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PRAISE FOR HARD TO HAVE HEROES



"Many American classics such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Catcher in the Rye, and Ender’s Game, exhibit a boy approaching manhood. Hard to Have Heroes by Buddy Mays might just be a modern classic, a bildungsroman with spunk, wit, and a lot of heart."--- --Southwestern American Literature


This agreeable contemporary western brings us a good handful of personable characters involved in rousing adventures. The time is 1957, and teenager Noah Odell and his widowed mother move from wet Oregon to dry—dry—New Mexico to live with Noah’s uncle on his ranch in the Chihuahuan Desert. Noah seems to be in line to be a cowboy, and the mule that his uncle buys him, called Brimstone, sets him on his way in that direction. His uncle is an outrageous, colorful, lovable, old-school rancher type who has a bit of homespun wisdom to cover every situation. After falling head over heels into his uncle’s world, Noah makes friends with two ranch denizens, Marvin and then LaDonna, and the trio embark on a series of escapades that will delight the reader as much as they do the three amigos involved. When Noah’s ranch is threatened with confiscation by the military for missile practice, the trio really gets going. A reading pleasure.---— Brad Hooper, Booklist


"If Mark Twain had written a male version of Paper Moon, set it in rain-sodden Oregon and the hot pepper country of southern New Mexico, peopled it with the likes of such characters in the round as Noah, Uncle Bud, and Apache chief Two Knives Anna Fork --- to say nothing of Zefo Montoya, whose balcony scene literally makes the one in Romeo and Juliet dry by comparison --- and let them and a cast of others loose in rollicking page after page, well, he would have puffed on his seegar and loudly proclaimed, "Hard to Have Heroes is one of my best." --- Robert H. Boyle, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated, author of The Hudson River, A Natural and Unnatural History


"A tongue-in-cheek tale that has you happily riding along with its Old West/NewWest characters on the wacky adventures of their daily lives." – Michele and Tom Grimm, authors of The Basic Book of Digital Photography


“A wonderful story of Noah Odell’s adventures on a ranch near Tularosa , New Mexico in the 1950s. Reading this rollicking tale evokes the pleasures of sitting around a campfire on a perfectly clear summer night with the stars twinkling overhead and the crackling of wood adding accompaniment to a cowboy’s good-natured, gravelly voice.”—Pari Noskin Taichert, author of The Socorro Blast, the latest in the award-winning Sasha Solomon series


“Buddy Mays is a natural-born storyteller.”—Sue Boggio, author of Sunlight and Shadow


"Where does history end and tall tales begin? There's a lot of western history in Mays' tribute to his upbringing. He paints his childhood heroes (and friends and enemies) in mythic colors. But wait, I grew up in New Mexico, too. Those people were real!"--Diana Armstrong, author of Haunted Woman in Half Mexico

"I recently finished reading "Hard to Have Heros" by Buddy Mays. This is without a doubt the best book I have read in a very long time. I do hope that this is not the last book - outside of photography - that Buddy Mays publishes. He really does have a way with words. As a long time reader of all types of books, this held my interest every single page. Thank you for many evenings of total enjoyment. --- Carolyn Collins




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