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.