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The Last Picture Show

von Larry McMurtry

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

Reihen: Thalia, Texas (1)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1,632458,438 (3.91)127
The youth of a small town in mid-twentieth-century Texas search for ways to escape boredom and experience life and love.
  1. 00
    All die schönen Pferde von Cormac McCarthy (sturlington)
  2. 00
    Empire Falls von 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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I think "The Last Picture Show" is one of those books that I would have to read in a lit class and not understand why I was reading it. Larry McMurtry's book was first published in 1966. The 1966 NY Times Best Sellers for Fiction: James Michener's "The Source" [Abraham to Israel as a nation Michener-style], Jacqueline Susann's "Valley of the Dolls" [actresses who get hooked on drugs] and Robert Crichton's "The Secret of Santa Vittoria" [Nazi resistance novel]. I understand it a little better now. For me, it needs to be understood in the context of the other works of its time and the 1960s themselves. I supposed I disliked the book because is just about opened with a sex scene. I disliked it because there is the typical rich girl dabbling with the poor guy. Maybe if so many novels hadn't copied off of this one it wouldn't be old to me. ( )
  nab6215 | Jan 18, 2022 |
For those of you that have never read the book but perhaps have seen the movie...you should know that there is 100 miles of differences between the two. The book was published in 1966, five years before the movie was produced. I was amazed that the book is literally filled with surprisingly far more explicit sex than almost any novel that has been written today...55 years later. There are MANY...and I do mean many... scenes in the book that describe sex between the characters in very erotic detail. One of the things that struck me particularly odd about this novel was the lack of romance in the way that McMurtry dealt with all this steamy sex. This is diffidently not a book that everyone will enjoy but I had to give it a 4 star rating for the very nerve of the author to write this at that time. ( )
  Carol420 | Jul 9, 2021 |
A disturbingly accurate account of late high school. Very, very written. Often painful. ( )
  Meg_Taylor | Apr 21, 2021 |
I loved this book. His writing is so engaging and everything was developed and moved along at the perfect pace, especially the characters. They felt like real people you might meet. Even though this book is often pegged as a "coming of age" story, I didn't really see it that way entirely. It was about small town life in the early 50s and about the people of the town and their sad lives. A closed community, full of judgment, lacking privacy, sad, lonely. And it is SO Texas with the weather, the football, the false morality. Perfectly captured!

Of course, the book is full of sex. I wasn't expecting this since the movie clearly didn't have as much. It's not hot or romantic sex either. It's clumsy, cringy, and awkward. Everything about the book just felt very raw and very real. ( )
  technodiabla | Oct 7, 2020 |
"… there was nothing to do but sit and look out the long empty street toward the west." (pg. 53)

The Last Picture Show will make you depressed as all hell, but the writing is so good you can't hate it. It is almost entirely plotless, depicting small-town life in Texas in the Fifties, complete with cafés, stop-lights, pick-up trucks and Levi's. This is what we might now call Americana, only it is lived-in; author Larry McMurtry brings almost a painter's eye to his vivid written tapestry. You can smell the coffee, see the glow of the diner and the lonesomeness of the red stop-light on a deserted night on the main street.

Given its lack of dynamic plot, the success of The Last Picture Show rests entirely on its characters. Here, McMurtry excels: his three lead characters, Sonny, Duane and Jacy, are all real, though it is supporting characters like Ruth, Genevieve and Sam who really shine. Even minor characters like the shabbily-treated teacher John Cecil or Miss Mosey, who owns the cinema (the 'picture show'), get their moments. When Miss Mosey desperately and tearfully tries to refund Sonny and Duane, who have left the last screening of a film at the cinema well before the credits have rolled (pg. 266), it is a quietly devastating illustration of small-town decline and impotence. Even with the rare event of having punters come through the door, she can't get them to stay.

It can, at times, become exhausting. The bulk of the novel is concerned with sex and manipulation, and whilst the relationships are well-written, it leads us to dislike many of the characters (even Sonny, by the end). It seems, by the final chapters, as though everyone has slept with everyone else, even the local livestock. (That's not a joke; in Chapter 10, some of the characters have sex with a heifer.) The combination of plotlessness and self-involved characters might be too much for some readers, especially as many will be coming to the book wanting to replicate their experience of McMurtry's Lonesome Dove, with its vivid, dove-tailing adventure plot and some of the most enjoyable character combinations in literature.

That said, The Last Picture Show is worth persevering with on its own terms. McMurtry's simple storytelling style keeps the pages turning, and even if they make you feel hollow sometimes, the characters have a realness to them. There are a number of sweet scenes, most involving Genevieve in some way, such as Sam complaining about the football in the café as dawn breaks and "the cowboys and the truckers came in, blowing on their cold hands" (pg. 134). There is a literary merit to the novel, with the 'last picture show' not only representing the decline and ennui of small-town American life in the Fifties, but also the coming-of-age story of Sonny and his friends: Sonny "had always thought you were supposed to get whoever you really loved. That was the way it worked in movies" (pg. 187). Now he's realising life is not like that, and that it is hard "to get from day to day if one felt hopeless" (pg. 261).

The Last Picture Show makes you feel hopeless, but it is not hard to get through, and is one of the best-framed bildungsromans I've read. Only a writer as good as McMurtry can take you on a rollercoaster in a town that is "as empty as the country" (pg. 277). ( )
1 abstimmen MikeFutcher | Jul 12, 2020 |
keine Rezensionen | Rezension hinzufügen

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (6 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Larry McMurtryHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Hilling, SimonÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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"The Last Picture Show" is lovingly dedicated to my home town.
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Sometimes Sonny felt like he was the only human creature in the town.
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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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The youth of a small town in mid-twentieth-century Texas search for ways to escape boredom and experience life and love.

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