A love story and an epic of the frontier, Lonesome Dove is the grandest novel ever written about the last, defiant wilderness of America. Richly authentic, beautifully written, Lonesome Dove is a book to make readers laugh, weep, dream and remember. Now a blockbuster television event.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, 1986. irty books, two Oscar-winning screenplays, and a Pulitzer Prize later, McMurtry is anything but a minor regional novelist. Having worked on his fathers Texas cattle ranch for a great deal of his early life, McMurtry had an inborn fascination with the West, both its fabled history and current state. However, he never saw himself as a life-long rancher and aspired to a more creative career.
He achieved this at the age of 25 when he published his first novel. Horseman, Pass By was a wholly original take on the classic western. Humorous, heartbreaking, and utterly human, this story of a hedonistic cowboy in contemporary Texas was a huge hit for the young author and even spawned a major motion picture starring Paul Newman called Hud just two years after its 1961 publication.
Extraordinarily, McMurtry was even allowed to write the script, a rare honor for such a novice. With such an auspicious debut, it is hard to believe that McMurtry ever felt as though hed been slighted by the public or marginalized as a minor talent. While all of his books may not have received equal attention, he did have a number of astounding successes early in his career.
His third novel The Last Picture Show, a coming-of-age-in-the-southwest story, became a genuine classic, drawing comparisons to J. D. Salinger and James Jones.
In 1971, Peter Bogdonovichs screen adaptation of the novel would score McMurtry his first Academy award for his screenplay. Three years later, he published Terms of Endearment, a critically lauded urban family drama that would become a hit movie starring Jack Nicholson and Shirley MacLaine in 1985. That year, McMurtry published what many believe to be his definitive novel.
An expansive epic sweeping through all the legends and characters that inhabited the old west, Lonesome Dove was a masterpiece. All of the elements that made McMurtrys writing so distinguished his skillful dialogue, richly drawn characters, and uncanny ability to establish a fully-realized setting convened in this Pulitzer winning story of two retired Texas rangers who venture from Texas to Montana. The novel was a tremendous critical and commercial favorite, and became a popular miniseries in 1989.
Following the massive success of Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtrys prolificacy grew. He would publish at least one book nearly every year for the next twenty years, including Texasville, a gut-wrenching yet hilarious sequel to The Last Picture Show, Buffalo Girls, a fictionalized account of the later days of Calamity Jane, and several non-fiction titles, such as Crazy Horse. Interestingly, McMurtry would receive his greatest notoriety in his late 60s as the co-screenwriter of Ang Lees controversial film Brokeback Mountain.
The movie would score the writer another Oscar and become one of the most critically heralded films of 2005. The following year he published his latest novel. Telegraph Days is a freewheeling comedic run-through of western folklore and surely one of McMurtrys most inventive stories and enjoyable reads.
Not bad for a minor regional novelist. Good To Know A miniseries based on McMurtrys novel Comanche Moon is currently in production. McMurtry co-wrote the script.
The first-printing of McMurtrys novel In a Narrow Grave is one of his most obscure for a rather obscure reason. The book was withdrawn because the word skyscrapers was misspelled as skycrappers on page 105. McMurtry comes from a long line of farmers and ranchers.
His father and eight of his uncles were all in the profession.