This is not a shoot-em-up Western. It is set in present-day West Texas. It is realistic, and it ignores the conventions and cliches that clutter the landscape of all too many novels labeled as Westerns. It is as fresh as a West Texas breeze.
Texas novelist Elmer Kelton tells the story of Wes Hendrix, an aging, ailing and rather stubborn fiddle-playing rancher, who doesn't want to sell his ranch to land developers seeking to build a recreational lake that will give the nearby town of Big River an economic shot in the arm.
As a young man Wes Hendrix successfully rode a rodeo bronc named Midnight, hence the novel's title.
Kelton's characters include Wes Hendrix's grandson, Jim Ed Hendrix, a college student from Dallas, who arrives for a ranch visit and meets a neighboring ranch girl named Glory Beth Dawson, who dresses and works like a cowboy.
Kelton's themes are the love of the land, what an old man values, the harsh reality of changing times and young romance.