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The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
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The Last Picture Show (original 1966; edition 1966)

by Larry McMurtry

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1,288296,082 (3.92)102
Member:Jan7Smith
Title:The Last Picture Show
Authors:Larry McMurtry
Info:The Dial Press (1966), Edition: First Printing, Hardcover
Collections:Favorites, Read
Rating:****
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The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry (1966)

  1. 00
    All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (sturlington)
  2. 00
    Empire Falls by Richard Russo (browner56)
    browner56: Although separated by half a century and half the country, Thalia, Texas and Empire Falls, Maine could be the same dreary and decaying small town.
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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Coming-of-age story set in a small Texas town in the 60s. If nothing else, it made me glad I grew up somewhere more lively. McMurtry portrays this environment clearly, but not sympathetically. I kept comparing how different these characters might have been if they had grown up in a place with more opportunities. I found the book dreary, somewhat depressing, and not enjoyable to read. On the other hand, there was a sense of honesty that gave me some insight into poor, rural places I otherwise don't see. ( )
  TerriBooks | Dec 21, 2016 |
A heartbreaker! ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
A heartbreaker! ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
A heartbreaker! ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
A coming-of-age story about a boy's last year of high school in a dying Texas town.

I saw the movie version of this a couple of times before reading the book, and my overall impression was that it was one of the most novelistic movies I'd ever seen. Ironically, I think I liked the movie better than than the book, mainly due to the terrific acting, which brings a lot of depth to these characters. McMurtry's writing style flattens the characters, making it hard for us to really care about them. They are just so beaten down and have so little to look forward to. As with the movie, the character I understand most is Ruth Popper, but I just wish that when she gets angry, she would stay angry. McMurtry is a good writer, and he really does make the bleakness of this pathetic town seem real. It's a good read, but a terribly depressing one, without the power of Lonesome Dove. See the movie, though. ( )
  sturlington | Sep 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Larry McMurtryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hilling, SimonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"The Last Picture Show" is lovingly dedicated to my home town.
First words
Sometimes Sonny felt like he was the only human creature in the town.
Quotations
Frank Crawford was not only the town's only drug addict, but he was the one with the best excuse: he had been high-school principal in Thalia, until his car wreck.
"Because life's too damn hard here," Lois said. "The land's got too much power over you. Being rich here is a good way to go insane. Everything's flat and empty and there's nothing to do but spend money."
The only really important thing I cam in to tell you was that life is very monotonous. Things happen the same way over and over again. I think it's more monotonous in this part of the country than it is in other places, but I don't really know that--it may be monotonous everywhere.
"Ruth had rather be sick than do anything. I could have bought a new deer rifle with what she's spent on pills just this last year, and I wish I had, by God. A good gun beats a woman any day."
One you got rich you'd have to spend all your time staying rich, and that's hard thankless work.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684853868, Paperback)

In The Last Picture Show Larry McMurtry introduced characters who would show up again in later novels, Texasville and Duane's Depressed. This first volume of the trilogy drops the reader into the one-stoplight town of Thalia, Texas, where Duane Moore, his buddy Sonny, and his girlfriend Jacy are all stumbling along the rocky road to adulthood. Duane wants nothing more than to marry Jacy; Sonny wants what Duane has; and Jacy wants to get the hell out of Thalia any way she can. This is not a novel of big ideas or defining moments; over the course of a year Duane and Jacy make up and break up, Sonny begins an affair with his high-school football coach's wife, and the only movie house in town closes its doors forever. Yet it is out of these small-town experiences--a nude swimming party in Wichita, a failed sexual encounter during a senior trip, a botched elopement, an enlistment--that McMurtry builds his tale and reveals his characters' hearts. No epiphanies here, just a lot of hard-won experience that leaves none of his protagonists particularly wiser, though they're all a little sadder by the end. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:32 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The youth of a small town in mid-twentieth-century Texas search for ways to escape boredom and experience life and love.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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