Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Ross Santee, Lost Pony Tracks
There he took a job as a "lowly" horse wrangler for an outfit near Globe. Over the years, as a western writer, who illustrated his own books in his distinctive style (now much appreciated), he based his stories and novels on this experience of the everyday lives of men and their horses.
Santee was a perceptive, thoughtful, and observant writer who captured in accounts of incidents and conversations a depth of social history that is hard to find in other books of its kind. It's also rare to find a portrayal of cowboy life so heart-felt.
Many others he writes of are captured with a precise and loving eye for detail. There is a generous spirit and a gentle humor throughout this book that is sometimes sentimental without ever being corny. In his depiction of daily life in an all-male work environment, Santee gets it all right. His books belong on any shelf of western literature.
Coming up: Zane Grey, The Heritage of the Desert (1910)