Read The Smiling Country by Elmer Kelton Online


In "The Smiling Country, " Hewey Calloway returns. It is now 1910 and he is old enough and smart enough to know that his freewheeling cowboy life is coming to an end, that the fences, trucks, and automobiles he hates are creepin in even to remote Alpine, where he works for Morgan Jenkins's J Bar outfit. He has never sought or wanted responsibility. He is wary of having toIn "The Smiling Country, " Hewey Calloway returns. It is now 1910 and he is old enough and smart enough to know that his freewheeling cowboy life is coming to an end, that the fences, trucks, and automobiles he hates are creepin in even to remote Alpine, where he works for Morgan Jenkins's J Bar outfit. He has never sought or wanted responsibility. He is wary of having to look after his nephew Tommy, a boy intent on following the cowboy life. Hewey even turns down an opportunity to become foreman of Jenkins's new ranch in the "smiling country" of West Texas. But when he is badly injured trying to break a renegade black bronc, he begins to assess his future, to see the emptiness and loneliness that await him and, above all, to regret his decision four years ago to run away from the only woman he has ever loved, Spring Renfro....

Title : The Smiling Country
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312864712
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 255 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Smiling Country Reviews

  • Waven
    2019-03-11 09:32

    This is the final chapter of the tale of Hewey Calloway - the stubborn cowboy who stole hearts in Kelton's The Good Old Boys - but can be read as a quality, stand-alone book. The story opens four years down the road from The Good Old Boys, with Hewey beginning to experience symptoms of "old age" and trying desperately to ignore them, while still seeking the ideal of a West he was born too late to see. He rides with Skip, a young farmer-turned-cowhand eerily similar to Hewey in his younger days. But Hewey doesn't find the fun in Skip's antics like he once would have and instead feels yoked with the responsibility of keeping the boy out of harm. When Hewey's nephew Tommy hires on with their employer things get even worse, and Hewey finds himself in a world of trouble. Most of our favorite characters return - C.C., Fat, Walter, Eve, Alvin Lawdermilk, Snort Yarnell, Wes Wheeler, etc. - and put in a good performance. While The Good Old Boys had much to do with each choice also being a sacrifice, The Smiling Country is more about acceptance of things thrust upon us, facing one's fears, and finding the good side to a bad turn. And Kelton does not disappoint. I didn't put this on my "favorites" shelf but it came very close. And I might still change my mind. For Western genre, Elmer Kelton and Hewey Calloway are hard to beat. (For those who want a sample of the story without buying anything, a large portion of the story can be read for free through Google Books.)

  • Megargee
    2019-03-16 09:37

    I am an Elmer Kelton fan, so when I dashed into the library I headed for the "K" section. As usual Kelton did not disappoint. However, I suspect I would have enjoyed The Smiling Country even more if I had previously read The Good Old Boys and become acquainted with the characters.I am not familiar with the West Texas of 1910 but I did live in Arizona in 1947 and can share Hewey's nostalgia about being able to ride across unfenced open land. The then-small hamlet of Scottsdale had one paved block, hitching posts, and a sign that read "horses have the right of way."At age 45 or so, Hewey is currently faced with aging and life changes, a theme that I at 77 can relate to, as well as to the process of recovering from illness or accident. Once again Kelton has it right.

  • sarg
    2019-03-14 10:35

    "The Smilling Cowboy" Elmer Kelton The final book of the Hewey Calloway series all a good read. What a cowboys life was really like at the turn of the century in south west Texas gave it 5 stars

  • John Bond
    2019-03-01 09:40

    Great character. Very funny. Aplus.

  • Chrisl
    2019-03-13 10:53

    copied and pasted from "KIRKUS REVIEWWestern storyteller Kelton (Cloudy in the West, 1997, etc.) returns for his fortieth-plus novel, a sequel to 1978’s The Good Old Boys that again features hang-loose Hewey Calloway, circa 1910, as his lovable old —Smiling Country— of West Texas fades into the automobile age. We first meet Hewey chasing a longhorn bull on the loose, an animal that symbolizes the breed of overmuscled, hardscrabble beasts soon to be phased out of beef production. In these animals, Hewey glimpses his own fate, as he herds his steers into pens at Alpine, Texas, for shipping by rail to Kansas City. When his boss, Old Man Jenkins, buys the Circle W outfit and asks Hewey to run it for him, Hewey at first passes up the promotion, not wanting to give orders and preferring to work for wages as a top hand. But after feeling some regrets about never having married Miss Spring Renfro and never having quite made his mark on the country, he accepts the Circle W job and its hundred square miles of wonderful smiling pasture. Hewey also takes his very young nephew Tommy under his wing when the boy joins the crew and learns to bust broncs. Hewey believes that he himself is still up to stomping some outlaw, extra-wild, fairly insane broncs—but when he does, he winds up with a broken arm, ribs, knee, and internal injuries. Still, he won—t surrender to trucks and automobiles, although eventually he gets around to struggling into and out of a passenger seat. By then even the sheepherders have moved in. The town livery stable may turn into a garage. . . . And just watching a bronc being busted gives Hewey a chill. Well, maybe he’ll ask for Spring Renfro’s hand (again). Old-timey dialogue, newly minted, rhetorical stretchers, and whopping good humor right out of Twain.

  • Benjamin
    2019-03-02 15:56

    There are at least two Elmer Kelton statues in San Angelo, celebrating this long-time San Angeloan, local journalist-editor, and Western writer. The Smiling Country is a later book of his--Kirkus calls it his "fortieth-plus," as if they've lost count--and it follows a recurring character of Kelton's, aging cowboy Hewey Calloway.Calloway's aging out of the cowpuncher demographic, but is refusing to settle down in the nice middle management position of ranch foreman. On top of that, his young nephew wants to apprentice himself to Hewey over the objections of his mother and in defiance of economic rationality--why learn to herd cattle at $25/month when you could learn how to drive a car at $50/month?But character really takes a back-seat in this story to setting, West Texas, 1910. We hear about disappearing cattle breeds, prejudice against sheep-herding as a way of life, how to break wild broncos, and other lessons of cattle-ranching life. It's an interesting, carefully recorded setting; but if this were the work of a younger author, I would hope he learns how to incorporate character and conflict into his worldbuilding. As it is, I'm assuming Kelton got what he was aiming for. After all, if Kelton were interested in careful and subtle examination of character, I assume characters wouldn't speak their subtext all the time.

  • MomToKippy
    2019-03-14 13:49

    Hmm I love cowboys, horses, westerns, historical fiction etc etc. I don't quite understand the rave reviews for this book. I have never read Kelton before. The writing is very simplistic - which I actually like but overall this story while pleasant is just a bit too boring. And I don't ask for much. I prefer stories with minimal violence and that are not overtly erotic. It takes a special writer to engage the reader without relying on sex/violence. But Kelton is just a little too droll for me. If I want to read something pleasant and easy I may read more because I do love all the "cowboyisms." But I was expecting more from the reviews I have read. Still looking for some great westerns.

  • Jeff Anderson
    2019-03-27 11:50

    Elmer Kelton is a different kind of Western writer. He is probably much closer to reality than many other writers who talk about cowboys who always packed a gun and used it several times a day. I really enjoyed his "The Time it Never Rained" which made me realize why Ezra Taft Benson who was Secretary of Agriculture under Eisenhower was so worried about socialism in America. This particular book takes up the story of Hewey Calloway four years after the narrative stopped in his "The Good Old Boys." I really enjoy Kelton's realistic style, quick wit, character sketches, and good old fashioned sense of right and wrong. I always connect with the characters he creates and laugh out loud several times while reading each of his books.

  • Rodney Haydon
    2019-03-03 10:54

    Now that I have read all three of the Hewey Calloway series of books, I would recommend that people read them, not chronologically but in the order that they were written, starting with the Good Old Boys, moving to The Smiling Country, then reading the prequel Six Bits a Day.I enjoy that Elmer Kelton picks the sunset of the days of the cowboy for most of his books. This is an enjoyable novel that shows how a cowboy adjusts to what he finally realizes is the end of the cowboy era and the changing landscape of America. Recommended.

  • Stephanie Nalepa
    2019-03-22 10:50

    The Smiling Country tells the story of Hewey Calloway, a cowboy in 1910 who is in denial of his age and the fact that he may not be able to do as much as he once could. The novel, although not very long, was rather difficult to get through because there was a lack of a good plot, if any at all. I think that it may have been more interesting had I been familiar with the characters from Kelton’s previous novel, The Good Old Boys. It was, however, fun to read the western dialogue throughout, and to read about automobiles slowly being introduced and taking over many cowboys’ responsibilities.

  • Violet
    2019-03-09 15:39

    I really liked this one. But then I like most of the Kelton books. He ranks right up there with L'Amour and Grey. This is the story of a cowboy who knows that his only purpose in life is to be a cowboy. He even spurns marriage to the love of his life to hang onto his freedom to roam. Upon reaching middle age, tho, he buts heads with life and learns that there is a difference to what we want and what we receive. A real storybook ending; he does get the girl. A great read.

  • Glen
    2019-03-01 13:45

    This is the second Kelton book I have read, the first being "The Good Old Boys." This started slightly slow but it picked up pace with every turn of the page. The characters followed well from the "The Good Old Boys" where they started. The closure was excellent. Whereas first reading of Kelton's work was left me wondering if I should buy another one, this one has me wondering which one should be next.

  • Wilson Lanue
    2019-03-05 17:42

    Sequel toThe Good Old Boys , this doesn't make it onto my shortlist for favorite novels as the original does. But it's nice to get to spend a little more time with Hewey Calloway as he discovers that he may have to trade the saddle for a rocking chair.

  • Rosemary
    2019-03-04 13:46

    This is my second reading of this book. And it still held me spellbound and turning pages non-stop. Although I am very familiar with the Pecos, Crane, Odessa and Midland area, this book brings to light some of West Texas I did not know that well. Although I know the Guadalupe mountains and El Paso well enough. I have read only two other books about this area.

  • Fredrick Danysh
    2019-03-03 15:43

    Hewey Calloway is a middle aged cowboy in Texas in 1910. He refuses to accept the technological changes taking place and yearns for his lifestyle without responsibilities unti a rougue horse cripples him. He also tries to discourage his young nephew from following in his footsteps. A good western without the violence and sex so prevalent among modern writers.

  • Emily Hunholz
    2019-03-23 11:41

    This is one of my dad’s favorites, but I just couldn’t get into it. Hewey Calloway, an aging cowboy who is troubled by the changing times, spends the entire book in denial of his old age, and it’s so completely obvious to the reader that it gets annoying. Some of the other characters are good, and it’s not a bad plot, but it’s not the best western I’ve read.

  • Karen Hankins
    2019-03-12 16:32

    Thank goodness Kelton published Hewey and Spring's story, as follow-up to THE GOOD OLD BOYS. Because I'm a romance writer, I was pleased with the happy ending. It was gratifying to see Hewey recognize the difference between him and his buddy Snort.

  • Jeff Dickison
    2019-03-13 14:40

    Elmer Kelton was a great writer and this book is no exception. The story starts slowly but builds to a wonderful, satisfying finish. Highly recommended!

  • Diane
    2019-02-25 17:32

    1910, old cowboy Calloway is trying to finish his life as he has always lived. Right & wrong. Clean language, historical fiction.

  • Sandy Neal
    2019-03-09 11:53

    Another good Elmer Kelton! Sequel to The Good Ol' Boys. Obviously Mr. Kelton did not crochet!