Thursday, March 17, 2011

Baxter Black, Hey, Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?

Rodeo Week continues at BITS with this “forgotten” comic novel. It’s humor in a jugular vein (as it used to be said of Mad Magazine), as well as a whole lot more. If you have an interest in rodeo cowboys and their life on the road between those hoped-for 8 seconds of adrenalin in the arena, this book is primarily about that. Exaggerated, you bet, but compared to the yarns told by real rodeo cowboys, not too far fetched.

First published in 1994, cowboy poet Baxter Black’s story of two cowboy pals tells of their summer on the rodeo circuit. They travel all over the western states, with hopes of winning enough money to make it to the national finals.

Their adventures partake of that particular brand of American humor that lies between guts-and-glory and the human comedy. For rodeo cowboys there is a fine line between fearlessness and foolishness. Few sports make failure not only ignominious but dangerous (being thrown and getting not only a faceful of dirt but broken bones as well).

Besides an enjoyable tale of going on down the road, Black's book is also a story about friendship. His two cowobys are different enough to play off each other's strengths and weaknesses, but they're no odd couple. Their devotion to each other, their companionship on the road, their late night talks attempting to make sense of the world they inhabit – not to mention their encounters with porcupines and "wild women" – all of it is an entertaining celebration of being best pals.

Hey, Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky? is available at amazon and AbeBooks.

Coming up: Josh Peter, Fried Twinkies, Buckle Bunnies and Bull Riders


  1. So there's like a whole genre of rodeo stories. I never knew that.

  2. Hi Ron! Baxter Black!!! I have been a fan for several years now I just love hi drawl and sense of humour!

  3. Your reviews are much appreciated/enjoyed by me, but I'd like to know your secret: how do you find enough time to savor all this good literature?

  4. I don't believe I have ever read a rodeo novel.

  5. Charles, there's a lot of books about rodeo, most of them photography, not fiction.

    Cheyenne, Baxter has the drawl and the humor down right for sure.

    Veronica, I read whenever I get the chance, even standing in line at the supermarket.

    David, it's probably an acquired taste.