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Extended Audio Sample Shavetail, by Thomas Cobb Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (71 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Cobb Narrator: Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Seventeen-year-old Ned Thorne lied his way into the US Army, and is sent to the remote Fort Ramsey, deep in Arizona Territory. There, his young eyes will be opened to the true beauty and savage barbarity of the American frontier. 

When a local ranch is attacked by Apaches and a young woman taken into bondage, Ned and the rest of his patrol will endure a suicidal march through mountains and wilderness, into the badlands of Mexico, and beyond the limits of human endurance to save the woman’s life.

Few will survive this quest—and those who do will be forever changed. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The education to which Thomas Cobb’s eager young soldier is forced to submit combines such wisdom, pain, suspense, and nasty good humor that I simply couldn’t read this book fast enough. Of course I didn’t know what a ‘shavetail’ was when I began, but learning that was only part of the education I was treated to. Guilt and innocence, blood and tenderness—I can’t imagine any reader who could resist.”

    Rosellen Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Before and After

  • “Readers will also find in Cobb’s second novel (after Crazy Heart) nicely wrought coming-of-age elements. Highly recommended.” 

    Library Journal 

  • “Tender and action-packed.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Shavetail is the story of the futility of war, and is as immediate and brutal as daily news from Iraq or Afghanistan, although the year is 1871 and the place is southern Arizona and northern Mexico. Cobb presents the landscape, the characters, and the conflict with absolute authority, producing a magnificent story in the tradition of Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.”

    Richard Shelton, author of Going Back to Bisbee

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lorraine | 2/8/2013

    " rather harsh, but probably true to the western frontier in AZ. very interesting coming of age story of 17 year old escaping unfortunate situation back east in the 1860s. he joins the army and is sent to Arizona territory. harsh army life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Leon | 1/1/2013

    " Set in 1870s Southwest, this book has language that puts you in the barren, sweltering mountains of New Mexico, where you can feel the anxiety and strength that permeates Ned Thorne's existence in the US Army. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dianne | 10/17/2012

    " Just starting this one. Really liked this book. It is somewhat different than what I usually read, but an excellent story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Shelee Bush | 8/19/2012

    " Excellent, gritty tale of a regiment of United States Soldiers, led by two disgraced leaders. Trouble abounds in Arizona when 17 year old Ned joins up the group. I felt hot and dirty just reading it. "

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About the Author
Author Thomas Cobb

Thomas Cobb was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona. Thinking more important things happened away from the desert he loved as a child, he left for bigger cities like New York and Los Angeles. However, when he finally returned, he saw the landscape anew and it became the setting for his writings. His novel Crazy Heart was turned into a hit movie. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife.