Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Bad Company

“Here’s to long ropes and loose hobbles!” he proclaimed. “Let the he-wolves howl and the pant’ers prow!”
Big enough talk, just right for a bold, booted buckaroo. At least he hoped it sounded that way. He stuck the neck of the bottle inside his mouth and pretended to swallow a lot more than he actually did.
S. Omar Barker’s coming of age tale of a good boy falling in with the wrong crowd and finding his way out as a good man is reminiscent of Louis L ’Amour’s better work.
It has the same terse energy and way with drawing characters in brief action and a line here or there that allows you the measure of a person without paragraphs of exposition—a seemingly rare gift among many authors.
Moral in tone, but not in a pastorly sense, more “Ain’t this the way of the world?”
Human stuff.

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