Pardner: 1975 by Patrick M. Browning is loosely based on the author’s own experience managing a ranch in Arizona. It is the fictional tale of his life as a horseman and a rancher, fighting against all odds. Murphy is our main character – the author’s persona – and right from a very young age, we are told how troubled his family dynamics were. From his mother’s health problems to his father always away for work, to his strained relationship with his brother, nothing comes easy. But Doc enters Murphy’s life, a unique mentor that helps him navigate all life’s hardships. Doc Pardee, an 83-year-old man, friend of Murphy’s grandfather and a legend raising horses anoints Murphy as Pardner, and teaches him everything he needs to know to win on the racetrack and in life. The work ethic instilled bears its fruits, and Murphy ends up moving from one position to the next, always with success, sometimes it seems only supported by his own sheer will and determination.

This is a fictional rendition of Browning’s life, that gives the readers a glimpse of his energetic and lively personality, making it easy to believe the tremendous success he’s had. There are a lot of emotions in here to unpack, all beautifully described by the author, with great sensitivity and restraint. We can’t help but feel invested in Murphy and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about his life, his challenges, and his wins, through the skilled work of Browning. The characters in the book are peculiar but oddly relatable. I believe this is a book that will appeal to anyone who enjoys biographies but also books about cowboys.
Patrick Browning, author of Pardner: 1975 which is not presented as an autobiography, but it is very close to being one since the predominance of what is written is true and taken from real life. The author tells the story of a quick-witted young man named Murphy who has had a difficult upbringing and becomes cowboy who is very good at what he does. The story is told in narrative form allowing the reader more background information of each character in the story. We learn that Murphy’s mother is sick and Murphy’s dad works all the time leaving Murphy to his own devices. Murphy’s family feels that he is a burden on them until he starts working for Doc. Doc owns a ranch camp and teaches young boys about life and how to be a rancher. From there the reader is taken on an emotional journey of Murphy’s life learning how to be a rancher to becoming a man.

This is the first book I have read from Browning, and I was pleasantly surprised. The character development especially that of Murphy is one to be admired. Browning perfectly portrays the thoughts and actions of a little boy just trying to make it through life. The characters in the story are unique and quirky making them believable. I was instantly immersed into Murphy’s life story, and I wanted to know more making this a book that I couldn’t put down. The author’s use of descriptions allows the reader to vividly imagine the scenery and how each character in the book looks. The book is around 300 pages, but they fly by and I was sad once I had finished the book. I look forward to reading many more works from this author. I highly recommend this book to those who are looking for a coming-of-age story that will take you on an unexpected journey.
Sol Tyler
Set in the dusty ranch lands of Arizona, Patrick M. Browning’s Pardner: 1975 follows the tale of adolescent smart mouthed Murphy and his journey to becoming a genuine cowboy. Escaping from a rough home life, his luck changes for the better when he gets taken under the wing of one of the best horsemen in Arizona. Murphy’s taste for horses and women takes him all over the United States and he learns things he never imagined possible. Through trials and adventures from horse racing to close calls with death, Murphy who is known as Pardner grows into a well-known and successful horseman and one who will form future generations. Author Patrick Browning’s writing is delightful as he is a genuine wordsmith. The characters are realistic and believable, and I found myself captivated by this story and entertained from beginning to end. The book has an essence similar to the writing of Ben K. Green, who is one of my favorite authors and as such I was happily surprised. The manner in which the author manages to portray difficult and emotional matters, made this an impactful read. I feel that anyone who loves or has been around horses will instantly feel a sort of nostalgia with Pardner, and even though he is headstrong and sassy, you will be rooting for him to overcome all of his adversities and become the cowboy he dreams of. The author’s evident knowledge of the subject matter he is writing about, is prominent throughout the book, and is an aspect that lends credibility and makes the book quite enjoyable. A great read for anyone who loves the American West, Pardner: 1975 is a touching version of a cowboy coming of age story, and one that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
Martha Custis
Pardner: 1975 by Patrick Browning is, in the words of the author, very close to being an autobiography. He has been a horseman and rancher for his entire life, currently in Arizona Ranch lands. Keen on writing stories about cowboys the author takes us on a coming-of-age journey of a young boy who is rough around the edges just trying to find his way through life. The story begins with a young boy named Murphy who learns that he enjoys being a cowboy but faces many issues while growing up. We see the progression of Murphy’s life from young man to adult facing his own battles and personal struggles to becoming a good cattleman. I am not too familiar with cowboy jargon but I was able to clearly visualize and understand the surroundings, life on a farm, and the phrases and language used in the book. Browning’s writing style is warming and engaging. Every character is well developed, and the conversations are fascinating. The story is told from a narrator’s perspective allowing the reader to see from everyone’s perspective. The plot of the story is fascinating and unpredictable, be prepared to be taken on an emotional adventure. I found this book hard to put down because I became attached to Murphy, and I wanted to see where his story went. When I first started reading this book, I wasn’t really sure where the story was going to go as it sounds like Murphy is a burden on his family. Thanks to Doc, Murphy learns that he is good at being a horseman and so begins his journey to adulthood. Pardner is entertaining, gritty, and will have you wondering just what will happen next. Highly recommended.
Author Patrick Browning has been a Horseman and Rancher his whole life. He created a story similar to his life to share his world and love for living on a ranch. Pardner: 1975, is a coming-of-age story that is pretty similar to the author’s life but this book is not considered an autobiography. Readers are introduced to Murphy, a young boy who is in the best and yet scariest moment of his life and has to determine what actions to take to becoming a man. Pardner is an inspiring read that takes the reader on an emotional journey. The reader is immersed into Murphy’s world, and we are given the opportunity to watch him grow. I immediately became emotionally invested in the story and connected to Murphy’s character. You watch him grow from a smart mouthed young boy into a capable man. Browning’s writing is so vivid that I felt part of the ride in every step of Murphy’s decisions. The author’s descriptions in the story are well written that it feels as though you are watching a movie. The characters are very simple really, but I fell in love with the complexity of their relationships. Watching a little boy turn into a man was very eye-opening especially because as a woman I was able to understand the perspective of a male character and that can only talk wonders of Browning’s writing choices. Leaving an indecisive ending, was the cherry on top for me! I am beyond excited to read more about Murphy’s life. I was able to learn quite a lot about what life on the ranch means and how it helps one to develop character. I can’t wait to read more books from this author. I highly recommend this book.
Pardner: 1975, is a compelling novel written by Patrick Browning. We are introduced to a 12 your old boy named Murphy who lives with his parents and his older brother but is considered to be a burden on them. His life isn't that nice with his sick mother and his father working for long hours. So, Murphy decides to work to help Dad but to Murphy's surprise his father finds an adult- job with Doc. Doc owns a ranch and helps young boys become ranchers. Fortunately, the moment Murphy gets his first job, his life changes. Doc is a connoisseur and lover of horses and Murphy becomes one as well along the years. We join Murphy through this growing process with its ups and downs.

When I started reading this book I was immediately drawn in and couldn’t put the book down. It's an engaging reading with a vast vocabulary related to the world of horses, which I found intriguing. I must admit that I had to look up some words in the dictionary, but it didn’t take away from the story. The author’s writing style is one that I enjoyed since we know there is some truth to this story. The reader is immersed in every moment and decision that each character makes. Each chapter deals with a particular moment in Murphy's life. Each chapter givesthe reader a different aspect, from his life, his family, his friends and Doc’s teachings. I felt there were many lessons in this story for Murphy to learn, making this a great read for a younger audience. All in all, I found this story truly admirable and charming and one that I highly recommend.
Pardner: 1975 by Patrick Browning follows a young boy who learns the skill of horse rearing and engaging in physical labor by taking care of horses. He was offered the opportunity to enter match races on the weekend after school, but the experience led to difficulties and harsh obstacles. Incredibly, these experiences shaped Murphy’s character and resilience. As the story progresses, Murphy goes through a summer growth spurt, which led to him getting involved in competitive fighting. Murphy’s life was shaped by trials, but he reasoned that “nobody can release you from mental imprisonment.” He grows not only mentally but in physical stature, to 6’ 2” where he becomes a champ at fighting. He learns to use his strengths to win and became good at fighting to win. Author Browning has written a novel that is one to be applauded! I really enjoyed reading about the growth and self-discovery of Murphy. In the beginning of the story, I felt hopeless for Murphy but towards the end I was cheering for him. The author takes the reader on an emotional journey through the good and the bad. The book’s strength lies in the vivid recollection of events that were instrumental in Murphy finding himself. The story gave me a whole new perspective and respect for ranchers. The dialogue is authentic and honest. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Once I realized that I could defend myself physically as well as mentally, my life started to change.” This made me pause while reading and self-actualize, it was quite inspirational. The author ends the book nicely, with a hint of romance. The awkwardness of admiration showed innocence and it was quirky but fun to read. “I have never felt about anyone the way I have feel about you…” This makes me wish the book had elaborated more about his adult life, but that’s the romantic in me.
Falon Charles-Jabri