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Last Go Round

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  495 Ratings  ·  34 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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(showing 1-30 of 866)
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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
Mar 18, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really fun read. It is very different than Kesey's other books, in that it was just a feel good story about 3 guys competing at a rodeo. There is nothing super powerful about this, and it won't blow you away, but pretty much anyone will enjoy it.

The three main character are John Spain, George Fletcher, and Sundown Jackson (all real people), and this story follows them throughout the 3-4 days of the first ever World Championship Rodeo in Pendleton, OR (I think OR), in 1911. These guys
Kevin Carson
Apr 06, 2013 Kevin Carson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sergey Tomson
Aug 13, 2014 Sergey Tomson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
«Сынок, все на свете случайно…»
— Фокус в том, чтобы поверили, что это нарочно.

Книга, начинающаяся с отказа от ответственности в своём посвящении, не может оказаться скучной. И пусть повествование напоминает походку в стельку пьяного кавбоя, одурманенного индейский чаем из белены. Это ведь хулиган Кэн Кизи! Великий американский проказник из разукрашенного во все цвета радуги дурдома на колёсах. Только он может так мастерски балансировать на сочетании несочетаемого, упрощать сложное и наоборот. То
Theophilus (Theo)
Dec 06, 2008 Theophilus (Theo) rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Oct 31, 2009 itpdx rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ann Zweber
May 19, 2014 Ann Zweber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhere between liked and really liked. Gotta love Ken Kesey and his depiction the rodeo culture.
Brian Wilcox
May 16, 2015 Brian Wilcox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kesey has always been a favorite author of mine based on Sometimes A Great Notion and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. This book is nothing like those but is a wonderfully charming read.
I found this title on a list of 40 Books set in the Pacific Northwest at I found this to be an amusing Western tale, although it was liberally sprinkled with un-politically correct race descriptions. Not out of place given that the story takes place at the first annual Pendleton Round-Up in 1911, though the book was published in 1994.
Feb 02, 2013 Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 19, 2014 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns, fiction
Last Go Round: A Real Western by Ken Kesey with Ken Babbs (Viking 1994) (Fiction – Western). Kesey recounts an old Oregon cowboy tale that his father told him. It's the story of “The Last Roundup” on the Pendleton Ranch in 1911. It sounds a lot more interesting than it was. Think more Sometimes a Great Notion and less One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. DNF. My rating: 3/10, finished 2008.
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.
May 19, 2008 B-MO rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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 it was amazing  ·  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.
Sep 06, 2015 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the first Pendelton Round Up. I Read this story by our local Author Ken Kesey, And was very entertained. I truly hope that some of the story was true but do kinda doubt it. But when I go to Pendelton I intend to find out. Regardless this book was very good and from an author that my mom did not like much, But that is another story.
Jul 08, 2012 Georgene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 17, 2011 Nancy Rojo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 01, 2013 Mark Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 28, 2009 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, history
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.
Steve  Williams
Jun 28, 2008 Steve Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Setting for story was eastern Oregon during the Pendelton Roundup. Great storyline includes African-Amercian cowboy, I enjoyed the character development of this person.
Mar 23, 2008 Nora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, history
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
May 28, 2014 Russell Snyder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 07, 2008 joelene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 08, 2013 Lysergius rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Oct 21, 2009 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 09, 2010 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-lit
American mythology. Interesting addition to the Buffalo Bill legacy.
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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
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