Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Larry McMurtry biographies

Books | Literary Life | Hollywood
by Larry McMurtry [Biography McMurtry]

This trio of slim autobiographies was an unexpected delight. I haven't read any other titles than these from McMurtry's large output but I am a big fan of the Lonesome Dove TV installments and am familiar with the film of Terms of Endearment, primarily because part of it was made here in Lincoln. Whether you are a McMurtry devotee or not, these memoirs are very engaging on a cerebral, social, and cultural level. The chapters are short, sometimes carrying a similar thread throughout several, and give the sense that you are confabbing with Larry one on one -- whether it's talking about his childhood and a pivotal box of books given to him by an uncle or describing the M.O. of a persistent impersonator. Reading all three installments creates a fascinating yet down-homey portrait of this multi-faceted man of letters, bibliophile, and accidental screenwriter. His fond recollections of friends have charm and poignancy and his no-nonsense observations about acquaintances and events confirm his "outsider" status. The first volume is probably the 'dryest' but all three contain adroit and concise anecdotes about the people he's known and the things he's done and seen, from glimpsing Paul Newman only from afar when he visited the set of the first movie (Hud) made from one his novels (Horseman, Pass By), to owning rare-books stores in Washington DC and Texas, to winning a Pulitzer Prize and an Oscar. -- all recommended by Becky W. C. - Walt Branch Library

[ Larry McMurtry on Wikipedia ]

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