Last Go Round
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Last Go Round

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  397 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Out of the mists of Oregon lore, Ken Kesey has summoned a long-remembered story he first heard as a boy from his father around a campfire: the "last go round" at the Pendleton Round-Up in 1911, which pitted three cowboys against each other as they rode for the first world broncbusting crown. Photos.
Published (first published 1994)
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Kevin Carson
I should explain some of the background of the history behind Last Go Round. In 1911, the Pendleton Roundup, held on the Columbia River prairie in Oregon, was heavily promoted as the World Championship Rodeo of all time. Colorful characters such as William Cody (Buffalo Bill) were in attendance as well as all of the genuine rodeo elite of the time. Much like the author, Ken Kesey, I was introduced to the Pendleton roundup in the 1960s as the premiere annual rodeo event. We went in our western we...more
I was actually born in Pendleton, where the Round Up is still held every year and it seems like half the West turns out for it. I remember very little of the events themselves, but I remember the buildup to the event every year: the parade with the Round Up Princesses and various tribes, the RVs rolling in from states on the far side of the Rockies, and the week we got off of school during Round Up.

Last Go Round is far more fiction than it is fact, but if I wanted to read fact I wouldn't have r...more
Theophilus (Theo)
Dec 06, 2008 Theophilus (Theo) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults and high school teens (some sexual references)
Absolutely loved it. An exciting book about real people, a real event, and some riveting story-telling. I enjoy reading about African Americans in the West and this character, George Fletcher goes right up to the top of the heap with characters such as Deadwood Dick. Told from the point of view of someone who meets Fletcher on the way to the 1911 Pendleton (Oregon) Rodeo this story tells of the social problems in a turn-of-the-century western town without preaching. Other characters in the story...more
A fictionalized account of an early Pendleton Round-up, that featured a Nez Perce, an African-American, and a white southerner in a saddlebronc ride-off after a three way tie for the all-round title. The narrator is the southerner telling his story many years later in oral cowboy fashion. This was Kesey's last published novel and was written with his friend Ken Babbs.

"A rip snorter of a yarn (with) a surprising degree of wishful complexity." The New York Times

Lots of fun and humor but the book...more
Ann Zweber
Somewhere between liked and really liked. Gotta love Ken Kesey and his depiction the rodeo culture.
Historical fiction about the Pendelton, Oregon rodeo of 1911. First person narration by one of the rodeo's stars, a young kid from Tennesse. He reports his slightly star-struck conversations and wild activities with two other, more experienced stars. All three are historical figures. Buffalo Bill and other historical characters have minor roles, but it is the relationships between the three stars that is the focus. Photographs.
Deon Stonehouse
The Pendleton Roundup is the setting for the last of Ken Kesey’s novels. He spins an entertaining yarn populated with many famous western characters, like Buffalo Bill Cody, around the real episode of a 1911 competition between George Fletcher, an African American cowboy, Jackson Sundown, a Nez Pierce bronco buster, and John Spain, a southerner. It is an entertaining novel focusing on a bit of Oregon history.
This was a kinda interesting novel from Ken Kesey....the koolaid man....

Historical Fiction, written from the perspective of one of the main players in an event of history. Perhaps plays off the crude jokes....A White Cowboy, a black cowboy, and an indian cowboy walk into a those are the 3 main characters....great look at gender and race and culture rolled into one....

Demisty Bellinger
Jul 26, 2007 Demisty Bellinger rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody and their mama, butt especially to college-aged kids
Addresses racism, sexism, sex, and bronco riding. What more can you ask for? Kesey's humor is exquisitely displayed, descriptions are bigger than the silver (or HD) screen, and the whole thing makes you want to be a cowboy/cowgirl. Or "Indian" (Kesey likes his big Native Americans). Or a black cowboy who's the best rodeo star in history. Fun.
Being from Oregon, I found this bit historical fiction interesting. I know Kesey is a big Oregon author, but this is the first book of his that I have read. The story is a mix of factual history and fiction surrounding the early days of the famous Pendleton Round-Up. I found it a good short read.
Nancy Rojo
One of my favorites...a wild ride into this fictionalized account of the first Pendleton Rodeo. I loved the characters and it is one of my favorite books to give to friends who are outdoor type loving animals and independent characters both male and female.
Mark Allen
It was the authors that drew me to this book--having thoroughly enjoyed all things Kesey, I was fascinated by a pairing with Babbs, another Merry Prankster.

The backdrop of an early 20th century rodeo was intriguing.

It did not disappoint.
Kesey's choice to use a kind of folksy dialect to tell this story mingling fact and fiction makes it difficult to read, at least for me. But the stories and characters are wonderful.
Anna Alexander
I really, really wanted to like this book. I liked the characters and found the premise of the book fascinating, it just failed to hold my attention. And I love Ken Kesey books.
Setting for story was eastern Oregon during the Pendelton Roundup. Great storyline includes African-Amercian cowboy, I enjoyed the character development of this person.
I once misread a quote by Babbs.

I read "This was all a tremendous experiment in the arts" as "This was all a horrendous experiment in the arts"
It's Ken Kesey, cowboys, and horses, so I was obviously going to like it. But I enjoyed it so much that I'm going into an immediate reread, which I never do.
Russell Snyder
The setting was amazing and the author's story telling made me want to stay in the locale. The characters are real, people to be missed.
Yeah buddy! I had fallin' off the reading wagon but this book has spurred me back aboard. I really enjoyed reading this.
Carol Foisset
Fun Oregon folklore along with Kesey's unique use of metaphors made for an interesting read. Great characters - 3.5
Sometimes a Great Notion meets the Wild West... Not the same without Neal Cassady in there somewhere..
Jeff Ereverock
Three riders compete against each other and collude with one another in the 1911 Pendelton Round Up
Really entertaining...and mixed with little factoids about the New York of the West
Giorgi Decarlo
It may have been the subject matter, I found it a hard slog to get through.
American mythology. Interesting addition to the Buffalo Bill legacy.
Enjoyable book, fun to escape into a good, simple story sometimes.
Jul 15, 2009 Cheryl rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sierra
Shelves: good-novels
Great historical fiction. Cowboys in eastern Oregon.
good true story nicely embellished by Kesey
Liam Conway-pearson
Liam Conway-pearson marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2014
Charlie marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2014
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American writer, who gained world fame with his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962, filmed 1975). In the 1960s, Kesey became a counterculture hero and a guru of psychedelic drugs with Timothy Leary. Kesey has been called the Pied Piper, who changed the beat generation into the hippie movement.

Ken Kesey was born in La Junta, CO, and brought up in Eugene, OR. Kesey spent his early years hun...more
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