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.