Cover image for Of chiles, cacti, and fighting cocks : notes on the American West
Of chiles, cacti, and fighting cocks : notes on the American West
Turner, Frederick, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco : North Point Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
200 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F786 .T89 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The West "has been a striking and seductive phenomenon in the American imagination," states Turner, enamored of the land of cowboys and Indians since childhood. Author of Spirit of Place: The Making of an American Literary Landscape [BKL Ja 15 90], Turner's forte is cultural history with a literary and naturalist bent. This stirring set of essays explores the paradoxes of life in the West, the dream versus the reality. He investigates the wild horses controversy, the inventive history behind the myth of Billy the Kid, and the now-clandestine traditions of cockfighting. Chile peppers are praised for their healing powers, and the majestic saguaro cacti are revered for their survival in the harsh desert. Turner captures the intimidating, thrilling beauty of the desert in precise, cantering prose. An insightful and reflective look at the mystique of the land of wide open spaces. --Donna Seaman

Library Journal Review

This is a book for every East-coast armchair cowboy; every child who grew up in the Old West of the imagination, not reality. Turner muses on the appeal of the cowboy and horses for generations of Americans and Europeans alike. He includes some interesting bits of history and local lore, including an ugly but compelling account of cockfighting. There is a lot of factual information about the Western states, but they're treated as an entity. Easterners may not find this annoying, but westerners will. Still, public libraries collecting regional literature will find this a readable and interesting choice.-- Kath arine Galloway Garstka, Intergraph Corp., Huntsville, Ala. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.