cover image Hey, Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?

Hey, Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?

Baxter Black. Crown Publishers, $21 (223pp) ISBN 978-0-517-59377-6

This comedy about life on the rodeo circuit may please fans of Black's 10 volumes of ``cowboy poetry'' or of his syndicated column, ``On the Edge of Common Sense,'' but it likely will perplex the rest of the reading public. Lick and Cody are two rodeo cowboys who specialize in roughstock events, especially bull riding. Though the narrative nominally concerns the pair's quest to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo (``the Superbowl of rodeo'') in Oklahoma City, that premise, as Black readily admits, merely allows for a picaresque series of rough-riding, rough-drinking and rough-womanizing exploits set along the rodeo circuit. Both Lick and Cody need girlfriends, but each must choose carefully from among the available women on the circuit since many are still angry at the pair for past encounters and some are out simply to rob them. When Cody's new love affair goes awry, Lick helps out as best he can by getting his pal drunk and marrying him to a Butterball turkey. Meanwhile, Lick goes for the championship ride of his life but pays for it with a broken collarbone. These low-humored, high-spirited adventures are related in breathless, exclamatory prose that proves more exhausting than edifying, making this a potential treat for rodeo rats only. (Aug.)