The Nine Lives of a Cowboy


216 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-919203-20-5





Rosalie I. Tennison is Editor of Communicator Magazine.


As the name implies, this book is filled with descriptions of “close calls’ experienced by the author, H. “Dude” Lavington. Full of lively and exciting anecdotes, The Nine Lives of a Cowboy is the story of a Canadian cowboy.

Dude Lavington and his brother, Art, left their home in Alberta and started ranching in the Quesnel area of British Columbia in the early 1930s. The book details the hardship and adventure of building a ranch in mountainous wilderness. The brothers were partners until the 1940s and survived the hard times through team work. Dude and Art trapped, ranched, broke horses, hunted, put up hay, built log buildings, made their own furniture, and fought the elements. Dude tells of incidents when he was nearly killed by a bucking horse and of good times making “chin music” with neighbors. It appears to have been a lonely life made interesting by the amount of work that always had to be done.

The book is a multitude of short, descriptive adventure stories strung together chronologically. It seems astounding that any one man could remember so many incidents in a relatively short span of twelve on thirteen years. Such is the talent of a good yarner.

The Nine Lives of a Cowboy is easy, light reading but remains fascinating and informative. It is the life story of a pioneer told in his own language. Thankfully, Lavington included a glossary of cowboy terms; however, a longer one would have been even more helpful.

This is an autobiography that would be useful to anyone studying the opening up of British Columbia. It is also a good book for anyone who likes cowboy stories because it is better than fiction and just as exciting.


Lavington, H. "Dude", “The Nine Lives of a Cowboy,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,