Author McMurtry's Book
Shay is a 15 year old boy living in Boone's Lick, Missouri, in the wild, wild west days. Wild Bill Hickok is a frequent visitor as other wild characters. One day "Ma" gets it in her head to take a wagon train out to Wyoming to hunt for her wandering husband. Why they are going, no one knows but Ma. With her are her sons Shay and G.T. and daughter Marcy and brother in law Seth. The story is told from Shay's point of view....
This is the immediate prequel to Lonesome Dove and while it does not rise to the qualitative heights that Dove does, it is great fun to revisit Gus and Woodrow again. In my replies to this review's questions, I amalgamated Gus and Woodrow since they are simply co-subjects of the story. The main issue in this book is a huge raid launched by a Commanche chief named Buffalo Hump into the settlements of the whites. McMurtry does a good job of keeping his fic...
Master storyteller Larry McMurtry, most famous for the Lonesome Dove books, wrote this very slim biography of Crazy Horse, the Sioux warrior who battled against the U.S. Army to keep his people free but ultimately decided they had to surrender. McMurtry begins by describing the monument that is still being built to Crazy Horse in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Other scholars have written biographies of Crazy Horse hundreds of pages long. McMurtry ...
Dead Man's Walk
This is the first installment (in character life-lines, not in writing) of the Lonesome Dove series. In it we are introduced to Gus and Woodrow when they are young men and just starting out on the path that leads, eventually, to the final volume, The Streets of Laredo. This book lays the foundations of the personalities and conflicts that dog the two men throughout the rest of the books. Quite good, and highly recommended though not as good as either Lon...
Larry McMurtry's vast, wild epic of a cattle drive that is something more is full of action and unforgettable characters. The story follows two long-time friends and former Texas Rangers, Woodrow Call and Augustus McCrae at the end of the 1800's. Their lives as cattle ranchers along the Rio Grande have lost the excitement of their younger lawman days. They set off on a long and difficult cattle drive to Montana along with an outlaw named Jake Spoon, ...
Larry McMurtry is on a voyage aboard the freighter Aranui carrying American and European passengers around French Polynesia, specifically the Marquesas Islands. He has left his elderly and dying mother back in Wichita Falls, Texas to write about the life of his parents, his own family, and his trip to the islands. For the first 50 pages he writes of their struggles, disappointments, failures and eventual separation after 40+ years, while adding gratuit...
Duane came from little, managed to amass a fortune, then, thanks to an oil glut, comes close to losing it all, figuritively and mentally. His children are out of control, his wife, Karla, believes in "open marriage" and she's frequently out of sorts with Duane because he doesn't take to that lifestyle with the same gusto as she. His main complaint regarding her affairs, however, deal more with her taste in men than his jealousy. Her favorite means of e...
The Last Picture Show
Excellent coming of age story set in small Texas town in the late 1950's. The minor characters are as vividly drawn as the three central characters. Though sex is a major theme, it is presented with both a prelude and an aftermath....the anticipation of sex along with its consequences. The characters Sonny Crawford and Ruth Popper are among the saddest yet moving people ever presented in a novel....
Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen
In this book, Larry McMurtry (author of such great novels as The Last Picture Show and Lonesome Dove) interweaves tales about his family with stories from his life as a writer and bookseller with thoughts about an essay written by Walter Benjamin about storytelling. McMurtry was born way out west in Texas, in dry, flat Archer County. His grandparents were true pioneers, who arrived in the area when it was still unsettled. He grew up on their stories...
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