Leather Edition: The Time It Never Rained by Elmer KeltonNo. 4 St. James
We’ve collaborated with the talented folks at Understated Leather of Smithville, Texas to create this special leather bound edition of Elmer Kelton’s The Time It Never Rained.
Published by Texas Christian University Press and distributed by the Texas Book Consortium, and featuring an Afterword by Tom Pilkington, The Time It Never Rained is among the most critically acclaimed Texas-based novels, with author Jon Tuska deeming it “ . . . one of the dozen or so best novels written by an American in [the twentieth] century.”
A native Texan, Elmer Kelton authored over thirty novels set in the West, and received awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Western Writers of America, the Western Literature Association, and others. The Time It Never Rained is one of his most popular works, and is especially relatable amid modern drought conditions persisting in Texas today.
We’ve replaced the standard book jacket with this handmade, soft leather cover made from Texas sourced vegetable tanned leather. Engraved by Understated Leather across the front, spine, and back is an original No. 4 St. James photo of a drying lake bed in West Texas, the setting for The Time It Never Rained. Edges are hand beveled, and bound with leather trim. Every part of this book, from its original authorship, to its publication, to its special leather binding, is the result of Texas labor.
In its newest condition, the leather is light tan; over time, the leather will soften and darken. The image will not fade as the beautiful patina emerges due to exposure to light, and natural oils from handling. Only a novel as timeless and enduring as The Time It Never Rained is worthy of cover that’s likewise designed to last. This is a book to keep on your shelf and pass along to future generations.
The Time It Never Rained ships free from our Texas Showroom in Austin, Texas, packed in raw Texas cotton.
More from TCU Press about The Time It Never Rained:
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.
- More Information:
Dimensions approx: 6 x 9
378 pagesPublication Date: 01/01/1984
Printed in East Peoria, IL
The Time It Never Rained is the copyright of Elmer Kelton 1973, 1984Cover image and design are the copyright of No. 4 St. James 2014
Interior Title Page design by Whitehead & Whitehead