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Cloudy in the West

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In the Texas backlands in 1885, twelve-year-old Joey Shipman's father dies under mysterious circumstances, and the boy is forced to live with his stepmother and Blair Meacham, a hanger-on at the farm. After the death of a black farmhand and friend, and another "accident" that almost takes Joey's life, the boy runs away and joins forces with his only kin--Beau Shipman, a dr ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Forge Books (first published 1997)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  139 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Apr 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really two and a half stars. Western coming of age story about an orphan boy on the run from his step mother, who wants him dead so she can inherit the family farm. He tries to find his only living adult relative - a cousin with a knack for getting into trouble. Together, they find adventure and each one grows into a better person than they had been when apart.

I took off a half star, because sometimes the story seemed to drag, and nothing much happened. This is more a character study
Monica Willyard Moen
This is a fast paced Western, and it is told from a unique point of you.
Fredrick Danysh
When Joey Shipman's father dies his stepmother tries to murder in order to get the family farm. He runs away from home to search out his cousin in Bastrop. Almost immediately the two are on the run and are taken prisoners by outlaws. Kelton has produced anotjer enjoyable Western
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I really wanted to like this book, so I'm giving it the better of the two considered ratings. At first, I started to think that this kind of book might just not be for me; it looked like the author tried to use pretty much every cliche and dead horse trope he could find. But then, maybe after the first third, it got better. It still wasn't something I'd actively look for; but a lot more enjoyable than the few other books in this genre I've read. (I've listened to an audio version; in the first t ...more
Titus Burley
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a folksy delivery to Cloudy In The West that I enjoyed. It is essentially a coming of age story written from the perspective of a twelve year old boy. It is a combined adventure yarn and morality tale and has moments of insight and wisdom that caused me to read certain passages deliberately. It is the first Kelton book - a revered Texas author - that I've read and I'll likely read him again.
Nov 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of stories of real people of early Texas
Recommended to Rosemary by: from the San Antonio library
This is a fast-paced story with a lot of thrills and woes. But as usual, Elmer Kelton does his magic. You will not want to put it down.
Janet Popish
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like western novels and have never read Elmer Kelton's, you should give him a try. There is not a lot of sex or violence in them. His characters are well drawn. Some of them are stereotypes, but that is to be expected in a western, where the outlaw or wicked woman often ends up having a heart of gold.
G Alex Garver
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great coming of age story! Read it out loud to my kids as a summer book. It held their attention (late elementary and middle school) and then we visted some places described in the book. Love this book.
Todd Haines
It is a good western story but not in my top 10 list. Still like the author and will keep reading.
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad for what it is. Plot kept moving and was interesting throughout.
Pamela Hale
Dependable old cowboy book. I do so enjoy westerns!
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cloudy in the West (1997)

This is another stellar western novel by Elmer Kelton. Joe Shipman is a twelve year old living with his hard scrabble farmer father in the Texas Llano River country. Ma dies and marries a hot young thing named Dulcie who ends up having an affair with Blair Meacham, a “cousin” who helps her kill Joey’s pa. Then they kill the Negro hand Reuben for protecting Joey. Joey takes off with Blair in pursuit. He connects with his father’s drunken cousin Beau, a hooker named Alta,
Alyx Hackebeil
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elmer Kelton. Enough said!
Another superb book from Kelton. Every one of his books that I have read, has been unique from the a-typical western. Yes, there are some characteristics that most westerns have: horses, guns, dust, cattle, slight romantic plot. But how he combines these pieces and sets a plot is quite special.

This along with Pumpkin Rollers have been some of my most favorite books I have read in the past year. Can't wait to read more of them!
Jeff Dickison
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book (4 1/2 stars if I could) by Kelton about a 12-year old boy who goes on the lam from his murderous step-mother and her new husband. The only family he has is an older drunken 2nd cousin who wants nothing to do with him. Recommended!
Joe Stack
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With this book, a True Grit type of story, I slowed down my reading when I got to the last 50 or so pages because I didn't want it to end. I liked the characters, the storyline, and the writing. I've read Kelton previously and this book met my expectations. Actually, exceeded them.
Susann Richardson
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book opens with a boy hacking his stepmother to death with a hoe. I had to stop and make sure I was indeed reading Elmer Kelton and not Elmore Leonard.
James Murphy
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
first book that i have read by Elmer Kelton. I like his different approach to eh western.
Pat Fahrenthold
12 year-old Joey Shipman runs away from home after his father dies, meets a cousin, and heads to California.
Christopher Ramsay
A story set in Texas during the 1880's, and how Joey Shipman deals with many adverse events. Quick read about a way of life that no longer exists.
I don't know that I learned anything....but I like his books as I have indicated before
Christine Jeffords
rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2017
Kevin M. McDonald
rated it it was amazing
Jul 12, 2015
Lance Thompson
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Aug 23, 2013
Tina Easter
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Sep 03, 2015
Nicholas Mclain
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Jul 24, 2017
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May 23, 2013
rated it it was ok
Jan 07, 2016
J.L. Day
rated it it was amazing
May 19, 2015
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Apr 23, 2015
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Jan 28, 2014
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Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Cloudy in the West 1 2 Mar 13, 2012 03:24PM  
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 four Western Heritage awards from ...more