Melanie's Reviews > Last Go Round: A Real Western

Last Go Round by Ken Kesey
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Jun 21, 14

bookshelves: pacific-northwest, summer-2014, to-review
Read on May 30, 2014

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 read this. I read it while I was camping/hunting south of Pendleton, and I can't imagine a more perfect setting. Kesey does a great job of breathing life into each figure, although each character manages to be both well-drawn and stereotypical. There were racist moments that seemed inserted for the sake of being racist. The women existed only in relation to the men (I adore Kesey's writing but whooo boy does he have a serious woman problem).

Overall, I'd recommend it if 1) like me, you happen to be from that area of the country, 2) you're making your way through the dozen or so novels ever set in Oregon, or 3) like me, you're a Kesey fan, for better or worse.
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