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Elmer Kelton Books In Order

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Publication Order of Tales of Texas Books

Captain's Rangers (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Joe Pepper (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Long Way to Texas (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Texas Tradition Books

The Day the Cowboys Quit (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wagontongue (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Manhunters (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wolf and the Buffalo (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stand Proud (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark Thicket (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Man Who Rode Midnight (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Honor at Daybreak (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Sons of Texas Books

Publication Order of Hewey Calloway Books

The Good Old Boys (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Smiling Country (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Six Bits a Day (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Unlikely Lawman (By: Steve Kelton) (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Texas Rangers Books

The Buckskin Line (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Badger Boy (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Way of the Coyote (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ranger's Trail (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Other Men's Horses (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lone Star Rising (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Texas Vendetta (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jericho's Road (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hard Trail To Follow (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Texas Standoff (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Buckalew Family Books

Massacre at Goliad (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
After the Bugles (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Hot Iron (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Buffalo Wagons (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bitter Trail (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Texas Rifles (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Donovan (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pecos Crossing (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Horsehead Crossing (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shotgun Settlement (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bowie's Mine (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Time It Never Rained (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Barbed Wire (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eyes of the Hawk (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Llano River (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shadow of a Star (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hanging Judge (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Slaughter (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Christmas (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Indian in Frontier News (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Far Canyon (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pumpkin Rollers (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cloudy in the West (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Christmas at the Ranch (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shotgun (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Many a River (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

There's Always Another Chance, and Other Stories (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Big Brand (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Legend (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
ReadWest (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wild West (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hard Ride (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cowboy Way (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Law of the Land (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Looking Back West: Selections form the Pioneer News-Observer (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Permian: A Continuing Saga (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Elmer Kelton: 30 Years of Western Fiction (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Living and Writing in West Texas: Two Speeches (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Art of Howard Terpning (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Art of Frank C. McCarthy (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Art of James Bama (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Elmer Kelton Country: The Short Nonfiction of a Texas Novelist (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Kind of Heroes: Selected Speeches (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Texas (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Texas Cattle Barons: Their Families, Land and Legacy (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Prairie Gothic (By: John R. Erickson) (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sandhills Boy: The Winding Trail of a Texas Writer (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tom Lovell: Storyteller with a Brush (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Horsing Around: Contemporary Cowboy Humor(1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
New Trails: Twenty-Three Original Stories(1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best of the American West II(1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Century of Great Western Stories(2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lone Star Law(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Noah’s Ride(2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lost Trails(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Way of the West(2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Law of the Gun(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ghost Towns(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Elmer Kelton (born 29th April 1926 – 22nd August 2009) was a bestselling American writer and journalist famously known for his western novels. He was born at a place known as Horse Camp located on the Five Wells Ranch in Andrews County to Robert William Kelton and Neta Beatrice Kelton.

When Kelton was about three years old, his family relocated to the McElroy Ranch located in the counties of Upton and Crane, Texas next to the city of Crane and southwest of Midland. The remainder of his childhood was spent at three distinct homesteads on the McElroy where his father worked for 36 years. After graduating from Crane High School, Kelton went on to join The University of Texas from 1942-1944, 1946-1948 where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism. Subsequently, he served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946 where he got the exposure of the World War II.

Kelton married Anni Lipp from Austria, and they were blessed with three children, one of which was Anni’s son whom Kelton adopted. The other two were a daughter and son namely, Kathy Kelton and Steve Kelton. The author also had three brothers Bill Kelton, Merle Kelton, and Eugene Kelton.

From 1948 to 1963, Kelton worked as a ranch and farm editor in the Harte-Hanks for the San Angelo Standard Time. For five years he also worked as an one of the editorial staff for Sheep and Goat Raiser Magazine, and for over two decades also used to work for Livestock Weekly as an editor and retired in 1990. Kelton memoir, Sandhills Boy was issued in 2007, and three of his books have appeared in Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Eight of Kelton books have won Spur Award awarded by the Western Writers of America. The peers in the Western Writers of America named him as the greatest Western writer of all time. Three other books, The Man whom Rode Midnight, City: The Time it Never Rained, and The Good Old Boys have won Western Heritage Awards.

The Good Old Boys was adapted into a 1995 American western adventure movie by the same name. The film featured Tommy Lee Jones and Sissy Spacek and produced by Edgar J. Scherick Associates.

Kelton was awarded Owen Wister Award in 1977 for lifetime achievement. The author was working on another novel but developed several health problems during the spring of 2009. The book was not complete before his death on 22nd August 2009.

The Time It Never Rained

To the farmers and ranchers of 1950’s, man’s worst enemy is one that he cannot control. With their entire livelihood on the balance of a dry or a wet year, drought has the capability of crushing down their entire enterprise to determine who falls and whom standing remains, and take grab food from the mouths of the workers as well as their families.

To Charlie Flagg, a decent, honest & cantankerous rancher, the drought of the early 1950s is an adversary that he must confront on his grounds and decline the questionable assistance of the federal aid programs, Charlie and his family fight to make the ranch to survive until the time when the rains return again.

The Time it Never Rained is a novel set West Texas and inspired by actual events when a severe drought that forever remains in memories of many ranchers and farmers pressed them to their out limits of endurance and courage. Kelton, the author of the book, was there but not as a rancher but as an agriculture journalist. He covered this state of complete emptiness on a daily basis and was familiar with what it meant for the residents who were forced to cope with its calamitous manifestations.

The protagonist in this novel is Charlie Flagg, a broad-shouldered man who dug his postholes, carried his sacks, and flanked his calves. His ranch was a midsized one and consisted of 15 sections, owned three sections and leased the rest. Unlike other ranchers, who often accepted government aid during the drought, Charlie could not welcome it. He often described that when a man takes government help, it is like selling freedom.

The Good Old Boys

For Hewey Calloway, he is faced with a problem in his West Texas home of 1906. The landscape and the way of life that he adores are rapidly changing for his taste. He only dreams of freedom- and want to be a horseback cowboy wandering in the open range land. Unfortunately, the open rangeland of his childhood is disappearing too quickly. The land he ought to wander in are soon being parceled out, and barbed wire fences are established all over. Furthermore, to Hewey disappointment, cars and more machines are occupying his simple cowboy life, making the whole land stink and also threatening to take over the place of horse travel. As the dreamer struggles against the never ending stream of progress, he comes to becomes aware that his simple childhood life is gone and that a man cannot live a life that time has forgone and that every choice that he makes requires a sacrifice.

Kelton did a great job in The Good Old Boys; you will not find unexpected plot twists or some blazing shootouts. Even though there are some aspect of romance, the books mainly emphasize on friendship, love, determination, sacrifice and integrity. It is a good story of the 20th century where ranchers and farmers butted heads, were good water and land was scarce and when the automobiles invaded the land of horses.

The Day the Cowboys Quit

The year is 1883 in Texas when the Cowboys refuse to be condemned as alcoholics and exploited by the wealthy cattle owners who do not pay any good wages. The ranchers are also determined by taking away cowboy rights to owning cattle since the ranchers believe that it would lead to thieving. In 1883, a decree is set that if you are a cowboy, that you cannot own a cow. However, when the rumors of such order travel from one wagon to another, the cowboy decides to rally and fight for their rights to own cattle- so they gather and strike.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Elmer Kelton

One Response to “Elmer Kelton”

  1. Susan Harms: 3 years ago

    I love his books because I love Texas and history. this ordered list is helpfu.


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