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From Ranch Hand to Hollywood

posted by: November 21, 2014 - 7:00am

Cover of Falling from Horses by Molly GlossAward-winning author Molly Gloss’ newest novel has a transitional setting that begins on a ranch in Oregon in 1938, but the narrator looks at the past and whispers of present day. Falling from Horses is a layered work of fiction that strategically weaves together a man’s whole life by looking at the events that helped define it.

 

The protagonist, Bud Frazer, is the son of humble tenant ranchers. His upbringing instilled in him a way of life that Bud decides to use for a career, though not in the way his parents anticipated. Upon leaving home as a new adult, he tries his hand in the rodeo circuit before deciding to move to Hollywood and become a stunt rider for Western films. Eager to rub elbows with all the big names of the day, Bud packs his bags and hops a bus south. En route to Hollywood, Bud meets Lily, an aspiring screenwriter, and in their short time together on that bus trip they fall into a platonic relationship that spans a lifetime.

 

Those that have enjoyed Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses should pick this one up and give it a go. Like McCarthy, Gloss’ work is a character-driven narrative of a young man trying to find his path in the twisting and turning maze of life.


 
 

Thank you for recommending this book. I was not familiar with Molly Gloss. I'm so glad I read her Falling From Horses after reading your review. I enjoyed the characters so much, but especially Bud's parents. I'm getting ready to read Gloss's Hearts of Horses which is about Bud's mother when she was a young girl.

You are most welcome. Bud's parents were a unique pair, especially considering the era. It was their quirkiness that I think gave them a more relatable feel. I also thought it refreshing that Gloss was able to maintain a platonic relationship between Bud and Lily that still felt real. I'm glad you liked the book and I hope that you get just as much enjoyment out of Hearts of Horses.



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Revised: November 21, 2014