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Rhino Ranch by Larry McMurtry
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Rhino Ranch (edition 2009)

by Larry McMurtry

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160974,566 (3.54)9
Member:rocketjk
Title:Rhino Ranch
Authors:Larry McMurtry
Info:New York : Simon & Schuster, 2009.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:novel

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Rhino Ranch by Larry McMurtry

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
good mcmurtry
  merlin58 | Jan 22, 2014 |
It's a pleasure to read this lean, humorous last chapter of the story of Duane Moore and Thalia, Texas. I really like McMurtry's writing. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
This is the fifth and final entry in McMurtry's "Thalia, Texas" series that begins with The Last Picture Show. When a billionairess decides to purchase a large tract of land outside Thalia and set up a game preserve to try to save an African Rhino species facing extinction, the locals of Thalia come face to face with the outside world in ways they don't necessarily appreciate. The novel is thoughtful and elegiac in tone, as characters we've come to care about face innumerable changes in the world they've known and bump up against their own mortality. McMurtry keeps things whimsical and fun, though. There is even a touch of magical realism. One drawback for me is that the storytelling is formatted into small little bite-sized chunks, many short chapters of only a page or two in length, so individual situations are rarely explored in depth. I found this distracting and sometimes frustrating, especially through the first third of the book. As things proceed, however, one begins to go more easily with the flow, and the layering of these incidents and insights provides a pleasing if not fully satisfying whole. ( )
1 vote rocketjk | Jan 20, 2013 |
To my sadness, I found that this is the concluding chapter of Duane Moore's story, which began with "The Last Picture Show" in 1966. This is a very meandering story, but it fits Duane Moore, probably in his late 60's and feeling at somewhat loose ends when his second wife, Annie, phones him from Europe to tell him she has fallen in love with a Frenchman and would appreciate letting the lawyers handle it peacefully. And Thalia, Texas is now the home to billionairess K.K. Slater's Rhino Ranch, an effort to save the endangered black rhinoceros. With this as a constant backdrop, Duane moseys into a medley of new relationships which cement his developing belief that he hasn't really learned very much about women, but that's okay because he certainly isn't alone there. As unlikely as some of the dalliances he has with significantly younger women may seem, it didn't really bother me because Duane comes off as such a congenially befuddled nice guy that I found myself rooting for him, and was saddened by the ten-year-later epilogue that abruptly concludes this saga. I've read a few of them (the later ones); now I feel compelled to go back and find the earlier books. ( )
  burnit99 | Jul 30, 2011 |
Rhino Park (2009) marks the end of Duane Moore’s story, a story that Larry McMurtry began all the way back in 1966 with The Last Picture Show. This five-book series also includes Texasville (1989), Duane’s Depressed (1999), and When the Light Goes (2007). Along the way, Duane and his Thalia cohorts age pretty much in real time. Duane was a high school football star in The Last Picture Show, an aging man who feels bad that he has outlived most of his old friends by the time we get to Rhino Park.

Duane and his young wife, Annie, call Patagonia, Arizona, home. Theirs has been a rather chaste relationship since Duane suffered a heart attack that almost killed him while he and Annie were making love. Duane knows that Annie has taken on lovers since the incident, but he has learned to live with the situation. But, after Annie decides that even that arrangement is not good enough, Duane heads back to Thalia where he still keeps a house and his beloved cabin.

Duane might be slowing down, but Thalia is not. K.K. Slater, said to be a billionaire, has decided that Thalia is the perfect place for her to open the Rhino Ranch, a preservation facility to ensure the survival of the endangered black rhinoceros. Along with the ranch, comes a few new jobs, and a couple of Duane’s oldest friends suddenly become rhino wranglers.

Despite not really wanting to have anything to do with the rhino ranch, Duane is slowly sucked into its day-to-day activity. First, he mysteriously bonds with the biggest rhino on the ranch when it insists on walking the fence line, side-by-side with Duane, that separates the ranch from the property on which Duane’s cabin sits. Then, he finds that K.K. Slater has a way of keeping life in Thalia interesting and starts keeping company with her and her big city friends.

Rhino Ranch is all about one man’s reflections on a life well lived. Duane senses that his time is largely past and he is struggling to find a sense of purpose. His friends are dead or dying (that kind of bad news just keeps pounding on him), and he is starting to feel like the Lone Ranger. His son has taken over Duane’s oil business, there are no women in his life, and he is not all that crazy about his two daughters. If it were not for his grandson, frankly, he would not feel particularly close to anyone in his family.

Duane Moore is one of modern literature’s memorable characters, and Larry McMurtry fans have been following his progress for literally a lifetime. Rhino Ranch is a good way to say goodbye.

Rated at: 5.0 ( )
  SamSattler | Jun 17, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I came to McMurtry’s latest novel about Duane, Rhino Ranch, more or less fresh, as if I were meeting him for the first time. And I liked the old guy. In fact, I liked Duane a lot. He and his friends in the fictional Texas town of Thalia made me laugh and nearly made me cry, and they made me think about life, which isn’t a bad trick for a retired oilman who feels increasingly insignificant and engages in a dubious coupling with a teenage porn star. For more on that, you’ll have to read the book.
 
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Returning home to recover from a near-fatal heart attack, Duane discovers that he has a new neighbor: the statuesque K. K. Slater, a quirky billionairess who's come to Thalia to open the Rhino Ranch, dedicated to the preservation of the endangered black rhinoceros. Despite their obvious differences, Duane can't help but find himself charmed by K.K.'s stubborn toughness and lively spirit, and the two embark on a flirtation that rapidly veers toward the sexual -- but the return of Honor Carmichael complicates Duane's romantic intentions considerably.… (more)

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