Review: All the Cowboys Ain’t Gone by John J Jacobson

☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

Lincoln Smith, a young Texan living at the beginning of the twentieth century, thinks of himself as the last true cowboy. He longs for the days of the Old West, when men like his father, a famous Texas Ranger, lived by the chivalric code. Lincoln finds himself hopelessly out of time and place in the fast-changing United States of the new century. When he gets his heart broken by a sweetheart who doesn’t appreciate his anachronistic tendencies, he does what any sensible young romantic would do: he joins the French Foreign Legion.

On his way to an ancient and exotic country at the edge of the Sahara, Lincoln encounters a number of curious characters and strange adventures, from a desert hermit who can slow up time to a battle with a crocodile cult that worships the god of death. He meets them all with his own charming brand of courage and resourcefulness.



My Thoughts:

All the Cowboys Ain’t Gone is somewhat of a classic adventure/quest story, and at the center of it is Lincoln Smith. Lincoln is an old soul. He is a dreamer and philosopher who would have fit well in his father’s world of Texas Rangers. His chivalry reminded me of Don Quixote. 

Lincoln’s adoration of his Texas Ranger father is charming. He’s not at home at the turn of the century when industrialization is ramping up and the ways of the cowboy are waning. So, when tragedy and heartache strike at home, he finally has his reason to join the French Foreign Legion. His romanticized idea of the French Foreign Legion righting wrongs in exotic locations was fed by his love of novels of the Wild West. However, he didn’t count on all the quirky characters and diversions found along the way. When his quest becomes of a madcap adventure the book does get a little silly, but it is quite fun and lighthearted.

I enjoyed the old world feel of the story and the humor peppered into the most unexpected scenes. It’s quite a fun read.


About the Author: Though John J. Jacobson didn’t join the French Foreign Legion after being jilted by a girlfriend, or over his displeasure of missing the last great cattle drive, he has, borrowing Churchill’s phrase, lived a rather variegated life. He was born in Nevada, grew up in the West, surfed big waves in Hawaii, circled the world thrice, survived the sixties and seventies, corporate America, and grad school. Among other degrees he has an MA in Renaissance literature from Claremont Graduate University.

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