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Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Larry's McMurtry's latest novel is a Winner!


Readers first met the character Duane Moore in Larry McMurtry’s novel “The Last Picture Show.” The young Texas stud and his high school friends made quite a name for themselves in the book and later in the movie by the same name. And Duane’s adventurous life was documented in three more of McMurtry’s books – “Texasville,” “Duane’s Depressed,” and “When The Light Goes.”


Now in the novel, “Rhino Ranch,” McMurtry gives his character a fitting farewell with a story of an old man trying to keep up with modern ways that he just doesn’t quite seem to understand.
Riding out his last bad marriage, Duane has come back to his hometown of Thalia, which has been turned upside down with an influx of new neighbors – a bunch of black African rhinoceroses. Rich lady K.K. Slater has brought a herd of the beasts onto the land next to Duane’s property with plans to turn the prairie into a game preserve. But the townsfolk are none too keen on this new project. K.K. turns to Duane for his advice on small-town politics. However, Duane, who has been gone for a long spell, is almost considered as much of an outsider to Thalia as K.K. is, and doesn’t know what to tell his sexy new neighbor about the town he can’t seem to recognize.

As Duane ponders the old and the new, his son Dickie is busy successfully running the Moore Oil Company, his daughters are wrapped up in Dallas society and his beloved grandson Willy has just been accepted to Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar. His best friend Bobby Lee Baxter is busy working on K.K’s Rhino Ranch, and his shrink Honor Carmichael is living in New York with her latest girlfriend.

Life is speeding by Duane at a lightening pace, and all he wants to do is retreat to his old cabin on the banks of the Little Wichita and remember the good times and the good friends that are no longer around. He finds unlikely companionship with an immigrant from Thailand who provides his last romance, and friendship with an old rhino bull named Double Aught, who seems to understand Duane’s loneliness as his life winds down.

It is a delight to recognize the scenery and locations that McMurtry uses in his tales of Thalia (which suspiciously resembles Archer City.) And he doesn’t leave Wichita Falls or surrounding communities out of the stories either, giving a hometown warmth to “Rhino Ranch.”

Long known as a master of words, Larry McMurtry’s literary expertise shines in this gentle novel. Wrapping up the stories of characters that are loved by Texans and literary fans world over, McMurtry brings the stories of Thalia to a sweet and graceful end.

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