Something about the last two books of this series and perhaps Larry McMurtry in general really feels the need to weigh in on whether or not Duane Moore is ever going to have sex again. The previous book When the Light Goes is decidedly bad, and this book is better, but both are obsessed with this question. A few years on from the previous book, we find Duane still married to the young Annie, who is more wayward than hoped and the two have a kind of arrangement wherein she may have affairs as she wishes. On a trip to Europe she falls in love and wants a divorce, now with her out of the way, we can focus on Duane’s sex life. In Thalia, we find out that a rich billionaire has funded a black rhino preserve on tens of thousands of acres near Duane’s cabin, that a young male rhino has taken a liking to Duane, and that between the billionaire (a woman in her fifties), the Cambodian immigrant who has replaced Annie at Moore Oil, and a young would be porn star, Duane might have some final options.
The book is contemplative than the last book, which is good, but less so than the two very good sequels to The Last Picture Show–Texasville and Duane’s Depressed–which is bad. So we get some thinking about life, some other things, and some discussion of philosophy and literature. We also get one of Larry McMurtry’s worst habits, to kill of a character who is standing in the way of another characters plot.