Rebecca's Reviews > The Brave Cowboy: An Old Tale in a New Time

The Brave Cowboy by Edward Abbey
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's review
Jun 18, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: read-with-help
Recommended to Rebecca by: Sheila Moak
Read in August, 2009

Well. I have a very mixed response to this. On the one hand, the style was beautiful. Very lyrical, incredibly flowing, beautifully descriptive. It was both real life, and better.

That said, while I loved the style, the plot and characters left something to be desired for me. I was not a fan of the hero, and it's hard not to cheer for your protagonist. I didn't support the decisions the main characters made, and more than that, I didn't understand or sympathize with them. I don't have to agree with what the characters decide to do, if I understand how they got there, but I don't find a lot of basis for what the "hero," as such, was doing. Choosing to commit a variety of felonies, apparently just for the hell of it, is not very sympathetic behavior. The rational seemed to boil down to "you're not the boss of me," which seems more like an two year old with a temper tantrum than an adult making a rational decision.

I hated the ending, but there was no real other way to go about it. I don't know if the author had the ending planned from the beginning, or if he just wrote himself into a corner. There was no other way for it to end. I saw the "twist" coming about halfway through, although it was more along the lines of "surely he's not doing that, surely that's not where he's going with this, SURELY NOT." But, sadly, that's where he was going. The introduction of an entire character just to do one thing seems a bit much, although I suppose it's better than "the butler did it."

It was a quick read, although the last couple of chapters kind of dragged; how much of doing the same things different ways can you read? But this is one of those books that I wish I'd encountered in school. I think I would have gotten a lot more out of it if I'd been able to discuss it with other people and get their perspectives on it. I think there's a lot more to dig out of this than I got out of one reading, but I can't say that I would read it again just to find out what those things are.

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08/17/2009 page 139
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