Author: Elmer Kelton
Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition
Copyright: February 1, 1991
In the early days of the Texas panhandle, starting a new life is hard--but keeping it is even harder.
From one of the West's greatest living storytellers, winner of numerous awards, including the Spur, the Golden Saddleman, and the Western Heritage Award, here is Elmer Kelton's magnificent new novel of the wildcat West Texas oil boom of the 1920s. It used to be that the worst crime in Caprock was moonshining or lying about your Saturday night date on Sunday morning--until someone struck oil. Now the scent of the stuff has brought every dreamer, drifter, and two-bit swindler to town. Among them is the frontier mobster Big Boy Daugherty, who warns any who'd stand in his way: Get Out or Die. One man will do neither. Sheriff Dave Buckalew is a man too proud to give up and too stubborn to give in. He liked his town the way it was--before the bootleggers, brothels, and fortune-seeking roustabouts--and so did a lot of other hardworking decent folk. Together they'll fight to win back their town--and their future. This is the story of their heroic stand.
Most of the elements in this aw-shucks novel about a Texas oil town in the '20s are straight from central casting. Inhabiting Caprock, a place where people say, "If you aint's et, I'd be tickled to have your company," are, conveniently, the good guys: Slim McIntyre, the newly arrived, wide-eyed farm boy; Tracy Whitmore, the waitress Slim's courtin'; Dave Buckalew, the earnest sheriff who yearns for the pre-boom days; Choctaw, the brave but pithy Indian; Jolene, the straight-talkin', maternal madam; and Victor Underwood, the educated young speculator. Soon after Slim arrives, the bad guys--Big Boy Daugherty and his gangsters Turk, Irish, French and Sarge--start terrorizing the town. Despite Buckalew's efforts, no one will speak out against Daugherty, until Lydia, a prostitute, admits she saw a murder. Buckalew puts her in his witness protection program (his vacant ranch house), and falls in love with her. Meanwhile, Slim and Choctaw help the nearly bankrupt Underwood drill his last-chance well. The novel's conclusion is as subtle as an oncoming train. With 19 novels to his credit, Kelton obviously has found an audience. Here he makes no higher claim than to portray a boom town, but even for that standard, Honor at Daybreak has too much hokum, too few surprises.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Honor at Daybreak is richly authentic, deephearted, and engrossing. Elmer Kelton is an authentic American voice, and this is a terrific read." - John Jakes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Author: Elmer Kelton
Publisher: Texas Christian University Press
Copyright: April 2, 2002
Barbed WireBitter Trail
Day the Cowboys Quit, The
Far Canyon, The
Good Old Boys, The
Honor at Daybreak
Living and Writing in West Texas
Man Who Rode Midnight, The
Many a River
Shadow of a Star
Six Bits a Day (Hewey Calloway)
Time It Never Rained, The
Wolf and the Buffalo, The