Thursday, April 7, 2011


I'm enamored with Larry McMurtry ever since meeting him a couple of weekends ago. So I picked up the first novel he ever wrote: Horseman, Pass By. He was only 25 when it was published in 1961. I loved this book. It contrasts the old fashioned West with the new attitudes developing in the 50's and how they clashed with one another. It paints the picture of small town Texas life and the desires and inner thoughts of all the characters perfectly. It's heartbreakingly raw, and sometimes almost uncomfortable to read.

The main character and narrator is 17 year old Lonnie. He admires his honest, hardworking old granddad...but he's also awestruck by his Uncle Hud, the flashy young unscrupulous cowboy. I couldn't help but wonder how much of this novel was drawn from McMurtry's own life. He was able to express Lonnie's restlessness, longing, and uncertainty so clearly.

There's a good Paul Newman movie called Hud that's based on the book. Loosely based. I'm watching it right now. And even though it varies from the book in significant ways, I'm enjoying it.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I think I would enjoy this book too, but you get the very cool perspective of having met the author. I was going to tell you that I have had On Chesil Beach on my shelf forever. After seeing your rating and blurb about it, I am more interested to pick it up and read it soon!