who may have fathered Cassie's child. All grizzle and gristle, the old lady deals her grandson some life-lessons in blood and entrails unlike anything he's seen on TV. Prose throughout smelling oftallow and coal oil. Flynn ("Living with Hyenas, "1995) deserves a prize.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780875652443
  • Publisher: Texas Christian University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2001
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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