Kelton, Elmer

Author: Elmer Kelton
Publisher: Texas Christian University Press
ISBN: 978-0912646916
Copyright: January 1, 1984
Pages: 378

In the 1950s, West Texas suffered the longest drought in the memory of most men then living. By that time, Charlie Flagg, the central character of this novel, was one of a dying breed of men who wrested their living from the harsh land of West Texas. The struggle made them fiercely independent, a trait personified in Charlie’s persistence throughout the seven dry years, his refusal to accept defeat, his opposition to federal aid programs and their inevitable bureaucratic regulations, his determination to stay on the land he loves and respects even as he suffers with that land. Charlie is by no means the typical cowboy hero. Self-sufficient, courageous, with a strong sense of right and wrong, he is also old and overweight, a thoroughly believable human being who has trouble communicating with the wife who loyally struggles to keep life in its pattern, the son who has no feel for the land but yearns for the rodeo circuit, the Mexican family who has worked for him for years and whose help he can no longer afford. Although Charlie never loses his dignity and never quits, he does not win out in the end. When the drought breaks, it has lasted too long and he is too old.

There is no surprise ending to this story, no magical solution to the harsh realities of life in West Texas. The reading of this novel lies not in what happens next but in the unfolding depth of a strong character and the clear picture of a time and a place.

Editorial Reviews


“Elmer Kelton does not write Westerns. He writes fine novels set in the West. Here a reader meets flesh-and-blood people of an earlier time, in a story that will grab and hold you from the first to the last page.” ―Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee on The Time It Never Rained

The Time It Never Rained is not just one of the best novels ever written by a Texan. It is one of the treasures of American literature...” ―John Erickson, author of The Devil in Texas and the "Hank the Cowdog" series

“ of the dozen or so best novels written by an American in this century.” ―Jon Tuska, editor of The American West in Fiction on The Time It Never Rained

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


Author: Elmer Kelton
Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition
ISBN: 978-0765360588
Copyright: April 1, 2008
Pages: 416