Monday, July 28, 2014

LARRY MCMURTRY: DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS



Although most known for his western-themed novels, Larry McMurtry has written an astonishing number of books in a variety of genres. His works can be found in the Western, Fiction, Biography, History and CD sections at the Monrovia Public Library. And, one of his titles can be found in the DVD section as McMurtry co-wrote the Academy Award winning screenplay for the film Brokeback Mountain.
 
McMurtry always found inspiration from where he was born and raised in Texas and many of his books are set in that hardscrabble world. He continues to live there and once owned a book store in his home town. His breakout book was The Last Picture Show, a coming of age story about a group of young people growing up in a small town. The natural dialogue and realistic characters, also later found in Texasville, make them honest and appealing.

Lonesome Dove is considered McMurtry’s masterpiece and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. This epic story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana is an adventure, love story and character study. McMurtry is such a deft writer that readers experience the sounds, tastes and changing temperatures of the trail. The author’s most recent, and beautifully reviewed, novel returns to the old west with The Last Kind Words Saloon is about Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.
  
McMurtry’s biographies focus on some of the west’s most famous personalities and include The Colonel and the Missie: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and the Beginnings of Superstardom in America and Custer. The author takes an autobiographical look at his own life in Hollywood, about the 40 years he spent writing and making movies. One highlight is reading about how boring it is to attend award ceremonies. 



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