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The Pumpkin Rollers

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  247 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
In the cattle drives of the Old West, pumpkin rollers were green farmboys, almost more trouble than they were worth. When Trey McLean leaves an east Texas cotton farm to learn the cattleman's trade, he learns fast--about deceit among men and the love of a woman. When luck sets him on a cattle drive to Kansas, Trey learns the trade, and the unwritten code of violence that p ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 476 pages
Published December 31st 1996 by Thorndike Press (first published 1996)
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karen
Mar 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: it-is-for-class
this was my thought process on choosing this book for my western RA selection: "pumpkin rollers" sounds funny. cormac mccarthy writes westerns. suttree has some pumpkin scenes that illustrate the love a man can find with a gourd. maybe this one is similar.

it is not.

it's not a bad book, but honestly, until this point, my exposure to westerns had been clint eastwood, deadwood, and mccarthy. the lone man exacting justice, the occasional rape, lawlessness and some shakespearian dialogue. somehow, be
...more
Steven
Sep 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story of a farmer moving west and becoming a rancher. Great coming-of-age study, complete with a main character who faces significant weaknesses due to his lack of age and experience, yet when he faces forks in the road, he manages sometimes through only dumb luck, to choose wisely.

I liked the book because the destiny of western heroes is so rarely in doubt. Most of the books read something like the Gladiator film: you know he will win at every turn, even if he dies heroically in the end. T
...more
Brad McKenna
Aug 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
The personalities in Western novels are usually very strong. However, here the main character, Trey, is probably the weakest character in the book. The rogue cowboy, the unyielding lawman, the gender-bending female cattle rustler, all are much strong characters. Not only that but Trey seems to just luck out more than he does prove himself: His love interest runs away to join him, he makes a name for him self by not getting killed in a stampede. The story was ok, but not what I expected from a We ...more
Topher
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
This is another book I can "blame" my friend Chris for - when I was last at the library, I had forgotten my spreadsheet, but remembered his praise of westerns. I used a library guide to different styles of fiction to look up westerns, and found this as a result. Good story, well written, easy read. I liked it enough that I'm going to start reading some of the author's series (this particular book was a standalone novel)
Alyx Tschirhart
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read/listen. Once again, I highly enjoyed the audiobook version on Audible. George Guidall is such a talented narrator.
But back to the book itself. From character development to the plot, it was fantastic.
I've always been a L'Amour-lover, but I've got to admit the Elmer Kelton books I have read thus far grade a little bit better than the average L'Amour when it comes to depth.
I would highly recommend to those who love a good western!
Fredrick Danysh
Written in the style of Zane Grey, The Pumpkin Rollers is the story of a farm boy who comes west to Texas with ambition to be a rancher. He hires on with a trail herd and along the way meets a farm girl. Upon his return to Texas, gets married, andd is offered a job taking care of the trail boss's hill country spread. He has to deal with rustlers, the law, and a neighbor who wants his wife.
Jeff Dickison
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good frontier story. As a New York Times critic put it, Kelton does not write westerns, he writes excellent stories set in the west. In this one a young green farm boy heads west to make his fortune. He ends up married and working as a partner on a cattle ranch. Highly recommended to anyone who likes good writing.
Rae
Mar 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
A "punkin roller" is a green farmboy and Trey McLean is just that. This novel tells the story of his coming-of-age on a cattle drive, his marriage, and his adventures as a newlywed cattleman. I loved the writing, the characters, and the plot, which has some fun dark and complicated twists. This would be a good read for someone who has never tried a western novel before.
Rosemary
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone enjoying historical Western early Texas
Recommended to Rosemary by: from the San Antonio library
The San Angelo man, Elmer Kelton has done it again. Everything that he says about the West Texas terrain and range cattle of the harsh land is true. I know, I have lived there. From the double mountains to the Brazos River, and the rolling plains, I have been there and relate to it.
Violet
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great story by Elmer Kelton. This one is about a young man who had to leave his home in Tennessee as a teenager and make his way in the west. Elmer Kelton's stories are all "feel good" stories, as the hero always prevails.
Brooke
May 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I generally don't read westerns, so I was anticipating having to hold my nose while reading this, and it was very good! The plot was interesting, and i believe accurate for the time period, gave me a good sense of what life would have been likein the 1800's.
Rich
May 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, westerns
This was the first time I ventured away from Louis L'Amour westerns and was pleasantly surprised. Kelton's books are more historical novels set in the West as opposed to being Westerns. I really enjoy this one.
Emily Hunholz
Feb 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
I had never read a western before and thought it was about time to try them. The plot moved really well, and the characters, though not very complex, were extremely likable. It had more romance than I was expecting, which I liked. I may just have to read another one.
Dave
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read!
Joanne
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story telling and history to boot.
Ryan
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
Elmer Kelton, Longhorn Legend indeed. , Hook'em \m/
Duzzlebrarian
May 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kelton is the best Western writer around, and one of the best writers of any genre.
Franklin
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes historical fiction, Romances
Recommended to Franklin by: Was looking for a Kelton I had not read
Great historical novel. Action, romance, history. I will not try to improve on the excellent reviews already posted.
Christa
Dec 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great western book. The story was engaging and the women are strong...stronger than I think I am.
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Elmer Kelton (1926-2009) was award-winning author of more than forty novels, including The Time It Never Rained, Other Men’s Horses, Texas Standoff and Hard Trail to Follow. He grew up on a ranch near Crane, Texas, and earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas. His first novel, Hot Iron, was published in 1956. Among his awards have been seven Spurs from Western Writers of America and ...more
More about Elmer Kelton...