At its heart, The Hi Lo Country is the story of the friendship between two men, their mutual love of a woman, and their allegiance to the harsh, dry, achingly beautiful New Mexico high-desert grassland. The story is told by Pete, a young ranch hand, whose best friend is Big Boy Matson. Together they drink, gamble, fight, work, and rodeo. They both fall hard for a married woman--the attractive, bored, and dangerous Mona.
When it was first published in 1961, the novel was both a celebration and an elegy. It captured something jagged and authentic in the West, and it caught the attention of Hollywood--notably Sam Peckinpah, who spent twenty years trying to make a movie of this multilayered and plainspoken novel. It would take another twenty years for Martin Scorsese and Stephen Frears to finally do it. Now in a special 60th anniversary edition, The Hi Lo Country continues to tell a quintessential story of the people and the land found in the American West.
"It's this generational snapshot of young men who returned from war, scarred and complex and to a rapidly industrializing rural West, that forms The Hi Lo Country's dark, intriguing heart. The rest of the novel's gravy is in its careful attention to the highs and lows of the land, a lovingly drawn portrait that explains the hold this capricious country has over its cowboys."—Molly Boyle, Santa Fe Reporter
"Unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for community, college, and university library Western fiction collections."—Midwest Book Review