The Cadence of Grass

The Cadence of Grass

by Thomas McGuane


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Cadence of Grass 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ocgreg34 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sunny Jim Whitelaw has passed away, leaving his bottling empire in the hands of his estranged son-in-law Paul with not a red cent going to his family -- unless his eldest daughter Evelyn decides to reconcile with Paul. A reconciliation is the last thing Evelyn wants to do. She would rather stick with the more comfortable rancher's life to which she's more accustomed. Paul would like nothing better so that he can sell off the bottling plant and he'll do whatever can to make sure that happens."The Cadence of Grass" reads like any soap opera: lots of snarky, back-and-forth dialogue between characters, deeply buried family secrets coming to light, backstabbing, unfaithfulness, the staling of body organs and a cross-dressing rancher. Even with all that, it seemed to lack any real bite, almost as if the characters verbally attacked each other half-heartedly. I didn't enjoy the brief verbal "sparring" matches and couldn't find myself liking any character, preferring instead the scenes of action.That's where McGuane's story shined. His descriptions of such things as Evelyn and Bill the family's rancher heading into the wilderness to round up some missing heads of cattle before dark settled in, or Evelyn's terrified trek through a snow storm first via car then on foot through the woods, or even Paul and Sunny Jim's trip to Las Vegas resulting in someone losing a kidney, were richly detailed and held my interest. I found those scenes far more interesting than rest of the story.And, just because it's been bugging me since I finished the book, I didn't see the point of having a cross-dressing rancher, Donald Aadfield. When he appeared as part of the family that rescued Evelyn during the snowstorm, I thought his openness ab out being gay and his interest in ranching -- just as strong as Evelyn's -- would have sparked more interaction between them. But his character disappeared until near the end of the book, for perhaps a page or two with what seemed very little effect on the story, then he disappeared again.The ending left me confused. I didn't understand why Bill would have gone along with Paul's scheme -- something very out of character for Bill -- traveling up to the cold, icy part of Canada for what I think was a drug run. And I couldn't connect the last five or so pages with the rest of the story. I skimmed those pages because they seemed inconsistent.Did I enjoy reading the book? Well, I guess that would be a "not really". I did enjoy the descriptive action scenes, but the dialogue and characters never captured my interest enough to recommend it.
NicholasPayne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautiful in the exteme. I do NOT subscibe to the notion that McGuane has less fire in his prose and has, therefore, gotten less interesting. I find this an astonishingly lovely piece of work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read McGuane years ago, and think his better books are behind him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I heard about this book through a magazine review. It sounded good so I thought I'd give it a try. The characters were nutty and unbelievable and the plot was "out there." I've never read anything by this author before this (and I won't read anything else by him). Not knowing a thing about the author, I'd wager a hefty bet that he'd done some serious drugs when he was younger (or maybe he was doing some while he was writing this book)! How did he conceive this story?! I will not recommend this book at all.