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The Brave Cowboy (1956)

CoverAn excellent short novel about an "anarchist cowboy" who gets himself arrested so that he can bust his draft-resister buddy out of jail. It doesn't quite work out as planned, but no spoilers here. Abbey is every bit as cantankerous in this early book as he was later. This was made into a pretty good movie by and with Kirk Douglas, Lonely Are The Brave. Kirk regards this film as his best film ever.

This book is now available in a limited edition of 500 copies, with signed introduction by Kirk Douglas and photographs from the film. Contact Dream Garden Press for more information.

Cover text

Although largely ignored by the critics when it was first published in 1956, The Brave Cowboy has since attained the status of a minor classic of Western literature. Set in a thinly disguised Albuquerque, New Mexico, this anarchist fable is perhaps best known as the source of the superb "adult western" movie Lonely Are the Brave.

The hero, Jack Burns, is a loner who refuses to accept the tyranny of life in the twentieth century. He rides his horse down the main street of Duke City and refuses to carry a draft card or any other form of identification. Burn's stubborn adherence to the values of the Old West makes him intolerable to the forces of law and order that control the New West.


"The Brave Cowboy is, from almost any point of view, a fine novel. . . . Its style is clear and straightforward, and as a suspense story it builds to a nearly unbearable intensity. Part of the book's success as a work of art, I think, derives from the author's unobtrusive but subtly effective use of symbols. . . . The cowboy's flight from captivity in a grubby jail cell to the pure freedom of the beckoning mountains is a symbolic journey that most men, at one time or another, desire to make." -- William T. Pilkington


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Library of Congress Data

Abbey, Edward, 1927-
  The brave cowboy; an old tale in a new time.   New York, Dodd, Mead [1956]
277 p. 21 cm.


LCCN:  56-10061 L

Abbey, Edward, 1927-
  The brave cowboy : an old tale in a new time / Edward Abbey ; introd. by
Neal Lambert.  Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, [1977] c1956.
xiii, 277 p. ; 21 cm.


SERIES TITLES (Indexed under SERI option):
  A Zia book

DEWEY DEC:  813/.5/4

  Reprint of the ed. published by Dodd, Mead, New York.

ISBN:  0826304486 : $3.95
LCCN:  76-57530

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