Biography •  Southwest and Literary Studies

$19.95 hardcover

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Ol' Max Evans: The First Thousand Years

Slim Randles

Ol' Max Evans is a rollicking tale of a powerful, if unconventional, literary figure. From his childhood in West Texas to his adolescence as a cowboy in northeastern New Mexico, from D-Day in World War II to the wild world of Hollywood, Max Evans has truly lived many lifetimes. Peppered through all this mayhem were stints as a gold smuggler, mining company executive, artist in Taos, professional calf roper, movie producer, and legendary partygoer.
During these years of havoc and hijinks, Max has remained true to his many best friends, and to his writing. From The Rounders, which brought him fame, money, and his first movie deal, to Madam Millie, his biography of a celebrated New Mexico madam, Max's work has paralleled his own life. In Ol' Max we witness his friendships, the wild horses, the bar brawls, the discovery of his place in literature, the laughter, and a mystical world of shadows and mystery, which date back to the year he spent with his Cherokee grandmother as a boy.

Life, says Max, is both ridiculous and fun. John Milton, in the South Dakota Quarterly, said that Max had spent a long life charging windmills with a broken lance, riding a three-legged horse.

"I think (Max is) one of the greatest writers alive. We got to be friends and I felt like the guys who got to sit around and drink ale with Shakespeare." - Robert J. Conley, novelist and historian

"Max Evans is one of these guys you can take anywhere . . . and still be ashamed of him." - Charles Champlin, Entertainment Arts editor emeritus, Los Angeles Times


Slim Randles is a former cowboy, mule packer, and hunting guide. He divides his time between Albuquerque and Belen.


". . . journalist Slim Randles offers up Max's vibrant tales. . . the book is full of life as it tells the adventures of Ol' Max Evans."


The Union County Leader, Clayton, NM

". . . an entertaining book, indeed."


The Santa Fe New Mexican

" Ol' Max Evans. . . is devoted to an unconventional literary figure from the West who was also a gold smuggler, mining company executive, artist in Taos, professional calf roper, movie producer and legendary partygoer."


Publishers Weekly

"This book reinforces Evans' image as a freewheeling westerner who acts impulsively and spontaneously. His choices haven't always been wise, but they're never boring. . . a celebration of a treasured New Mexico personality and his remarkable career."


New Mexico Prime Time

"This is a biography of a living legend here in New Mexico. . . And Randles' prose has the salt required to describe a man like Max Evans."


Las Cruces Sun News

"Max could find humor in a boil on the end of his nose. . . If you don't read Ol' Max and love it, you have no fun in your soul."


Roundup Magazine

"Author Slim Randles skillfully pulls together boxes of notes and over a hundred hours of taped interviews with Ol' Max and his contemporaries to create a rollicking biography of the raconteur, the first of its kind and long overdue. If you have read his more than two dozen books, you would know his autobiography. Ol' Max Evans is like reading all his books but with the real names and places."


Southwest BookViews

" Ol' Max is a down-to-earth biography, filled with first-hand accounts and quotations from Max, his family and friends. It tells the story and adventures of a professional calf roper, a Hollywood producer, a successful Taos artist and an acclaimed writer: all named Max Evans!"


enchantment NM

6 x 9 in. 352 pages 103 halftones