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Cowboys Are My Weakness Paperback – Jan 4 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
A gifted storyteller and a fine writer, Houston brings insight and an original perspective to the heavily trafficked gender divide in her short-story collection, which was a two-week PW bestseller in cloth.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Houston, whose short stories have appeared in such periodicals as Mirabella and Mademoiselle , now has her first collection, the highlights of which are "How To Talk to a Hunter," a story selected for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories, 1990 ( LJ 10/1/90), and "Selway." Though these two stand out, the collection as a whole showcases a fresh, original, strong feminine voice. Houston is almost Hemingway-esque in her spare prose, yet richly eloquent in her descriptions of the Western sensibility. "How To Talk to a Hunter" oozes sensuality and masculinity, while at the same time getting inside the feminine mind in love with a man of few words. Likewise, "Selway" brilliantly shows what the experience of loving an adventurer is like. Houston is a part-time guide in Alaska. This is a strong woman who is wise and cynical but refreshingly optimistic. Her view of man-woman relationships is realistic: wise women get involved with "cowboys" they should know better, but they don't. Recommended.
- Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Bay Area Cooperative Lib. System, Cal.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the off-handed way this story is narrated. The tone is almost an as-if: the woman narrator sounds like she is talking theoretically, when in fact she is hurting a fair bit.
Story about a couple in a river rafting trip, doing very silly and unsafe things. Now, on page 40, how can the narrator say "He grabbed for a boulder on the bottom", when she is far away and on the shore? This is not crystalline water, this is white water, so her visibility is minimal.
Good observations! This is for me the best story in the book. Pam Houston almost has a Jim Harrison quality in her writing, because in this story she is gut wrenching and funny at the same time. I loved the resolution. Nothing better than to put things in perspective.
4: For Bo
I am not a dog lover, and get very irritated with people who think dogs should be adored by everyone. I had to sympathize with the very stiff mother and aunt, because having a dog spit and scratch your clothes is not fun. That Pam Houston put me in a position having to sympathize with these cold women is something for which I resent her.
5: What Shock Heard
7: Cowboys are my Weakness
These three stories have the common denominator of women loving men more than viceversa. Although Cowboys are my Weakness has a slightly hopeful ending (up for interpretation: I think she tosses the towel and resigns herself to a life of unhappiness), the bottomline is that in these relationships there is an inherent unevenness, and women get the short end of the stick.
8: Jackson is Only One of my Dogs
What kind of dog eats 14 lbs of anything? This story got me very irritated, with all its psycho-babble.Read more ›
The book reminded me of a country version of "A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing."
It gets 3 stars because of its redundancy -- the women in the stories are essentially all the same low self-esteemed, pain-loving and adventurous character. Although the setting is different with each story, the story is essentially the same in each one. Like (I'm making this line up) "I know this man treat me [badly] and cheats on me, but that's o.k., I shouldn't leave him just because of that."
But her direct delivery and descriptions like, "He was smart and selfish and lied by omision. I was addicted to him like cough syrup, and I didn't respect his mind," were refreshing to read. Although her characters are messed up, they're at least honest about their messed-up-ness.
Also-- I don't know, maybe it's the guys Pam Houston knows.... but in my experience, many "bad boys" have a sensitive, decent side to them... which comes through in a pinch. The guys in these stories, are just totally stereotypical immature womanizers through and through, and that doesn't really ring true to me. I also found myself getting impatient with the narrator, who seems very similar in each story. Initially, she seems independent and gutsy, but soon you notice that her complete energy and thought is taken up with "the care and feeding of the man." And in many stories, she is a victim. Does she really love adventure, or is she just trying to keep up with these men and be what they want her to be?Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I was reading with pleasure Pam Houston's "Cowboys.." and after finishing 'Jackson is Only One of My Dogs' decided to order more of her work and went into Amazon. Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by Sinan Cebenoyan
Pam Houston's fictional characters somehow to always seem like the great lady herself, eccentric, strong, athletic, daring, and tough. And then there are the men. Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2003 by Peggy Vincent
If you think you might want to read this book, at least get it from the library, then all you will have wasted is a few hours of your time. Read morePublished on Sept. 16 2003 by Jim
We all have dreams about what our perfect man would be like - for some it would be the real Cowboy, the kind you see in movies. Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2002 by Ramona Honan
Or any woman. She articulates the struggle with our demons better than most.Published on Sept. 20 2001 by Julie S.
Although Ok to read,I didn't particularly connect, I think. I agree with another reader who said these men were not cowboys, just everyday losers. Read morePublished on June 13 2001
Although Ok to read,I didn't particularly connect, I think. I agree with another reader who said these men were not cowboys, just everyday losers. Read morePublished on June 13 2001 by Jodie Skinner
This book chronicles the life of a woman in love with the outdoors, adventure, and men. I read this book for the first time 9 years ago, and I still return to it to reread some of... Read morePublished on March 3 2001 by Spacemom