Monday, April 9, 2012

The Big String by Buck Horn

Publisher: Audiobooks by Mike Vendetti (November 2011)

Narrator: Scott R. Pollak

Audio length: 1 hour 37 minutes

Blurb from Amazon:

Buck Horn's West is still out there, albeit a little harder to find. These are tales of a not so bygone era before environmental laws and the price of fuel got out of control. As long as there is a desert range and a little bit of water, there will be the hardy few trying to grow cows and there will be the Cowboys and horses to take care of them.

Buck's stories are a glance into a West that is rapidly disappearing. It is an honest look at the roundups, camp life, cowpunchers, and the horses that made it all possible.

©2011 Bud Collins; (P)2011 Scott R. Pollak

This novella was great piece to get some house chores done by. The imagery evoked by the descriptions of the various horses used in cowboying in NM and CO was great. I could picture the area, the men, the horses, the cattle, and the various situations they ended up in.

Buck Horn wasn't shy about relaying his young and stupid days to his audience either. A round of applause for that, as those stories were some of the most entertaining. I am young enough to easily remember my stupid days and just old enough to appreciate the fact that you have to be an idiot before you can be wise. The author gives credit to various horses for teaching him a thing or two over the years.

Not knowing much about equines myself, I could still relate to working with them closely. Each horse has his/her own personality and intelligence. They are big, highly mobile animals and deserve our respect. One of the memorable things I learned from this collection of tales was the term 'dinked'. If a horse is dinked, they are broken mentally - they have been through something so hard that they have mentally checked out. And it takes a special, patient rider to bring a bit of their original spirit back. The tale about the dinked horse in this collection was the most touching.

Scott R. Pollak was the perfect good, old cowboy voice for this story. He captured the Western grit and tipped-hat politeness of CO and NM. I would be hard-pressed to name a better voice for this book.

Pluses: Horses, desert southwest, real stories made up of real people, humor at the expense of the author, interesting characters.

Minuses: Pretty minor point, but I believe there is a mispronunciation made several times: I hear the narrator saying 'Rosewell" and I think it was meant to be 'Roswell'. But without the text, I can't be sure.