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The Log of a Cowboy

Andy Adams

Book Overview: 

The Log of a Cowboy is an account of a five-month drive of 3,000 cattle from Brownsville, Texas, to Montana in 1882 along the Great Western Cattle Trail. Although the book is fiction, it is firmly based on Adams's own experiences on the trail, and it is considered by many to be the best account of cowboy life in literature. Adams was disgusted by the unrealistic cowboy fiction being published in his day; The Log of a Cowboy was his response. It is still in print, and even modern reviewers consider it a compelling classic.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Carpet that made you think you were going to bog down every step, springy like marsh land, and I was glad I came. Then the younger children were ordered to retire, and shortly afterward the man and his wife followed suit.

"When I heard the old man throw his heavy boots on the floor in the next room, I realized that I was left all alone with their charming daughter. All my fears of the early part of the evening tried to crowd on me again, but were calmed by the girl, who sang and played on the piano with no audience but me. Then she interested me by telling her school experiences, and how glad she was that they were over. Finally she lugged out a great big family album, and sat down aside of me on one of these horsehair sofas. That album had a clasp on it, a buckle of pure silver, same as these eighteen dollar bridles. While we were looking at the pictures—some of the old varmints had fought in the Revolutionary war, so she said—I noticed . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Andy Adams was a cowboy for 12 years. In 1903, flat broke and annoyed by the plethora of ridiculous books that purported to depict the true-life adventures of cowboys, he decided to try his own hand at writing a novel. The result is a beautifully written book, filled with fascinating detail of every

One of the better Westerns I've read. It's like your right there as a can of beans waiting for the cooks cauldron. Dakota Cowboy by Ike Blasingame is another must read.

Andy Adams (1903, 1981). The Log of a Cowboy: A Narrative of the Old Trail Days. Time-Life Books Inc.[return]Set in the late 1800s, Adam's tale is often listed as the best account of cowboy life ever written. The author condensed a dozen year's work experience in the saddle into this book about a fi

Andy Adams, a real cowboy riding a horse with a name that cannot be seen in print.
An authentic account was written in 1903 after 12 years of driving cattle as a cowboy this tale embodies one cattle drive from the Texas-Mexican border thru to the Blackfoot Agency in Montana.

A reader whose statement

I'm sure this was the book I read in a college class for westerns way back in the 1970's, along with Zane Grey, The Ox-Bow Incident, and some other classics. What I remember is that the trail drive was long and boring... and, therefore, true to real life. Now that I've finally tracked down the book

I read this many years ago. As I recall, it is very true account of the early days and life on the cattle drives. Many of these came through New Mexico and many of the drovers were Hispanic.

Sixteen years after the Civil War whose very mention can still inflame hearts.
A twenty-year-old's first cattle drive from the Rio Grande to Montana.
Over 3,000 head of cattle.
Five months.
Whores and gunfights.
Yes, Miss Kitty, there really was a "Long Branch Sa

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