A quite nice review in the September 1st Booklist! Published on-line and in print by the American Library Association, Booklist is one of a handful of publications reviewing books ahead of their release date–Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal are among the others. Libraries and booksellers rely on these early reviews in deciding whether and how many copies to buy.
“Hollywood glamour has no place in the rough-and-tumble cowboy movies being churned out by studios in the late 1930s. That’s discovered by Bud Frazer, a young man from a ranching family looking to make his way as a stunt rider and, in the process, distance himself from personal tragedy. On the bus ride there, he strikes up what would become a lifelong friendship with an aspiring screenwriter. What follows are challenges for both Bud and his new friend Lily as they try to make their dreams reality. Gloss strips away any romantic notions of ranching life or moviemaking with detailed descriptions of long days of work and the tricks used on horses in the cowboy flicks. Bud is a marvelous narrator—direct, self-effacing, and descriptive, looking back with some bemusement at the brashness of his 19-year-old self. The emotions stirred by his tale are as honest as a hard day’s work during a roundup. The novel is sturdy in its simplicity, a send-up of the cowboy myth that replaces it with something more valuable—a cowboy with heart.”