But my God, how Larry McMurty can write.
Lonesome Dove, while certainly problematic in spots, is such an excellent book. I think I had it as my best read of 2015 or 2016. It was so good, it made me never want to read another McMurty again. How could he possibly top it?
Well he may not have topped it, per se, he certainly showed he’s an all around excellent writer, one whose catalog I need to tear through asap.
In many ways, this is kind of a contemporary Lonesome Dove, only instead of an epic adventure, the Texans are stuck in their home town and can never escape. McMurty brings the same razor sharp examination of character and context to the tale. I appreciate books that get me invested in storylines, regardless of whether or not I care what happens. That’s because the man is so good at bringing his people to life.
Much of it is his writing style, which just feels like a nice, heated pool you can fall into and float in. McMurty is such a beautiful writer, his prose clear, his syntax smooth. He has the gift I wish I had and I wish other so-called “great” scribes had as well: to be able to tell a story in a rich way without saturated detail and masturbatory introspection. This is an author who knows his subject and knows how he wants to tell the story.
I have not watched the famous film based on the book and while I understand it’s a classic, I’m not sure I can get to it. I’ll have too many qualms, too many nitpicks. McMurty describes all of these characters so well that I feel like I can see them clearly in my mind and no amount of Jeff Bridges or Cybil Shepherd Hollywood glamping is going to change that.