Fifteen Montana cowboys and 500 longhorns are embarking on a one-of-a-kind Wild West adventure: a cattle drive across 1,000 miles of Siberia. The clash of cultures between East and West, American six shooter and Russian saber, begins immediately when a band of Cossacks arrives to escort them to their destination. Cowboys and Cossacks must work together or they’ll never survive the journey, which includes a meeting with the warrior Genghis Kharlagawl and his army of bloodthirsty Tartars. The code of the cowboy and the credo of the Cossack offer different measures of manhood - but honor and courage are the same in any language when a common enemy must be faced.
Book Lust Rediscoveries is a series devoted to reprinting some of the best (and now out of print) novels originally published from 1960 to 2000. Each book is personally selected by NPR commentator and Book Lust author Nancy Pearl and includes an introduction by her, as well as discussion questions for book groups and a list of recommended further reading.
©1973 Clair Huffaker (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Yes! I rarely read or listen to something twice, but this story is worth a second listen. I first read the book when I was about 12 years old and I loved it then. When I saw it on Audible I decided to listen to it. I expected to be disappointed as usually old books and movies do not stand the test of time (or the change in age of the reader.) But this one did, I loved it as much or more than the first reading 40+ years later!
Any great coming of age or western. It is actually my favorite of both.
No, I have not, but I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him and would gladly do so again.
Wonderful surprise to see this come out in audio format. Buccaneer press re-released this a few years back, in a library edition, and was happy to replace my lost paperback edition. The audio edition was a great way to reread it.
Courage, danger, humor, growth. A coming of age story, for a younger member of the cattle drive.
There's a reason they made several of Huffaker's books into movies ... they have the ethic, and spirit you expect in a classic western.
This story rolls along with sprinklings of philosophy and human interactions sprinkled so unobtrusively and inoffensively sprinkled in. AND it is expertly performed! What a pleasure!
I have an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a Master's Degree in Professional Writing from Maharishi University of Management, am author of THE RELUCTANT VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK, and am an avid reader/listener.
Nancy Pearl says in the introduction that she hates the expression about a book that "transcends it's genre," but says she has to use it for this book. I certainly see why. I am not a fan of Westerns, but I'd love this book no matter what genre it was in. Why hasn't this "novel" concept been made into a movie? I loved the story, and as someone who considers herself well-read and demanding of quality, I have to admit that I don't know if this book is well-written or not--all I know is that I was so engrossed I couldn't put it down, I sometimes laughed out loud, and I loved and grieved with the characters, felt moved by events and even held my breath with the tension. The narrator was surely one of the best to make all those characters come alive. I already miss them.
This was the first Western I have read in decades and I was very pleased. This was what I used to call a page-turner back when I had time to actually read books. The characters were memorable and the performance was great. I am definitely going to look for more books in the Nancy Lust series (or whatever it's called).
I would love to know if anything like this ever happened in history (cowboys herding longhorns across Russia).
Tthe storyline was imaginative and interesting and the narrator did such a wonderful job. There were so many different characters and accents ( English-Midwestern, British English, Russian, a Slavic language, Southern English and more). There were a couple of women who were minor characters and he performed those well also.
The Cowboys-I don't know if it is a book but I saw the movie when I was young and this book reminded me of the movie because it was about a bunch of people who were strangers and distrustful of each other at the beginning of a cattle drive but because of the events that occur during the journey, by the end of the trip the men were friends as well as comrades. ( forgive the play on words, the cowboys never become Russian but they DO fight on the same side)
So many! I enjoyed how they got the cattle off the boat when they arrived in Russia and refused to pay a bribe to the official and I enjoyed reading about the war games they held and the cowboys attempts to participate.
I was so impressed with the narrator and I think it really complimented the book. This isn't your typical Western and I was surprised how much I enjoyed listening to it and plan to play it for my sons when we go on a long road trip next month. The language is what might be called salty-very typical of the time and of the characters-but nothing most pre-teens haven't already heard. There is nothing else in the book that would embarrass anyone other than the language used. I don't say this often, but this was an amazing story-
I for one have always been a fan of the "Western". I read them as a kid and only quit when I couldn't find them any more, other than the more short and shallow predictable paperbacks that are out there now. Somehow, I missed this one when it was written, and I'm so glad it was resurrected by Nancy Pearl and then produced by Audible. Thank you.
This Western is anything but predicable. You know the premise from the Audible summary; fifteen cowboys show up in Russia and then start a cattle drive of longhorn cows and bulls. These are not steers being driven to market but breeding stock; which are much more difficult animals than castrated and fattened steers. Indeed, the herd almost takes on its own personality as the story progresses.
Our cowboys of course meet up with fifteen Cossacks and together they begin a very long trail drive to deliver this herd to the village that bought it. Adventure ensues. Adventure which includes huge wolves, Siberian tigers, and bloodthirsty Tarters as highlights. Tarters apparently, are the Russian/Siberian equivalent of our "Indians".
As I listen, hours fly by. Figurative pages are turned, and turned, and turned. I had a very hard time even taking a break; though it's a very long book.
It's all told through the eyes of a young drover on his first long cattle drive, and so it's also a "coming of age" story. And it is an excellent story, well written with a good plot and a great narrator. I loved it and recommend it heartily.
I enjoy reading about both Russia and Cowboys. How do you get a heard of cattle off a ship when there's no dock available? Cowboys swapping hats with Cossacks... what's not to like.
This was very different than the normal "Cowboy" genre, because you're taking the cowboy and putting them in a very different element than what they are used to. Making the cowboy interact with Russia of the Czar and the perceptions of those American Cowboys being really6 put to the test.
I've never really read any Western or Cowboy literature, so I can't compare to that. I can say it can compare to any genre where you are put in an element totally foreign to what an individual is used to, and trying to adapt. It can be a struggle and a learning experience.
Phil Gigante is one of my favorite narrators, and he's the reason I got this book. He did a great job with accents and emotions and conveying, some really horrid circumstances that happen through out this story.
SPOILER ALERT: When the two men who bought the Cowboys and Cossacks drinks at the local bar were hanged. It really was a surprise to me, and the Cowboys as well. They truly learn about the Czars laws of retaliation.
I know Phil Gigante made this book work for me, I don't know if another narrator could have pulled it off as well. (although I have many favorites, maybe Bronson Pinchot , would have done as well) I may never get involved with this genre again but I know I will listen to this story again, because it became a learning experience for the "Free Cossacks" and The Cowboys of the USA. I know I must have missed some things during my first listen, so when I have the time I know I'll enjoy listening to again.
I read this book when I was 10 years old. My grandfather had purchased the paperback for me because it had a horse on the cover. I'm sure he didn't realize how colorful the language was or how graphic some of the storyline was because he would not have given it to me. I remember reading it over and over. Now, at 51, I've enjoyed listening to this story again. Clair Huffaker writes in a way that allows the reader (or listener) a way to see and experience a cattle drive through Russia. A fine story.
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