Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “High Wide and Lonesome” as Want to Read:
High Wide and Lonesome
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

High Wide and Lonesome

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  144 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In this memoir of a lost America, Hal Borland tells the story of his family’s migration to eastern Colorado as homesteaders at the turn of the twentieth century. On an unsettled and unwelcoming prairie landscape, the Borlands build a house, plant crops, and eke out a meager existence. While life is difficult—and self-reliance is necessary with no neighbors for miles—the ex ...more
Audio Cassette
Published June 1st 1988 by J. B. Lippincott Company (first published 1956)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about High Wide and Lonesome, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about High Wide and Lonesome

Man Hunt by David R.  GrossMisery by Stephen KingThe Horse Whisperer by Nicholas EvansThe Stonegate Sword by Harry James FoxThe Stand by Stephen King
Rocky Mountains
129 books — 93 voters
Plainsong by Kent HarufThe Shining by Stephen KingBlind Thrust by Samuel MarquisThe Coalition by Samuel MarquisThe Slush Pile Brigade by Samuel Marquis
199 books — 80 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Scott Axsom
Feb 11, 2013 Scott Axsom rated it liked it
I'm a big fan of Ralph Moody's Little Britches series - he's just a wonderful allegorical writer and it's a Colorado story, after all. So, I was excited when a Colorado rancher's daughter, here at Goodreads, turned me on to Hal Borland's High, Wide and Lonesome. Unlike Moody's work, Borland's contains a bare minimum of allegory, though what it has is resonant. It's really just a straight-forward, occasionally beautiful, narrative of a young man's life as he and his parents homestead a Colorado ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Penny rated it really liked it
This is not the edition that I read, but this first edition is not listed. I had to request this book through an interlibrary loan. This particular issue was copyright 1956,an original, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 56-10812. I had become interested in the author because he wrote the novel that eventually became the movie Jeremiah Johnson.

It is a memoir about the author's early days from about age 9 through 12 when his family moved in the early 1900's to farm a homestead on the plains
Shari Larsen
Nov 27, 2012 Shari Larsen rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written memoir of the years Hal Borland and his family spent on the Colorado Frontier when his father decided he wanted to try homesteading in 1910. Hal worked with his father to build a house and dig a well, and then his mother joined them. Life is not easy over the next 3 years, having to deal with the weather, livestock losses, and health problems. Hal grows up doing chores around the farm but enjoys the homesteading life as well.

I really enjoyed this book, and I did not realize b
Rebecca Garcia
Jun 12, 2013 Rebecca Garcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hal Borland's account of life in northeastern Colorado in the early 1900s was well written, entertaining, and history at its best..up, close and personal. fascinating stories of people, nature, life on a homestead, all the hardships interlaced with some of the sweet rewards. Though it isn't specifically about the area of Colorado we are currently travelling through, it still offers insight, depth and grounding for our wanderings. also, personally speaking, it shed light on the term "ioway" vs. " ...more
Amron Gravett /  Wild Clover Book Services
"But even the yucca and the sagebrush and greasewood and the cactus were lost in the vastness of grass. The highest sagebrush weren’t as high as the hubs of the front wheels of the wagon. “Good soil,” Father said."

Long celebrated as a beautiful memoir about life in a simpler time, this is a true account from the author’s childhood moving to the eastern plains in 1910. It is a good example of Colorado pioneer life and the strong determination to succeed in those times.
Amy Varner
Nov 28, 2012 Amy Varner rated it really liked it

What a nice story about homesteading in the early 1900s. Set much later than most frontier stories. Descriptions of the land,sky, weather, animals and people made you really see what to was like for that family.
Sep 22, 2012 Gary rated it it was amazing
All I can say is why did I wait until 2012 to read this! This book was written in 1956 and chronicles the experiences of a family homesteading on the eastern plains of Colorado. It is part novel part factual account of the challenges of the time. Just incredible.
Jan 09, 2013 Vicki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite
Hal Borland's "High Wide and Lonesome " is a soulfully written book that reads like a poem. So honest it hurts. Simplicity that is reverent and beautiful. I must read all his other books.
Dec 26, 2012 Jackie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating, true insight into the drudgery, hardship and joys of homesteaders in 1900. The detail was fantastic, especially if you like the idea of living in a log cabin!
Julie Adams
Dec 04, 2012 Julie Adams rated it liked it
I bought this book because I lived in Colorado for a brief time. It's not particularly well written, but it does give an honest account of a childhood on one of the last great frontiers.
Sep 16, 2012 Noreen marked it as to-read
recommended by betty graham
Dec 19, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful. A young boy's recollection of homesteading on the high plains of north-east Colorado approx 1910. Good to read next to/compare with 'An owl on every post'
John Nail
Dec 12, 2012 John Nail rated it really liked it
Well written. I especially liked the narrative on the blizzard. Made me appreciate the men and women who homesteaded our vast Great Plains.
Jun 22, 2014 Ann rated it it was amazing
loved this book.
Diane Hoover
Diane Hoover rated it it was amazing
Jun 03, 2012
Anne rated it did not like it
Jun 02, 2007
Curt Harris
Curt Harris rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2013
patrick nash
patrick nash rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2015
Shannon A Durick
Shannon A Durick rated it really liked it
Dec 23, 2013
Brandon Herbert
Brandon Herbert rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2012
Garth Mailman
Garth Mailman rated it it was amazing
Apr 24, 2013
Christine rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2015
Suzanne Krzyzek
Suzanne Krzyzek rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2016
Gary rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2017
carolyn arsenault
carolyn arsenault rated it liked it
Feb 22, 2014
Judy rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2013
Benjamin Long
Benjamin Long rated it liked it
Mar 05, 2013
Brad rated it really liked it
Dec 23, 2014
Charmanegraham rated it really liked it
Mar 23, 2016
Rebecca rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2007
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • No Life for a Lady
  • Letters from the Dust Bowl
  • No Time on My Hands
  • Sergeant York and the Great War (Men of Courage)
  • Riders of the Pony Express
  • Letters on an Elk Hunt by a Woman Homesteader
  • Land of the Burnt Thigh
  • A Bride Goes West
  • Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children
  • Beloved Bride Letters of Stonewall Jackson to His Wife
  • These Wonderful Rumours!: A Young Schoolteacher's Wartime Diaries
  • A Confederate Girl's Diary
  • Bruchko and the Motilone Miracle
  • The American Home Front: 1941-1942
  • Tent Life in Siberia: An Incredible Account of Siberian Adventure, Travel, and Survival
  • Astoria
  • The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac
  • An Owl on Every Post
Harold Glen Borland was a nature journalist. During World War II he wrote radio programs for the government and served as special magazine correspondent. He had written several documentary movies, two volumes of poetry, a volume of essays, has collaborated on a play, and has contributed many non-fiction articles, short stories and novelettes to leading magazines here and abroad.

Mr. Borland was gr
More about Hal Borland...

Share This Book