The basis for the Oscarâ€“winning buddy film. â€śThere is no questioning the rampant power achieved through shriveling, shattering scenesâ€ť (Kirkus Reviews).
Midnight Cowboy is considered by many to be one of the best American novels published since World War II. The main story centers around Joe Buck, a naive but eager and ambitious young Texan, who decides to leave his dead-end job in search of a grand and glamorous life he believes he will find in New York City. But the city turns out to be a much more difficult place to negotiate than Joe could ever have imagined. He soon finds himself and his dreams compromised. Buckâ€™s fall from innocence and his relationship with the crippled street hustler Ratso Rizzo form the novelâ€™s emotional nucleus. This unlikely pairing of Ratso and Joe Buck is perhaps one of the most complex portraits of friendship in contemporary literature.
The focus on male friendship follows a strong path cut by Twainâ€™s Huck and Jim, Melvilleâ€™s Ishmael and Queequeg, Fitzgeraldâ€™s Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby, and Kerouacâ€™s Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty. Midnight Cowboy takes a well-deserved place among a group of distinguished American novels that writeâ€”often with unnerving candorâ€”about those who live on the fringe of society.
â€śLeaves the world of innocence that is muddied by sex for a world that is innocent in the midst of sex, with a protagonist who is a sexual entrepreneur.â€ť â€”The New York Review of Books