A Western Drama in a Modern Setting
“The Last Cowboy” is a fictional story of Henry Dunn. Henry swaggered into a bar in Strickland, Oregon. His insolence offended the drunken sheriff who challenged Henry to a duel. Henry wins the duel but is forced to leave Oregon after killing the sheriff.
Daniel Uebbing has written a spoof on the West depicted by the genre of writing found in pulp Western novels and in Western movie and TV scripts. He has overlaid the Old West to a contemporary setting, with neon lights, movie stars, modern day malls and conveniences.
Uebbing follows Henry’s hardships as he travels from Oregon to Las Vegas, keeping one step ahead of the law in this tongue in cheek parody. While in Las Vegas Henry spent or lost his money by gambling, on drugs, and on prostitutes.
When Henry hit bottom, he thought of Angie, his high school sweetheart in Kansas. He decided to change his life once and for all. Henry heads east to return to Angie. In his mock epic Uebbing puts Henry in a bizarre experience with a group of drop out Bohemians. Graphic descriptions portray exaggerated sex and violence intended to satirize a seamy side of life.
Henry’s travels take him through the desert, the Grand Canyon, Nebraska, Tennessee, and the Badlands of South Dakota. His companion for much of his journey was the young son of a dead prostitute. The “Kid” was in search of the American dream, a home, a mother, and taste of idealism. He died in an accident in South Dakota and never got to meet Angie in “Mid America.”
Daniel Uebbing has captured the discrepancies between what we read in our Western novels and the actual history of the West in his book “The Last Cowboy” He uses a surrealistic satiric mock epic style to prove that we still have real cowboys today. Debauchery, drunkenness and alcohol are the evil pitted against a heroic renegade or a powerful sheriff. Add an underlying message of the American ideal and the result is a parody on the American way of life.
Robert D. Reed Publishers, 978-1934759134,
As Reviewed for Midwest Book Review