• The Day the Cowboys Quit

  • By: Elmer Kelton
  • Narrated by: Pete Bradbury
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (213 ratings)

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The Day the Cowboys Quit  By  cover art

The Day the Cowboys Quit

By: Elmer Kelton
Narrated by: Pete Bradbury
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Publisher's Summary

Honored by the Western Writers of America (WWA) as one of history's 25 Best Westerns, and based on an actual 1883 Texas cowboys' strike, this Golden Spur Award-winning novel tells the gripping saga of veteran cowboys and upstart cattle lords vying for power and vainly resisting change.

Recipient of Golden Saddleman, Lone Star Lifetime Achievement, and Western Heritage awards, Elmer Kelton is WWA's "Greatest Western Writer of All Time".

©1999 Elmer Kelton (P)2008 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Kelton...expands on his reputation with a thoughtful, realistic portrayal of the West, in which carefully drawn characters - not gunplay - drive the action. If there's an heir to the Louis L'Amour legacy, it's Kelton." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about The Day the Cowboys Quit

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Louis Lamour look out!

I grew up reading everything Louis Lamour wrote. Elmer Kelton writes as good a story made more real by localizing the people. Not just a stranger in a new place, but people trying to live together and build a community. I wish I could write well enough to make myself clear...

4 people found this helpful

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Elmer Kelton, enough said.

Elmer Kelton. Enough said? Although I do miss the George Guidall narration. It still was a lovely performance.
Another great one from Kelton. In my humble opinion, I feel like most of his reads make you think. Weigh your options of what you would have done in this situation, what side you would have been on, which character you would have been most like and so on. I found myself feeling uncomfortable throughout the novel, not because of the writing, but because the story and characters were painted so vividly, I felt as if I were in the scene having to choose.

I will always recommend Kelton books. They are enjoyable, intelligent and thorough.

4 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable listen

This was a very personable book where I could relate to many of the different characters. I know it is a good book when I get emotionally involved in the characters. I could feel the conflict of the main characters, who were not super-human but rather average people. Really enjoyed this listen.

4 people found this helpful

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Exceeded my Expectations...

Powerful Story...Mr. Kelton does an amazing job of character building. One of those stories that you hate to see come to an end.

2 people found this helpful

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This is one of the best thinking persons Western's

TLDR: great book, real issues, based on true events.
*******
This story is based on a real event, something I had heard about but never gave much credit, a Cowboy Strike in the 1880s, who would believe that? Well I was wrong, I went looking and sure enough, it happened! Elmer Kelton, took that small event as an anchor to tie real history about the political and social changes facing Cowboy's, big Ranchers and small town business people in north Texas after the civil war. No doubt a study of these issues in that time would drive most of us outside to do the worst chores on the list! What Elmer did was weave a story that is gripping and real with so much feeling that it could make you want to load your guns and head out to support one side or the other! He did this by telling the story from the view point of a man caught in the middle, a thinking man who can see both sides of the problem... A place that is not ever comfortable if you can be ruthlessly honest with your self and have a strong sense of honor.

Elmer has told some stores that have a similar feel (The man who rode Midnight) but never one that made me feel so strongly that we are still fighting the same fight in a lot of the USA today, for a lot of the same reasons... Humans are tribal and we stand up for our tribes without trying hard enough to see the other tribes views and we fight, then we all lose in the long run. It's a good book and a great listen, you can listen to it for fun but don't think about it much or you may get sucked into really looking at the problems and the injustice on both sides. They are both right and both wrong!
Pete Bradbury is almost as good as The King of narrators, George Guidall and standing beside The Crown Prince Dick Hill. YMMV.

1 person found this helpful

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Not just cowboys, but ideas, morals and issues.


The story parallels today's world....picture Trump as the rich rancher....and guilty as hell. Sort of...

1 person found this helpful

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Good book!

Enjoyed this book! Good story line characters were made real in my mind. Love a good western.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story and narrator

This story really pulled me in. Buy it, you won’t regret it. I’ll be looking for more books by the author.

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A Bit Disappointed

Being a long time fan of Elner Kelton this book felt a bit incomplete. Definitely not one of his better works and more fitting to be included in a collection of short stories.