This Ol' Drought Ain't Broke Us Yet (But We're All Bent Pretty Bad): Stories of the American West

Jim Garry, Author, James B. Garry, Author Crown Publishers $18 (228p) ISBN 978-0-517-58814-7
In an afterward to his rollicking volume, Garry claims that the oral tradition is always a single generation away from extinction and implores readers to pass along the tales he relates in print. His lifelong addiction to collecting stories of the American West pays off handsomely in his first book. Populated by such colorful, actual frontier characters as Butch Cassidy, Gen. Phil Sheridan, and Judge Robert Three-Legged Willie Williamson, it contains both factual incidents and true stories that just haven't had a chance to happen yet. No aspect of western myth escapes Garry, from rancher tales to ghost stories to the settlers' perpetual bout with the unpredietable elements, and he includes Native American tales as part of the larger Western scene. Although the volume purports to be a collection of stories, it is in fact a series of Barry monologues. His distinctive voice, a cross between Mark Twain's and Spalding Gray's, settles into each tale only after numerous entertaining digressions--getting there is clearly more than half the enjoyment. Random bits of lore spice these delightful evocations of the lure of the Old West. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-55566-170-0
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