SCANDALOUS JOHN by Richard Gardner


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Hi-i-i-up!"" Don Quixote rides the Schizo Trail in this daft, often hilarious novel about a middle-aged professor in Nevada who surrenders his sanity to novels by Zane Grey and sets out on a trail drive with only one cow and a Mexican wetback as squire. And the cow, at that, has a window on its stomach (for research purposes). Scandalous John McCanless, the rhetoric-slinging hero, is created with such fine literalness that most readers won't mind if his tale eventually doesn't quite match that of Cervantes' original dreamer-in-action. Scandalous John and Paco provide memorable scenes' and images as they cross Nevada near White Sands Proving Grounds oblivious to the ""summer thunder"" and proceed doggedly into Wyoming. They are driving their ""herd"" to Billings, Montana, along all the great trails of Western lore, with John riding ""point"" and Paco ""drag"" on their lone cow. The famous episode of the windmills becomes the electrical episode of the oil derricks and comes off satisfyingly. If it isn't quite expansive enough for the great experience it attempts to parallel, it is expertly contrived and buoyant entertainment.Recommended.

Pub Date: Jan. 26th, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday