These stories range in length from 3 pages to 80. Many of the short ones are from the viewpoint of a young boy on the Saskatchewan prairie, where Stegner grew up. Some of the longest are set there too, one a complex story of an Englishman of 19 who, on a romantic whim, comes to be a cowboy. His crew gets caught in the terrible winter of 1907. This romantic boy is totally changed, and knows it. Two other favorites involve the idealistic young boy, who with his parents drive from the prairie to the mountains they can see from their home; and one told by a caustic retired literary agent whose wife drags him to a party thrown to let an up-and-coming piano player perform. These stories cover the West from LA gangland to Utah, and Saskatchewan, all places Stegner knew well and describes with care. I'd probably have liked them better if I hadn't read them in one big gulp. Each should be savored, as some differ greatly from each other, while others have the same characters. I would have liked to know when each was written, and the edition I read didn't include that.
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