First published in 1970, this classic coming of age tale has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide. “A moving, tragic, and sociologically potent work of literature. Many similarities to Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Knowles’s A Separate Peace come to mind” (Library Journal).
“Send us a boy—we’ll send you a cowboy”: It doesn’t matter if the kid hates the sight of horses. Or if he still sucks his thumb and wets the bed. He’s got to be taught to toe the line. To measure up. To dig in his spurs—because that’s the way things are at the Box Canyon Boys Camp in Arizona.
Based on the adventures of the author’s own son, Bless the Beasts & Children tells a tragicomic tale of a group of disturbed teenaged boys from over-privileged families who are sent by their inattentive parents to camp in hopes that their lazy, urban kids will be toughened up in the cowboy program. Complications arise, but these problem boys band together to take up an important cause.
In this remarkable novel, Glendon Swarthout presents an electrifying portrait of six adolescent “misfits” on a desperate mission to save themselves. And, in a society dedicated to one narrow view of success, they learn something important about what it means to be a man. This is “an exciting mission-pursuit story with an engrossing cast of characters” (Publishers Weekly).
Glendon Swarthout wrote sixteen novels, many of which were bestsellers and were made into films, among them Seventh Cavalry, They Came to Cordura, Where the Boys Are, Bless the Beasts & Children, and A Christmas to Remember. He was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction and won a number of other awards, including the Western Writers Award for Lifetime Achievement.