The Time It Never Rained

Front Cover
TCU Press, Jan 1, 1984 - Fiction - 377 pages
16 Reviews
In the 1950s, West Texas suffered the longest drought in the memory of most men then living. By that time, Charlie Flagg, the central character of this novel, was one of a dying breed of men who wrested their living from the harsh land of West Texas. The struggle made them fiercely independent, a trait personified in Charlie’s persistence throughout the seven dry years, his refusal to accept defeat, his opposition to federal aid programs and their inevitable bureaucratic regulations, his determination to stay on the land he loves and respects even as he suffers with that land. Charlie is by no means the typical cowboy hero. Self-sufficient, courageous, with a strong sense of right and wrong, he is also old and overweight, a thoroughly believable human being who has trouble communicating with the wife who loyally struggles to keep life in its pattern, the son who has no feel for the land but yearns for the rodeo circuit, the Mexican family who has worked for him for years and whose help he can no longer afford. Although Charlie never loses his dignity and never quits, he does not win out in the end. When the drought breaks, it has lasted too long and he is too old.

There is no surprise ending to this story, no magical solution to the harsh realities of life in West Texas. The reading of this novel lies not in what happens next but in the unfolding depth of a strong character and the clear picture of a time and a place.
  

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Review: The Time It Never Rained

User Review  - Renee Mathis - Goodreads

They don't make them like Charlie Flagg any more. Like -Unbroken- what the human spirit will endure without giving in. When nature, culture, and way of life collide. Texas' weather makes for a harsh villain. Read full review

Review: The Time It Never Rained

User Review  - Chris G Derrick - Goodreads

I read this book at the end of last year, and finished it in only a few days. It was easy to imagine what living through such a dire situation would be like from Elmer Kelton's great descriptive use ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
8
Section 3
36
Section 4
69
Section 5
90
Section 6
111
Section 7
138
Section 8
162
Section 12
226
Section 13
240
Section 14
258
Section 15
275
Section 16
296
Section 17
314
Section 18
326
Section 19
342

Section 9
173
Section 10
194
Section 11
216
Section 20
365
Section 21
374
Copyright

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About the author (1984)

Elmer Kelton is the author of over thirty novels set in the West and the recipient of awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Western Writers of America, the Western Literature Association, and others.

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