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TEXASVILLE : A Novel Paperback – January 14, 1999


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TEXASVILLE : A Novel + The LAST PICTURE SHOW : A Novel + Duane's Depressed: A Novel (Last Picture Show Trilogy)
Price for all three: $37.99

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Product Details

  • Series: Thalia Trilogy
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reissue edition (January 14, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684857502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684857503
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this arresting, funny-sad sequel to The Last Picture Show, McMurtry's small Texas town of Thalia has gone from boom to bust practically overnight, a victim of the mid-'80s oil glut. Under the strain of financial calamity, the townsfolk are becoming increasingly irrationalone man dreams of bombing OPEC, the mayor is going quietly mad, sexual mores are turning bizarre, and the civic leaders are pressing on with a centennial celebration even though there's nothing to celebrate. The stresses of the time seem concentrated in Duane, a one-time oil millionaire on the verge of bankruptcy who has four untamable children, a disaffected wife and a diminishing grip on his sanity. Duane's problems are exacerbated when his high school sweetheart, Jacy, now a movie actress, comes bowling into town like tumbleweed. McMurtry, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Lonesome Dove, is a writer with a distinctive voice, a profound understanding of Texans and a brilliant gift for capturing the vagrant moods of the heart. Major ad/promo; reprint rights to Pocket Books; BOMC selection.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Can a novel that deals with midlife crises, the loss of youthful aspirations, the withering of love, and the entombing of dreams be side-splittingly funny? This one is. Pulitzer Prize winner McMurtry returns to Thalia, Texas, setting of The Last Picture Show , where the once lovelorn teenagers are now town fathers planning a county centennial celebration. But what's there to celebrate? The town got rich with the oil boom and is now going broke with the oil glut, and its residents seem as sunk in emotional depression as the town is in its economic one. What McMurtry's characters take most seriously and worry most about inevitably turns out comically. The unplanned high points of the celebration are a tumbleweed stampede, broom-handle battles between teetotalers and beer-guzzlers, and an egg bombardment. For some this may seem a less than satisfying sequel to The Last Picture Show , but it is a more mature book, less angry, more tolerant, and more accepting of human foibles. Recommended. BOMC main selection. Charles Michaud, Turner Free Library, Randolph, Mass.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

I have read and re-read this book at least 5 times in my life and love every part of it.
M. Schroeder
Some of the events in the book were supposed to be funny, but like the characters, I thought them as unrealistic as I did annoying.
T. Holmes
If I'm on the bus on my daily commute and I miss my stop because I'm engrossed in what I'm reading, it's a good book.
Dennis E. Henley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Jones And/Or Bob Jones on August 20, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The common theme among the other reviewers seems to be that "it ain't no Last Picture Show." While I can recognize that LPS is a more tightly constructed book in the English class, reading it for credit context, I think this book actually has more life. The action is absurd in many respects, and the characters do selfish things, but there's a buoyant feeling to the whole business. Sometimes, driving down the road, I think of how Duane's dog, Shorty, rode away from Duane "looking inscrutable," and I just crack up. This is McMurtry doing what he does best.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on June 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
Thirty years have passed since Duane Moore and Sonny Crawford graduated from high school in Thalia, Texas. The events of "The Last Picture Show" are a distant memory to everyone except Sonny, who continues to live in the past and occasionally gets lost there. Duane has married, gotten rich in the oil boom, raised a bunch of kids, built a 12,000-square-foot house outside of town, and is now $12 million in debt. The boom is over, and disappointment, the dominant mood of the characters in McMurtry's earlier book, is settling in again.
This time, however, disappointment and depression are mostly played for laughs. Sonny, the poignant central character in "Picture Show," has been sidelined in this story by Duane's domestic conflicts, his efforts to remain optimistic in the face of bankruptcy, and his affair with a married woman who is also carrying on with Duane's dope-dealing, womanizing son. McMurtry plays up the ironies and absurdities of life in Thalia where, as Duane observes, everyone seems to have gone crazy. The married and unmarried swap partners with the free-for-all abandon of romance as it's portrayed in country and western songs. And a kind of lunacy grips others, whose adventures push the narrative into wildly implausible episodes of farce, such as a mammoth egg-throwing fight on the closing night of Thalia's centennial celebration.
The melancholy mood that dominates "The Last Picture Show" makes only a brief appearance in this much longer novel, as Duane remembers a young employee killed in Vietnam. And readers, like me, who are fans of McMurtry's earlier work, will be disappointed that McMurtry treats the sorrows of his characters this time so lightly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you ever wondered what happened to the characters in the Last Picture Show, you have to read this book. Mr. McMurtry wisely chose the mid eighties post oil boom era to frame the second chapter of the Thalia trilogy. I live in this general area of Texas but was not born in the area. Two things. Locals generally do not care for Mr. McMurtry (hits a little to close to home)and secondly for those of you that think the characters are over the top, come live in this barren area for a while. The characters may have different names but they all have counterparts in my dusty little town. Like The Last Picture Show I could not put the book down. I can't wait to read the next installment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Barnett on January 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
This series by Larry McMurtry has to be read through, beginning to end, to be truly appreciated. It begins, of course, with "The Last Picture Show," and includes "Texasville," "Duane's Depressed," and "When the Light Goes." There's no point, really, in reviewing one without reviewing all because the story is incomplete without all the novels aligned. I will say this: I am a professional writer -- a fiction writer -- and my standards for excellent fiction are very high. I liked "The Last Picture Show;" the outrage it caused at the time of its premier seems quaint now, but the story holds up. It is the continuation of the story -- Duane Moore's story -- that builds a real relationship between the reader and the residents of Thalia, Texas. Duane's sense of humor matures, and his trip from teen to grandfather is rocky, filled with loss and laughter, and as vulnerable as that of any real person. That's the magic, isn't it? The ability to create characters and a place so very realistic that they feel like people you might know and streets that you have walked is a special gift, and it's one McMurtry explores fully in this series. Don't miss it. Read 'em all.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K J Bedford on December 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Reading this book, I tried hard not to compare it to McMurtry's other works. I wanted this book to stand on it's own and not fall victim to the "It isn't Lonesome Dove" thought. I did manage to get through the entire book, though several times I threw it down in disgust. The story is lame, the characters are charicatures, but the worst part is that the only thing that was interesting about the entire book (Sonny's failing mental state) is left unsolved. Of all the characters I read about in this book, I was more interested in Sonny and why his mind seems to be slipping. Unfortunately, McMurtry leaves this (and many other items) as a loose end that doesn't get tied up.
In fact, NOTHING is really completed in this book. It meanders through the affairs of everyone in town, and everyone in town is having at least one affair. Duane's children are spoiled, bratty, and would probably have benefitted from reform school. His wife is the Queen of PMS and his former girlfriend needs prozac.
All in all, I'd have to say that Larry McMurtry missed his mark with this one. Had anyone else submitted such a story to be published, it would have been laughed out of town. I don't see any of the brilliance that this writer has exhibited in the past (even though I didn't compare the story itself to anything, I did search for signs that it was written by the same man).
Read this if you want to see what life shouldn't be like, or if you have a couple of days of bad weather and nothing else to do.
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