Favorite books of 2021 (and 2020)

My blog is new, so I've never picked out favorite books for a year, but here we go. My ten faves for 2021, fiction and nonfiction, out of the 66 books I read: 1. New Testament -- the recent translation by David Bentley Hart 2. Notre Dame de Paris Translated by Alban Krailsheimer 3. Lonesome … Continue reading Favorite books of 2021 (and 2020)

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

McMurtry and Cervantes

Larry McMurtry published “Streets of Laredo”, his sequel to “Lonesome Dove”, in summer 1993.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution then ran a piece by Michael Skube, who compared “Lonesome Dove” to “Don Quixote”:   Living briefly off the luster of its predecessor, a sequel establishes its own grounds as art or it diminishes the work from which … Continue reading McMurtry and Cervantes

Don Quixote and Lonesome Dove

I've recently finished Larry's McMurtry's western, "Lonesome Dove," a magnificent novel that I cannot get off my mind. I've been doing a little research about the book, and apparently McMurtry was partly inspired by "Don Quixote." In his 2008 memoir, he wrote: [E]arly on, I read some version of Don Quixote and pondered the grave … Continue reading Don Quixote and Lonesome Dove