Lonesome Dove and Adam Bede

I've recently read George Eliot's first novel, "Adam Bede." It's a racier novel than I had come to expect, having read "Middlemarch" and "Silas Marner". Do people still speak of "racy" novels in this day and age? Well, I considered calling it straight-up sexy, but this is still 19th century Victorian literature, and it's still … Continue reading Lonesome Dove and Adam Bede

The Last Picture Show

I knew nothing about this story going in.  I thought it was going to be some sober, artsy-fartsy thing.  It’s actually filled with sex, much of it surprisingly explicit and even erotic.  The sex is painted real, meaning it’s only occasionally a joyful thing and more often: sad, boring, painful, calculating, stolen, paid for, animalistic … Continue reading The Last Picture Show

Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

It's a common trope in fiction: a final confrontation between the central hero of a story and its central villain. It's an important trope in Westerns, both on the page and screen -- Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" is just one famous example. And we see it in works of fiction that are too many to count: … Continue reading Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

Unforgiven in Lonesome Dove

I first saw the "Lonesome Dove" miniseries in 1993, about four years after it had first been shown on television. Essentially a six-hour movie, it was widely credited with resurrecting not only the TV miniseries format but also the genre of the Western, which had been thought of as dead for some years. In fact, … Continue reading Unforgiven in Lonesome Dove

Theology and morality in Laredo

Maria didn't believe in hell. If there was a hell it came to you in life."Streets of Laredo," chapter 8 “Streets of Laredo”, the sequel to "Lonesome Dove," is so filled with cruelty and death that paradoxically, it doesn’t feel ultra-realistic; it feels theological and moral – and the environment feels otherworldly.  Larry McMurtry once … Continue reading Theology and morality in Laredo