Thursday, November 4, 2010

Richmond Hobson, Jr., Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy

This enjoyable and well-written cowboy memoir takes readers to the hinterlands of central British Columbia during the war years of 1939-1942. The author and his partner Panhandle Phillips take over the two-million-acre Frontier Cattle Company.

This operation is located in grassland valleys among the mountain ranges, several days' ride from the nearest town and over 200 miles from the nearest rail line. It is a land where winters are severe, and the first challenge facing them is a December cattle drive that ends in near-disaster as the men are overtaken by a fierce blizzard and sub-zero temperatures.

The son of an admiral in the U.S. Navy, Hobson is an educated Easterner living a life of pioneering adventure on one of the last western frontiers on the continent. His story is peopled with a large cast of memorable characters, including cowhands, ranchers, storekeepers, and Indians.

His gifts as a writer are many, as he intensifies the suspense and drama of several high-risk enterprises and fully relishes the humor in others. The attempt to transport a herd of wild horses by night from an offshore island to the Vancouver stockyards is told with a masterful grasp of knee-slapping farce.

There's even a little romance, as our cowboy hero goes in breathless search of the girl of his dreams, armed only with a snapshot of her standing beside a prize Jersey bull. The book became the basis for a TV series on Canadian television in 1998-99.

Coming up: Ridgwell Cullum, The Sheriff of Dyke Hole (1909)


  1. I love the film and the book and wrote a review of this on my blog awhile ago. Nice to see a fellow fan. :-)