Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

PAPERBACKS

May 26, 1991|Charles Solomon

THE LAST COWBOY by Janet Kramer (Penguin: $8.95). This fictionalized account of an unsuccessful ranch hand who tried to base his life on Hollywood Westerns won the National Book Award in 1977. Harry Blanton was a well-intentioned and competent, if not terribly bright, Texas ranch hand who wanted to be not a movie star but a movie cowboy. Ignoring the reality that surrounded him (and the experiences of his friends and relatives), he strove to model himself after Glenn Ford, John Wayne and Gary Cooper, wearing black clothes and a black Stetson, sealing business deals with a handshake, eating meals at a restored chuck wagon, drinking bourbon and getting into barroom brawls. Sadly, life on a working ranch in the '70s proved more complicated than an imaginary cattle drive, and Blanton had no screenwriters to help him when he faced problems that couldn't be resolved through a fictional Code of the West. A devastating portrait of a man vainly struggling to view the world through a rose-colored bandanna.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|