Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Andy Adams: western writer


Looking through a 1904 volume of The Critic, I came across this pic I'd never seen before of western writer Andy Adams (1859-1935). Best known for his cattle drive novel The Log of a Cowboy (1903), a source some argue for Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. 

Adams advocated historical accuracy in writing about the Old West and, eschewing romance, never got the kind of following that his contemporary Owen Wister acquired. Adams' fine novel, The Outlet (1905), was reviewed here at BITS a while ago.

Coming up: Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane (1902)

6 comments:

  1. I have read only a few stories by Andy Adams, in his anthology "Cattle Brands: A Collection of Western Camp-fire Stories," and found his writing to be clear and precise. I hope to read "The Outlet" (including your review) and "The Log of a Cowboy" as well as "A Texas Matchmaker," which I downloaded moments ago. Many thanks...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read "Log of a Cowboy" years ago and don't remember it too well. Adams had trailed cattle, so he knew what he was writing about. I just got a hardback copy of "Campfire Stories," which I look forward to reading.

      Delete
  2. Adams' "Log of a Cowboy" is priceless for its portrayal of Western humor, particularly the ordinary cowboy, and particularly cowboys working in groups. It was their main method of communication. Theodore Roosevelt's book about his time in the Dakotas, "Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail," also has some good examples. Anyone who wants to know what the West was really like should at least read Adams.
    Also, for anyone researching the West, you might be interested in the bibliography I used for writing "Scalp Mountain," Go to scalp mountain.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cowboy Dish in "Lonesome Dove" got his name from mistakenly drinking dishwater. That same incident happens in "Log of a Cowboy." I'm interested in your bibliography and will have a look. Thanks, Julia, for dropping by.

      Delete
  3. I have a couple of Adams' books, THE LOG OF A COWBOY one of them, but have never read them. Your post might inspire me to slip that one in somewhere anyway.

    ReplyDelete