Hewey Callahan wants only to be a footloose, horseback cowboy, endlessly wandering the open range. But the open range of his childhood is slowly disappearing: land is being parceled out, and barbed-wire fences are springing up all over West Texas. As if that weren’t enough, cars and other machines are taking over and threatening to replace horse travel. Elmer Kelton called The Good Old Boys “probably the closest I have ever come to writing from sheer inspiration.” Its sequel, The Smiling Country, and prequel, Six Bits a Day, winner of a Spur Award, continue the story of one of the best-loved characters in all Western fiction.
Elmer Kelton (1926-2009) was the award-winning author of more than forty novels, including The Time It Never Rained, Other Men’s Horses, Texas Standoff and Hard Trail to Follow. He grew up on a ranch near Crane, Texas, and earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas. His first novel, Hot Iron, was published in 1956. Among his awards were seven Spurs from Western Writers of America and four Western Heritage awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. His novel The Good Old Boys was made into a television film starring Tommy Lee Jones. In addition to his novels, Kelton worked as an agricultural journalist for 42 years. He served in the infantry in World War II. He died in 2009.