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Moving On: A Novel Paperback – June 4, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction Ed edition (June 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684853884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684853888
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The New York Times A novel of monumental honesty....Attention must be paid.

Los Angeles Times McMurtry can transform ordinary words into highly lyrical, poetic passages...He presents human drama with a sympathy and compassion that make us care about his characters in a way that most novelists can't.

The Boston Globe There aren't many writers around who are as much fun to read as McMurtry. He is precise and lyrical, ironic and sad.

Saturday Review A Texas-sized book...Mr. McMurtry is blessed with an absolutely solid sense of place. His backgrounds and scenic descriptions are inherent parts of his story, contributing as much to the novel as does the completely natural dialogue.

About the Author

Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lives in Archer City, Texas.

More About the Author

Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove. His other works include two collections of essays, three memoirs, and more than thirty screenplays, including the coauthorship of Brokeback Mountain, for which he received an Academy Award. His most recent novel, When the Light Goes, is available from Simon & Schuster. He lives in Archer City, Texas.

Customer Reviews

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Happy reading, and listening!
PokerBen
The premise is great- however, the book is just too long.
Eva
It one of the most humanistic books I've ever read.
Christopher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on March 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an early McMurtry novel, a long, rambling story with young Patsy Carpenter at the center of a large cast of characters that includes graduate students, ranchers, rodeo cowboys, a Hollywood writer, Haight-Ashbury hippies, and wealthy Texans - both new and old money. Written in the late 1960s, and published in 1970, "Moving On" is interesting for its attempt to capture the subtly shifting moods of its central characters instead of focusing on action and storyline. As page follows page, McMurtry describes his characters' feelings of self-assurance, annoyance, boredom, frustration, and sexual tension. And often moods degenerate into tears - Patsy's in particular.
There's more than a bit of Henry Miller in much of the novel, as characters attempt to match up their levels of sexual passion, often finding that they are rarely feeling the same thing for each other at the same time. Seduction is often unsuccessful or unsatisfying, a rendezvous full of romantic promise may turn into an argument leaving both parties exhausted. A pass made after several drinks at a party or over a milk shake at a soda fountain may elicit an exchange of bitterness and barbed recriminations. A married couple talks openly of their infidelities. A wife accuses her husband of being neglectful, while she routinely meets a colleague of his for sex.
For readers who like action and narrative development, this book will seem very slow going. For some, the many shifts of mood and ironies of thwarted intentions will make the story seem flat and the central characters unfocused. By contrast, the marginal characters, especially an old widowed rancher, a rodeo clown and his young barrel-racer girlfriend, and a teenage bronc rider spring from the page fully realized.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am in the process of rereading Moving On and just checked Amazon for other readers' comments, which I found intriguing. I originally bought this book for two reasons: 1.)I'm a Larry McMurtry fan and 2.) I was interested in the rodeo aspects of the book. I was initially disappointed when Jim and Patsy left the rodeo circuit for the "desperation of suburban Houston," but I finished the book anyway. When I picked it up again recently, I intended only to reread the rodeo-related passages, and now (deep into the Houston section)I find I can't stop reading. McMurtry's creation of Patsy Carpenter is a grand achievement. Her endless crying aside, she is one of the most completely realized characters in contemporary literature. I can't think of any other novel that chronicles with such convincing precision the moment by moment emotional life of a single character. There are times, certainly, when I find her annoying, but she is also endlessly compelling. The other characters (Pete, Eleanor, Sonny)are a great added treat in the novel, but it is ultimately Patsy who impresses, and it is for the creation of her that we should consider Moving On one of McMurtry's best works. (P.S. to the earlier reviewer who gave the book a "lone star," what you say about the Waggoner ranch is very true. The descriptions are so beautiful that you want to move there (but then it functions as a kind of oasis in the book), and Roger is a touching character whose simple language belies great depth. McMurtry has created him with great affection.)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
To correct and amplify on some of the earlier reviews -- As Wagner's 'Ring' is a prologue followed by a trilogy, Larry McMurtry's Houston books are a trilogy followed by a epilogue -- in chronological order, 'Moving On', 'All My Friends Are Going to be Strangers', 'Terms of Endearment', and 'The Evening Star'. After McMurtry attended Texas Tech University, he went to graduate school in English at Rice University in Houston, where he lived and taught in the late '60s - early '70s. These novels are a perfect historical & sociological mirror of the time & place (I was there, too), but more than that they are stories of memorable, completely developed, fully complex characters lost between an old & mythical Texas of ranches & rodeos and the new urban Texas fueled by big money, real estate & oil. Is there a more memorable character than Patsy Carpenter in contemporary American literature? She cries a lot -- oh, does she cry -- but she cries because she is lost, alone & confused, and McMurtry never backs away from or softens his portrayal of her despair. We intimately know her family & friends, their loves, affairs, betrayals and kindnesses, and they quickly become believable, fully human, and known. This is a long book and, in musical terms, stays mostly between mezzo-piano & mezzo-forte -- short on dramatic plot development and cathartic climaxes. But 'Moving On' is a beautifully developed portrait of a group of almost-real people, and you will remember them for a long, long time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christopher on January 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
It's hard to describe Moving On. The book was not a success when it was released, sales weren't strong and the reviews were largely bad. And to a certain extent that's understandable, since it's a structural mess, with what might seem like too many stories going on, too many narrative side trips, an unfocused, erratic polt, and at times, honestly, it's boring.

Yet something funny happens as you keep reading. It's not just that McMurtry has an eye and an ear for his characters--some of them eccentrics, some of them ordinary people, and many of them both at the same time--or for the places he puts them in. It's that one has a sense, more than just about any novel from its time, that one is reading about real people with real problems, not characters in an an artificial world created for aesthetic purposes. The story bursts out in all directions because the people are too true, and too interesting, to let go of. Patsy can seem incredibly frustrating. Whatever her husband does, whether he ignores her or adores her, is wrong and alienating to her. It takes her forever to realize what would be obvious from the start to an outsider: they simply shouldn't be married or have gotten married in the first place. She's the central embodiment of the struggle nearly everyone in the novel faces, some with success, some not, trying to make a life work that is essentially unworkable and unsatisfying.

There are so many great characters here, fascinating, funny people most of whom you love, some you don't. There's Pete the rodeo clown and Boots his young wife, the barrel chaser. There Sonny Shanks the cruel alpha-male rodeo star and Eleanor Guthrie, the owner of a large cattle ranch, whom he hurts, uses and probably loves.
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