Sunday, January 03, 2010

Update plus Book Report

I spent the day doing laundry, cleaning house, and writing, and feel amazingly virtuous in consequence.  Nothing like an absence of clutter to fortify the soul.

In between emptying litter baskets and scrubbing out sinks, I lolled about eating bagels and cheese and reading Larry McMurtry's ancient and massive novel, Moving On, which I read a billion years ago when I was in graduate school and only recently rediscovered on the shelves of the Fort Smith Public Library (where, as Herr Doctor Delagar likes to comment, you can find any book you want, so long as it is a best seller from 1977).

I had forgotten how good McMurtry used to be.  This and Lonesome Dove were my favorite books by him; and this, I think, is his best.  It's about a billion pages long, mind you (in contrast to his first novel, Horseman, Pass By, which was, I believe, six pages long), but not only does it contain wonderful and wonderfully brief descriptions of the American West, and American Westerners (I love Jim's step-uncle, Roger, out on his ranch), it contains what may be the only realistic portrayals of American marriages I've ever encountered in a novel.

It also reminds me -- and given that McMurtry was also in graduate school, I'm thinking this is deliberate -- of Chaucer's marriage group.

Anyway, if you have the patience, and the upper body strength, it's worth the read.

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