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Larry McMurtry's portrait of the artist as a young man: on a wild ride towards literary fame, and leaving behind everyone he deeply loves...
The first time I saw Billy he came walking out of a cloud. . . . Welcome to the wild, hot-blooded adventures of Billy the Kid, the American West's most legendary outlaw. Larry McMurtry takes us on a hell-for-leather journey with Billy and his friends as they ride, drink, love, fight, shoot, and escape their way into the shining memories of Western myth. Surrounded by a splendid cast of characters that only Larry McMurtry could create, Billy charges headlong toward his fate, to become in death the unforgettable desperado he aspires to be in life. Not sinceLonesome Dovehas there been such a rich, exciting novel about the cowboys, Indians, and gunmen who live at the blazing heart of the American dream.
McMurtry, who wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for "Brokeback Mountain," returns with a fascinating and surprisingly intimate memoir of his lifelong passion of buying, selling, and collecting rare and antiquarian books.
Boone's Lick is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry's return to the kind of story that made him famous -- an enthralling tale of the nineteenth-century west. Like his bestsellers Lonesome Dove, Streets of Laredo, Comanche Moon, and Dead Man's Walk, Boone's Lick transports the reader to the era about which McMurtry writes better and more shrewdly than anyone else. Told with McMurtry's unique blend of historical fact and sheer storytelling genius, the novel follows the Cecil family's arduous jour...
Annie Proulx has written some of the most original and brilliant short stories in contemporary literature, and for many readers and reviewers, Brokeback Mountain is her masterpiece. Brokeback Mountain was originally published in The New Yorker. It won the National Magazine Award and an O. Henry Prize. Included in this volume is Annie Proulx's haunting story about the difficult, dangerous love affair between a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy. Also included is the celebrated screenplay for the major motion picture "Brokeback Mountain," written by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana. All three writers have contributed essays on the process of adapting this critically acclaimed story for film.
In a letter to her daughter back East, Martha Jane is not shy about her own importance: "Martha Jane -- better known as Calamity -- is just one of the handful of aging legends who travel to London as part of Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show in Buffalo Girls. As he describes the insatiable curiosity of Calamity's Indian friend No Ears, Annie Oakley's shooting match with Lord Windhouveren, and other highlights of the tour, McMurtry turns the story of a band of hardy, irrepressible survivors into an unfo...
In this tale of high-spirited and terrifying adventure, set against the background of the West that Larry McMurtry has made his own,By Sorrow's Riveris an epic in its own right, with an extraordinary young woman as its leading figure. At the heart of this third volume of his Western saga remains the beautiful and determined Tasmin Berrybender, now married to the "Sin Killer" and mother to their young son, Monty. By Sorrow's Rivercontinues the Berrybender party's trail across the endless Great Plains of the West toward Santa Fe, where they intend, those who are lucky enough to survive the journey, to spend the winter. They meet up with a vast array of characters from the history of the West: Kit Carson, the famous scout; Le Partezon, the fearsome Sioux war chief; two aristocratic Frenchmen whose eccentric aim is to cross the Great Plains by hot air balloon; a party of slavers; a band of raiding Pawnee; and many other astonishing characters who prove, once again, that the rolling, grassy plains are not, in fact, nearly as empty of life as they look. Most of what is there is dangerous and hostile, even when faced with Tasmin's remarkable, frosty sangfroid. She is one of the strongest and most interesting of Larry McMurtry's women characters, and is at the center of this powerful and ambitious novel of the West.
In this tale of adventure, at once high-spirited and terrifying, set against the background of the West that Larry McMurtry has made his own, By Sorrow's River is an epic in its own right with an extraordinary young woman as its leading figure.At the heart of this third volume of his Western saga remains the beautiful and determined Tasmin Berrybender, now married to the "Sin Killer" and mother to their young son, Monty, who, although Tasmin intends him to be an English gentleman like his grandfather, is at the moment living the childhood of a savage.By Sorrow's River continues the Berrybender party's trail across the endless Great Plains of the West toward Santa Fe, where they intend, those who are lucky enough to survive the journey, to spend the winter. Along the way, Tasmin, whose husband, Jim Snow, has vanished off to scout ahead of them, falls in love with Pomp Charbonneau, only to see him killed by the ruthless commander of Spanish troops, while her father, Lord Berrybender, now reduced to limping along on one leg and a pair of crutches, increasingly makes a fool of himself by falling in love with his own mistress. They meet up with a vast cast of characters from the history of the West: Kit Carson, the famous scout; Le Partezon, the fearsome Sioux war chief; The Ear Taker, an Indian whose specialty is creeping up on people while they are asleep and slicing an ear off with a sharp knife; two aristocratic Frenchmen whose eccentric aim is to cross the Great Plains by hot air balloon; a party of slavers led by the cowardly but bloodthirsty Obregon; a band of raiding Pawnee; and many other astonishing characters who prove, once again, that the rolling, grassy plains are not, in fact, nearly as empty of life as they look. Most of what is there is dangerous and hostile, even when faced with Tasmin's remarkable, frosty sangfroid. She is one of the strongest and most interesting of Larry McMurtry's women characters, fairly resistant to shock, whether at bloodshed, the behavior of children, or sex, and at the center of this powerful and ambitious novel of the West.
In Cadillac Jack, Larry McMurtry -- Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lonesome Dove -- proves his unique talent for conjuring up the real, often eccentric people who inhabit the American heartland and for capturing the peculiarly American search for new frontiers and adventure. Cadillac Jack is a rodeo-cowboy-turned-antique-scout whose nomadic, womanizing life -- centered on his classic pearl-colored Cadillac -- rambles between the Texas flatlands of flea markets and small-time auctions and Washington, D.C.'s political-social life of parties, hustlers, vixens, and spies. Along the way he meets a cast of indelibly etched characters: among them, the strikingly beautiful, social-climbing Cindy Sanders; Boog Miller, the tackily-dressing millionaire good ole boy who patronizes Jack's business and who has more political muscle than a litter of lobbyists; Khaki Descartes, the pushy, brain-picking, Washington woman reporter; Freddy Fu, an undercover CIA agent working out of a greasy barbecue joint called The Cover-Up; and Jean Arber, the mother of two and a fledgling antique-store owner who can't quite figure out if she'll marry Jack or not. Wild, touching, and hilariously funny, Cadillac Jack is Larry McMurtry's raucous social satire of sex, politics, and love in the fast lane, peopled with Americans only he could render.
The great Native American Novel of a battered veteran returning home to heal his mind and spiritMore than thirty-five years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature, a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing. Tayo, a World War II veteran of mixed ancestry, returns to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation. He is deeply scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people. Only by immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace that was taken from him. Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power. The Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition contains a new preface by the author and an introduction by Larry McMurtry.For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the early 1800s to the end of his life in 1917, Buffalo Bill Cody was as famous as anyone could be. Annie Oakley was his most celebrated protégée, the 'slip of a girl' from Ohio who could (and did) outshoot anybody to become the most celebrated star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. In this sweeping dual biography, Larry McMurtry explores the lives, the legends and above all the truth about two larger-than-life American figures. With his Wild West show, Buffalo Bill helped invent the image of the West that still exists today -- cowboys and Indians, rodeo, rough rides, sheriffs and outlaws, trick shooting, Stetsons, and buckskin. The short, slight Annie Oakley -- born Phoebe Ann Moses -- spent sixteen years with Buffalo Bill's Wild West, where she entertained Queen Victoria, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria and Kaiser Wilhelm II, among others. Beloved by all who knew her, including Hunkpapa leader, Sitting Bull, Oakley became a legend in her own right and after her death, achieved a new lease of fame in Irving Berlin's musical Annie, Get Your Gun. To each other, they were always 'Missie' and 'Colonel'. To the rest of the world, they were cultural icons, setting the path for all that followed. Larry McMurtry -- a writer who understands the West better than any other -- recreates their astonishing careers and curious friendship in a fascinating history that reads like the very best of his fiction.
The Colonel and Little Missie: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the Beginnings of Superstardom in Americaby Larry Mcmurtry
Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-seven novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove. His other works include two collections of essays, three memoirs and more than thirty screenplays.
The second book of Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove series takes us further into the world of the old American West, and into the lives of Gus and Call.
Legends cloud the life of Crazy Horse, a seminal figure in American history but an enigma even to his own people in his own day. This superb biography looks back across more than 120 years at the life and death of this great Sioux warrior who became a reluctant leader at the Battle of Little Bighorn. With his uncanny gift for understanding the human psyche, Larry McMurtry animates the character of this remarkable figure, whose betrayal by white representatives of the U.S. government was a tragic turning point in the history of the West. A mythic figure puzzled over by generations of historians, Crazy Horse emerges from McMurtry's sensitive portrait as the poignant hero of a long-since-vanished epoch.
In this lavishly illustrated volume, Larry McMurtry, the greatest chronicler of the American West, tackles for the first time one of the paramount figures of Western and American history. On June 25, 1876, General George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry attacked a large Lakota Cheyenne village on the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory. He lost not only the battle but his life--and the lives of his entire cavalry. "Custer's Last Stand" was a spectacular defeat that shocked the country and grew quickly into a legend that has reverberated in our national consciousness to this day. Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurtry has long been fascinated by the "Boy General" and his rightful place in history. In Custer, he delivers an expansive, agile, and clear-eyed reassessment of the iconic general's life and legacy--how the legend was born, the ways in which it evolved, what it has meant--told against the broad sweep of the American narrative. We see Custer in all his contradictions and complexity as the perpetually restless man with a difficult marriage, a hunger for glory, and an unwavering confidence in his abilities. McMurtry explores how the numerous controversies that grew out of the Little Bighorn combined with a perfect storm of technological developments--the railroad, the camera, and the telegraph--to fan the flames of his legend. He shows how Custer's wife, Libbie, worked for decades after his death to portray Major Marcus Reno as the cause of the disaster of the Little Bighorn, and how Buffalo Bill Cody, who ended his Wild West Show with a valiant reenactment of Custer's Last Stand, played a pivotal role in spreading Custer's notoriety. While Custer is first and foremost an enthralling story filled with larger-than-life characters--Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, William J. Fetterman, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud--McMurtry also argues that Little Bighorn should be seen as a monumental event in our nation's history. Like all great battles, its true meaning can be found in its impact on our politics and policy, and the epic defeat clearly signaled the end of the Indian Wars--and brought to a close the great narrative of western expansion. In Custer, Larry McMurtry delivers a magisterial portrait of a complicated, misunderstood man that not only irrevocably changes our long-standing conversation about Custer, but once again redefines our understanding of the American West.
Dead Man's Walk is the first, extraordinary book in the epic Lonesome Dove tetralogy, in which Larry McMurtry breathed new life into the vanished American West and created two of the most memorable heroes in contemporary fiction: Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call.As young Texas Rangers, Gus and Call have much to learn about survival in a land fraught with perils: not only the blazing heat and raging tornadoes, roiling rivers and merciless Indians but also the deadly whims of soldiers. On their first expeditions--led by incompetent officers and accompanied by the robust, dauntless whore known as the Great Western--they will face death at the hands of the cunning Comanche war chief Buffalo Hump and the silent Apache Gomez. They will be astonished by the Mexican army. And Gus will meet the love of his life.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry writes novels set in the American heartland, but his real territory is the heart itself. His gift for writing about women -- their love for reckless, hopeless men; their ability to see the good in losers; and their peculiar combination of emotional strength and sudden weakness -- makes The Desert Rose the bittersweet, funny, and touching book that it is. Harmony is a Las Vegas showgirl. At night she's a lead dancer in a gambling casino; during the day she raises peacocks. She's one of a dying breed of dancers, faced with fewer and fewer jobs and an even bleaker future. Yet she maintains a calm cheerfulness in that arid neon landscape of supermarkets, drive-in wedding chapels, and all-night casinos. While Harmony's star is fading, her beautiful, cynical daughter Pepper's is on the rise. But Harmony remains wistful and optimistic through it all. She is the unexpected blossom in the wasteland, the tough and tender desert rose. Hers is a loving portrait that only Larry McMurtry could render.
Funny, sad, full of wonderful characters and the word-perfect dialogue of which he is the master, McMurtry brings the Thalia saga to an end with Duane confronting depression in the midst of plenty. Surrounded by his children, who all seem to be going through life crises involving sex, drugs, and violence; his wife, Karla, who is wrestling with her own demons; and friends like Sonny, who seem to be dying, Duane can't seem to make sense of his life anymore. He gradually makes his way through a protracted...
Larry McMurtry's "Terms of Endearment" touched readers in a way no other story has in recent years. The earthy humor and the powerful emotional impact that set this novel apart rise to brilliant new heights with "The Evening Star." McMurtry takes us deep into the heart of Texas, and deep into the heart of one of the most memorable characters of our time, Aurora Greenway -- along with her family, friends, and lovers -- in a tale of affectionate wit, bittersweet tenderness, and the unexpected turns that life can take. This is Larry McMurtry at his very best: warm, compassionate, full of comic invention, an author so attuned to the feelings, needs, and desires of his characters that they possess a reality unique in American fiction.
The truth about Hollywood's moguls, fads, flops, and box-office busters, written with the cool and ironic wit of a true insider.
In this brilliant saga -- the final volume of The Berrybender Narratives and an epic in its own right -- Larry McMurtry lives up to his reputation for delivering novels with "wit, grace, and more than a hint of what might be called muscular nostalgia, fit together to create a panoramic portrait of the American West"(The New York Times Book Review). As this finale opens, Tasmin and her family are under irksome, though comfortable, arrest in Mexican Santa Fe. Her father, the eccentric Lord Berrybender, is planning to head for Texas with his whole family and his retainers, English, American, and Native American. Tasmin, who would once have followed her husband, Jim Snow, anywhere, is no longer even sure she likes him, or knows where to go to next. Neither does anyone else -- even Captain Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame, is puzzled by the great changes sweeping over the West, replacing red men and buffalo with towns and farms. In the meantime, Jim Snow, accompanied by Kit Carson, journeys to New Orleans, where he meets up with a muscular black giant named Juppy, who turns out to be one of Lord Berrybender's many illegitimate offspring, and in whose company they make their way back to Santa Fe. But even they are unable to prevent the Mexicans from carrying the Berrybender family on a long and terrible journey across the desert to Vera Cruz. Starving, dying of thirst, and in constant, bloody battle with slavers pursuing them, the Berrybenders finally make their way to civilization -- if New Orleans of the time can be called that -- where Jim Snow has to choose between Tasmin and the great American plains, on which he has lived all his life in freedom, and where, after all her adventures, Tasmin must finally decide where her future lies. With a cast of characters that includes almost every major real-life figure of the West,Folly and Gloryis a novel that represents the culmination of a great and unique four-volume saga of the early days of the West; it is one of Larry McMurtry's finest achievements.
"One thing I've always liked about Hollywood is its zip, or speed. The whole industry depends to some extent on talent spotting. The hundreds of agents, studio executives, and producers who roam the streets of the city of Los Angeles let very little in the way of talent slip by." In this final installment of the memoir trilogy that includes Books and Literary Life, Larry McMurtry, "the master of the show-stopping anecdote" (O: The Oprah Magazine) turns his own keenly observing eye to his rollercoaster romance with Hollywood. As both the creator of numerous works successfully adapted by others for film and television (Terms of Endearment, Lonesome Dove, and the Emmy-nominated The Murder of Mary Phagan) and the author of screenplays including The Last Picture Show (with Peter Bogdanovich), Streets of Laredo, and the Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain (both with longtime writing partner Diana Ossana), McMurtry has seen all the triumphs and frustrations that Tinseltown has to offer a writer, and he recounts them in a voice unfettered by sentiment and yet tinged with his characteristic wry humor. Beginning with his sudden entrée into the world of film as the author of Horseman, Pass By--adapted into the Paul Newman-starring Hud in 1963--McMurtry regales readers with anecdotes that find him holding hands with Cybill Shepherd, watching Jennifer Garner's audition tape, and taking lunch at Chasen's again and again. McMurtry fans and Hollywood hopefuls alike will find much to cherish in these pages, as McMurtry illuminates life behind the scenes in America's dream factory.
When Larry McMurtry's classic novel of the post-World War II era was originally published in 1961, it created a sensation in Texas literary circles. Never before had a writer portrayed the contemporary West in conflict with the Old West in such stark, realistic, unsentimental ways. Horseman, Pass By, on which the film Hud is based, tells the story of Homer Bannon, an old-time cattleman who epitomizes the frontier values of honesty and decency, and Hud, his unscrupulous stepson. Caught in the middle is the narrator, Homer's young grandson, Lonnie, who is as much drawn to his grandfather's strength of character as he is to Hud's hedonism and materialism. Memorable characters, powerful themes, and illuminating detail make Horseman, Pass By vintage McMurtry.
Writing with characteristic grace and wit, Larry McMurtry tackles the full spectrum of his favorite themes -- from sex, literature, and cowboys to rodeos, small-town folk, and big-city slickers. First published in 1968, In a Narrow Grave is the classic statement of what it means to come from Texas. In these essays, McMurtry opens a window into the past and present of America's largest state. In his own words: "Before I was out of high school, I realized I was witnessing the dying of a way of life -- the rural, pastoral way of life. In the Southwest the best energies were no longer to be found on the homeplace, or in the small towns; the cities required these energies and the cities bought them...." "I recognized, too, that the no-longer-open but still spacious range on which my ranching family had made its livelihood...would not produce a livelihood for me or for my siblings and their kind....The myth of the cowboy grew purer every year because there were so few actual cowboys left to contradict it...." "I had actually been living in cities for fourteen years when I pulled together these essays; intellectually I had been a city boy, but imaginatively, I was still trudging up the dusty path that led out of the country...."
Larry McMurtry's major four-volume series follows the Berrybender family--aristocratic, English, and fiercely out of place--on their journey to see the American West as it begins to open up.Sin KillerIt is 1830, the dawn of a new era in America's growth, when Lord and Lady Berrybender embark on a journey up the Missouri River to explore the frontier and to broaden the horizons of their children: Tasmin, a budding young woman of grit, beauty, and determination, her vivacious and difficult sister, and her brother. As they journey by rough stages up the Missouri, they meet with all the dangers, difficulties, beauties, and temptations of the untamed West. For Tasmin, these temptations include Jim Snow, a frontiersman, ferocious Indian fighter, and part-time preacher known up and down the Missouri as "the Sin Killer."The Wandering HillAbandoning their luxurious steamer, which is stuck in the ice near the Knife River, the Berrybenders make their way overland to the confluence of the Missouri and the Yellowstone rivers to spend the winter in conditions of siege at the trading post of Pierre Boisdeffre. By now, Tasmin is a married woman, or as good as, living with the elusive young mountain man Jim Snow, pregnant with his child and about to discover that he has secrets he hasn't told her. For his part, Jim is about to discover that in taking the outspoken, tough-minded, stubbornly practical young aristocratic woman into his teepee he has bitten off more than he can chew... By Sorrow's RiverThe Berrybender party once again takes to the trail, across the endless Great Plains of the West towards Santa Fe, where they intend--those who are lucky enough to survive the journey--to spend the winter. Along the way, they meet up with a varied cast of characters from the history of the West--Kit Carson, the famous scout; Le Partezon, the fearsome Sioux war chief; two aristocratic Frenchmen whose eccentric aim is to cross the Great Plains by hot air balloon; a band of raiding Pawnee; and many other astonishing characters who prove once again that the rolling, grassy plains are not, in fact, nearly as empty of life as they look. Folly and GloryUnder irksome, though comfortable, arrest with her family in Mexican Santa Fe, Tasmin Berrybender--who would once have followed Jim Snow anywhere--is no longer even sure she likes him, or knows where to go to next. Neither does anyone else--even Captain Clark, of Lewis & Clark fame, is puzzled by the great changes sweeping over the West, replacing red men and buffalo with towns and farms. As the Berrybenders embark on a desperate journey to New Orleans--starving, dying of thirst, and in constant, bloody battle, with slavers pursuing them--both Jim Snow and Tasmin find themselves forced to choose among conflicting loves, and finally decide where their futures lie.
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