Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ROUNDUP AT THE DOUBLE DIAMOND: The American Cowboy Today by Bill Surface

ROUNDUP AT THE DOUBLE DIAMOND: The American Cowboy Today

By

Pub Date: July 1st, 1974
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Wild as all hell and gone, this 'ere's the kind of cowboy book that makes a sissy Easterner boil with envy. There are still some real range riders out there in the cattle country of mountainous west Texas, and the author spent 30 days following a crew through a roundup season. In prose as tasty as peach cobbler, and with cracklingly tart Tex-Mex dialects, Bill Surface (a New York dude) draws the hour by hour life of today's cowboy with such liveliness that all other wage earning seems spunkless and unmanly. The Double Diamond is the disguised name of a real ranch. The episodes follow the doctoring of cows for screwworm, breaking wild horses, hiring of hands, riding and roping, branding, rustling, shipping, and the hot itch of payday whorehousing. Few readers will be able to resist this book's humor, its stirring real-life fantasy of evening stillness broken by the high far-off wail of a coyote, a bark, a yelp, a long howl on a hill under the round moon, the sky ""congested with thousands and thousands of glowing stars.