Sunday, June 23, 2013

Literary Life: A Second MemoirLiterary Life: A Second Memoir by Larry McMurtry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Larry McMurtry follows Mark Twain's advice for writing a memoir to a fault, i.e. don't do a chronological review but follow threads as far as they interest you (and hopefully, the reader.)  McMurtry never fails to interest me, and this book is first rate in being interesting to me.  But, it does feel a little more like a transcript of a conversation than a planned-out book.  Nevertheless, I now am eagerly looking forward to finding his first volume of memoirs and reading it and waiting for the third volume to be published.

I particularly found it gratifying that McMurtry agrees with me as to which of his vast output is his best -- "Duane is Depressed," is a brilliant book in my opinion, certainly in my top ten books.  He rates "Walter Benjamin At The Dairy Queen" almost as highly.  I'm going to have to go back and read it again but my impression from long ago is that there was too much literary theory for my limited intellect. 

If all you know about Larry McMurtry is that he wrote "The Last Picture Show," later made into a movie by Peter Bagdonovich, that he won a Pulitzer prize for "Lonesome Dove," and that he co-wrote the screenplay for "Brokeback Mountain," then you need to get busy on his ouevre.

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