Mandi Bierly
October 27, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Blacktop Cowboys

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Ty Phillips
publisher
Thomas Dunne Books
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

You reckon rodeoin’ is beer, bruises, and ”buckle bunnies” (the name for groupies). Well, you’re right. But like the steer wrestlers Ty Phillips tailed during the 2004 season — loud and proud fellas with nicknames like Fatty and Donkey — he knows how to tell a good story. One 11-page scene of tokin’, pokin’ debauchery aside, the lasting images are the quiet ones. ”Every minute or so, the distant headlights of a freeway car threw light on the lonesome silhouette of a cowboy walking his horse at night,” Phillips writes. He captures the solitude and camaraderie in Blacktop Cowboys, which runs deeper than an unattended cooler of Coors Light: Competitors even share scouting reports on steers.

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