The Wind and the Snow of Winter by Walter Van Tilburg Clark

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Title: The Wind and the Snow of Winter
Author: Walter Van Tilburg Clark
In: The Mammoth Book of Westerns (Jon E. Lewis)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Westerns
Dates read: 29th June 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: He could still rembmer clearly, though, the winter he had stayed out on purpose, clear into January.

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He’s an old cowboy travelling to a town he once knew very well. But what he finds there is not quite as he remembers it…


This short story had some seriously long-winded sentences and paragraphs. It was quite intense in many, many ways due to this lengthy description throughout. It also made the story seem like it was progressing a lot slower than other tales in the The Mammoth Book of Westerns collection. And somehow more descriptive and enthralling… it was a bit of a weird dichotomy because I don’t normally enjoy so many run-on sentences.

I did like the description of the weary old cowboy and the reminiscing. It didn’t have a great, impossible to put down story line. But it did make you feel like you understood the life that would have been lived much, much more. I actually really enjoyed that aspect – it was something that I think will be useful to remember in future western stories.

I didn’t really get the title until the very end. When he finally returns / arrives at his destination. And finds out that a lot of people are dead. You truly appreciate his age and loneliness in this moment. It is a little bittersweet, but kind of beautiful too.

<- Early AmericanaWhen You Carry the Star ->

Image source: Hachette Australia


3 thoughts on “The Wind and the Snow of Winter by Walter Van Tilburg Clark

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