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

Shavetail

by
3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  110 ratings  ·  15 reviews
IN THE LITERARY TRADITION OF CORMAC MCCARTHY'S AND LARRY MCMURTRY'S HISTORICAL WESTERNS, SHAVETAIL TRACES THE BRUTAL COMING-OF-AGE OF A BOY SOLDIER STATIONED AT A REMOTE U.S. ARMY OUTPOST AND A YOUNG WOMAN'S TERRIFYING PASSAGE ACROSS THE AMERICAN FRONTIER.

Set in 1871 in the unforgiving wasteland of the Arizona Territory, Shavetail is the story of Private Ned Thorne, a se
...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 12th 2008 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2008)
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 Shavetail, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shavetail

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerHarry Potter Boxset by J.K. RowlingThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainGreat Expectations by Charles Dickens
Best Bildungsroman book
195th out of 223 books — 141 voters
General Crook and the Western Frontier by Charles M. Robinson IIIMickey Free, Manhunter by A. Kinney GriffithAl Sieber by Dan L. ThrappThe Wild Girl by Jim FergusCampaigning with Crook by Charles King
Apache in fact and fiction
8th out of 12 books — 1 voter


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 183)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
D. Pow
The Book: Part One
Thomas Cobb’s Shavetail is an impressive, compulsively readable novel that begins with the protagonist, young Pvt. Ned Thorne arriving in something like purgatory at the ass end of the universe, at an Arizona Army post in 1871, and it as it progresses things get very much worse than that.

Yes, it’s a western. Yes, it has been compared to Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry. Yes, this is by the guy who wrote the killer Country Western Novel Crazy Heart that the Dude finally won a
...more
Erin
If my stories were as eloquent, insightful, and compelling as this one, I would die happy.

This story of a failed mission of the early American soldiers out West evokes themes that carry us into the present day: the futility of war, the fight against an enemy that is really ourselves, and the coming of age through brutality.

Ned Thorne is our hero, but we cannot always love what he does. His choices are sometimes strange to our modern ideas and ways, and when the finale comes, we are left wonder
...more
Peggy
I forgot how much I love reading a good Western. Cobb writes with enough subtle humor to bring to mind Larry McMurtry. Well-written characters, including the character of the harsh Arizona Territory. Despite the regular chuckles, his writing also elicits tugs on the heart. The tragedies that befall these men leave the reader surprisingly sad. I never gave up hoping that the lieutenant and the young calvaryman would each overcome their his missteps. Private Ned Thorne's brave, unrelenting attempt ...more
Edward
I agree with other reviewers that "Shavetail" gives a realistic and riveting look at life in an isolated Army outpost in the Arizona Territory during the war against the Apache. His portrayal of camp life as boring, dirty, banal and brutal is probably as close to the reality as any author has done. Cobb has done his research, and it is a delight to see his inclusion of historical sources at the end of the book. The characters are quite compelling: Thorne, his fellow soldiers, Brickner, Franklin ...more
Robert2481
A book I enjoyed reading. It's really well-written, & the narrative just pulls you along. It presents the west & the cavalry as it was. It was stark & brutal, but, ultimately hopeful.
Ron Harton
A very-well written Western. Right up there with Lonesome Dove. The ending is a little quick, more resolution is needed (or maybe a sequel), especially if the novel is to keep the promises made on the cover. But it is a good read. I was caught up in the strong characters, suspenseful plot, and intriguing setting. I hope this author writes more Westerns.
Lorraine
rather harsh, but probably true to the western frontier in AZ. very interesting coming of age story of 17 year old escaping unfortunate situation back east in the 1860s. he joins the army and is sent to Arizona territory. harsh army life.
Leon
Set in 1870s Southwest, this book has language that puts you in the barren, sweltering mountains of New Mexico, where you can feel the anxiety and strength that permeates Ned Thorne's existence in the US Army.
Shelee Bush
Excellent, gritty tale of a regiment of United States Soldiers, led by two disgraced leaders. Trouble abounds in Arizona when 17 year old Ned joins up the group. I felt hot and dirty just reading it.
Gloria
I've just realized how much I miss reading westerns. This story was gritty, violent, raw and well-written. Louis L'Amour on steroids. I think I need to find more by Thomas Cobb.
Clifdisc
A well written Western in the realist vein. I doubt this will make anyone's list of favorite Westerns yet I suspect it will be enjoyed by all fans of the genre.
Judy Templeton-sims
This book was not easy to get into. But I kind of gives a hint of what life was like then.

I would really give ths a 2 1/2 star.
Rusty
I've read the first quarter of this or so in ms, and I fully expect it to be a big book, in the tradition of Mcmurtry and McCarthy.
Dianne
Just starting this one. Really liked this book. It is somewhat different than what I usually read, but an excellent story.
SheLove2Read
Mar 21, 2014 SheLove2Read marked it as dnf
Shelves: 2014
Just can't seem to get interested in this one. DNF. No rating because it's not the book, it's me.
Daniel Gonzales
Daniel Gonzales marked it as to-read
Nov 28, 2014
Cynthia
Cynthia marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2014
David
David marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
420230
Brutal and deft, laced with both violence and desire, Shavetail plunges into the deepest of human urges."
More about Thomas Cobb...
Crazy Heart With Blood in Their Eyes Acts of Contrition Darkness the Color of Snow An historical sketch of slavery, from the earliest period

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »