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The Smiling Country


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About the Author

ELMER KELTON is the author of over forty novels, published over the last fifty years, all dealing with Texas and the West.


After more than 40 novels full of "five foot eight and nervous" western heroes, Kelton brings back endearing Hewey Calloway, the restless, middle-aged cowboy of The Good Old Boys. But now it's 1910 in West Texas, and the freewheeling cowboy life Hewey loves has nearly vanished. He may insist that automobiles are a fad, but he has a harder time shrugging off his own advancing age or the responsibilities that come with it. So when his young nephew, Tommy, shows up at the J Bar ranch looking for work, Hewey only reluctantly agrees to show him the tricks of the cow-punching trade. Meanwhile, regrets over his lost love, schoolmarm Spring Renfro, haunt Hewey until a bad bronc-riding accident and a horsetrading swindle leave him half-crippled and bitter. His misfortune shows him just how wrong he can be about human nature, especially his own. As usual, Kelton's characters are credible, quirky and warm, just good Texas folk struggling to cope with a world that threatens to pass them by. (Aug.)

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