i finished this book a while ago, i’ve talked more about sheep: life on the south dakota range than most of the other books i’ve read recently. i got a lot a questions about the book every time i read it in public. the most common question was “is that as boring as it looks and sounds?” sheep is a keen explanation of the details of a sheep herder’s job in the early 1900’s. i now know that a sheep herder is different than a shepherd. and my favorite new sheep factoid is that they are like turtles, if they roll on to their backs they can’t right themselves. if they are not flipped back within a couple of hours, they could die from a gaseous reaction that happens in their intestines.
written in the 3o’s, archer b. gilfillan writes in a style that is similar to a this american life contributor, he has a dry charm and subtle wit.
i couldn’t help thinking about brokeback mountain while i was reading this. it was like i was learning about what they were doing, when they weren’t busy falling in love.
even if you don’t like the book, it is a great conversation piece.