Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Pub Date: February 23, 2021
Number of Pages: 352
All the Cowboys Ain’t Gone is the rollicking adventure story of Lincoln Smith, a young Texan living at the beginning of the twentieth century, who thinks of himself as the last true cowboy. He longs for the days of the Old West, when men like his father, a famous Texas Ranger, lived by the chivalric code. Lincoln finds himself hopelessly out of time and place in the fast-changing United States of the new century. When he gets his heart broken by a sweetheart who doesn’t appreciate his anachronistic tendencies, he does what any sensible young romantic would do: he joins the French Foreign Legion. On his way to an ancient and exotic country at the edge of the Sahara, Lincoln encounters a number of curious characters and strange adventures, from a desert hermit who can slow up time to a battle with a crocodile cult that worships the god of death. He meets them all with his own charming brand of courage and resourcefulness.
Clueless Gent’s Rating for All the Cowboys Ain’t Gone
If you were to look up Grand Adventure in the dictionary, it would probably say, “Read All the Cowboys Ain’t Gone!” The adventure begins on the first page, and it sizzles and snakes along until the very end. I was thoroughly engaged – start to finish!
Our protagonist, Lincoln Smith, is one of those unfortunate individuals who was born too late for his time. Smith relished the adventure of mid-nineteenth century Texas, but it all came and went a few decades before he was born. However, he had the fortitude – and heart – of a man’s man from that era. If there was any way for Dirty Harry and Indiana Jones to breed, the offspring would be Lincoln Smith.
From the very beginning of the story, the author presented Smith as a character who was anti-industry. For example, Smith was totally against the new automobile that made loud noises and was fueled by muddy slime sucked from the earth. He was happy with a horse.
Lincoln Smith takes the reader on an adventure of a lifetime between the covers of this novel. We follow him on a boyhood adventure, and then on to a stint in a traveling Wild West Show. When that closes down, Smith sets his sights on the French Foreign Legion. That’s when the “adventure meter” starts to red-line!
The characters Smith meets on his adventures – both good and bad – play a large part in the story. They don’t really impact Smith, but he surely impacts them – usually in a good way. Regardless, I thought the author did a wonderful job in developing the characters enough to fill the role they played in the story.
In an adventure novel, pacing is critically important. The pacing in this story is right on point. Despite the book’s 300 pages, it seems like a short read because it’s hard to put down. Most of that is due to the pacing.
“That one simple dictum, ‘the Legion does not surrender,’ seemed to Lincoln, in that moment, a monumental thing, a great and glorious relic.”
When Smith goes off to join the Legion, the author takes us to Marseille and then on to North Africa. I felt like the author did extensive research to make this part of the story authentic. From the weaponry to the attire of the harem girls, the description was much appreciated. Further, the author made Smith a fairly learned fellow, and uses him to provide historical backstory when Smith would talk to the other characters about this place or that place.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the story, for me, was seeing what else would happen to our protagonist. I suppose he could be considered very lucky or very unlucky, depending on whether you’re a cup is half full or half empty kind of person. Regardless, Lincoln Smith will keep the reader fully engaged throughout the story.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a taste for adventure, or anyone who just loves reading a good story!
Though John J. Jacobson didn’t join the French Foreign Legion after being jilted by a girlfriend, or over his displeasure of missing the last great cattle drive, he has, borrowing Churchill’s phrase, lived a rather variegated life. He was born in Nevada, grew up in the West, surfed big waves in Hawaii, circled the world thrice, survived the sixties and seventies, corporate America, and grad school. Among other degrees he has an MA in Renaissance literature from Claremont Graduate University.
All the Cowboys Ain’t Gone.