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The Last Kind Words Saloon
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Recorded Books, Inc. 2014
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Description

Larry McMurtry has done more than any other living writer to shape our literary imagination of the American West. With The Last Kind Words Saloon he returns again to the vivid and unsparing portrait of the nineteenth-century and cowboy lifestyle made so memorable in his classic Lonesome Dove. Evoking the greatest characters and legends of the Old Wild West, here McMurtry tells the story of the closing of the American frontier through the travails of two of its most immortal figures: Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Opening in the settlement of Long Grass, Texas-not quite in Kansas, and nearly New Mexico-we encounter the taciturn Wyatt, whiling away his time in between bottles, and the dentist-turned-gunslinger Doc, more adept at poker than extracting teeth. Now hailed as heroes for their days of subduing drunks in Abilene and Dodge-more often with a mean look than a pistol-Wyatt and Doc are living out the last days of a way of life that is passing into history, two men never more aware of the growing distance between their lives and their legends. Along with Wyatt's wife, Jessie, who runs the titular saloon, we meet Lord Ernle, an English baron; the exotic courtesan San Saba, "the most beautiful whore on the plains"; Charlie Goodnight, the Texas Ranger turned cattle driver last seen in McMurtry's Comanche Moon, and Nellie Courtright, the witty and irrepressible heroine of Telegraph Days. McMurtry traces the rich and varied friendship of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday from the town of Long Grass to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Denver, then to Mobetie, Texas, and finally to Tombstone, Arizona, culminating with the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral, rendered here in McMurtry's stark and peerless prose. With the buffalo herds gone, the Comanche defeated, and vast swaths of the Great Plains being enclosed by cattle ranches, Wyatt and Doc live on, even as the storied West that forged their myths disappears. As harsh and beautiful, and as brutal and captivating as the open range it depicts, The Last Kind Words Saloon celebrates the genius of one of our most original American writers.

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
05/05/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781490612645

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Larry McMurtry. (2014). The Last Kind Words Saloon. Unabridged Recorded Books, Inc.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Larry McMurtry. 2014. The Last Kind Words Saloon. Recorded Books, Inc.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Larry McMurtry, The Last Kind Words Saloon. Recorded Books, Inc, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Larry McMurtry. The Last Kind Words Saloon. Unabridged Recorded Books, Inc, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Date Added:
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OverDrive Product Record

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title
The Last Kind Words Saloon
fullDescription
Larry McMurtry has done more than any other living writer to shape our literary imagination of the American West. With The Last Kind Words Saloon he returns again to the vivid and unsparing portrait of the nineteenth-century and cowboy lifestyle made so memorable in his classic Lonesome Dove. Evoking the greatest characters and legends of the Old Wild West, here McMurtry tells the story of the closing of the American frontier through the travails of two of its most immortal figures: Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Opening in the settlement of Long Grass, Texas-not quite in Kansas, and nearly New Mexico-we encounter the taciturn Wyatt, whiling away his time in between bottles, and the dentist-turned-gunslinger Doc, more adept at poker than extracting teeth. Now hailed as heroes for their days of subduing drunks in Abilene and Dodge-more often with a mean look than a pistol-Wyatt and Doc are living out the last days of a way of life that is passing into history, two men never more aware of the growing distance between their lives and their legends. Along with Wyatt's wife, Jessie, who runs the titular saloon, we meet Lord Ernle, an English baron; the exotic courtesan San Saba, "the most beautiful whore on the plains"; Charlie Goodnight, the Texas Ranger turned cattle driver last seen in McMurtry's Comanche Moon, and Nellie Courtright, the witty and irrepressible heroine of Telegraph Days. McMurtry traces the rich and varied friendship of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday from the town of Long Grass to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Denver, then to Mobetie, Texas, and finally to Tombstone, Arizona, culminating with the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral, rendered here in McMurtry's stark and peerless prose. With the buffalo herds gone, the Comanche defeated, and vast swaths of the Great Plains being enclosed by cattle ranches, Wyatt and Doc live on, even as the storied West that forged their myths disappears. As harsh and beautiful, and as brutal and captivating as the open range it depicts, The Last Kind Words Saloon celebrates the genius of one of our most original American writers.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Tom Stechschulte and Carine Montbertrand do well in narrating this newest work from the current dean of Western writers. Stechschulte delivers the majority of the work, providing both narrative and dialogue in his rich, gravelly baritone. Montbertrand is the production's host, and at the end of the story reads an account by Nellie Courtright, which is spot-on in every way. The combination of these two voices brings to life the realities of life in the Old West as McMurtry dramatizes Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday in their sunset years. We hear an unsparing and gritty picture as the two old lawmen--and others such as Buffalo Bill and Kiowa Chief Satanta--see their world disappearing. M.T.F. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 10, 2014
        McMurtry of Lonesome Dove fame returns to fiction (after Custer) with this uneven portrayal of the frontier friendship between Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. McMurtry is a master of colorful character development and snappy dialogue, both nicely showcased here as Wyatt and Doc meander through Texas and Colorado to Arizona, drinking, gambling, whoring, and debating whether or not they ought to shoot folks who annoy them. As these two lethal saddle pals wander the West, McMurtry introduces other real-life figures in side-plots—cattleman Charlie Goodnight; Quanah, the Comanche chief; Satanta, the Kiowa chief; and Buffalo Bill, whose adventures provide some action and humor, but add little to the Earp-Holliday story. McMurtry portrays Doc as a cuddly, funny drunk, but Wyatt is handled much differently. Here Wyatt is depicted as a moody, jealous wife beater, short-tempered and itching to pick a fight with anybody—especially Old Man Clanton and his cattle-thieving family in Tombstone, Ariz. When Wyatt stirs up a fight with the Clantons, an ambush, murder, and a challenge result in deadly powder burning at the O.K. Corral. This whole choppy story leads up to the predictable shoot-out, but McMurtry’s treatment of the Old West’s most famous gunfight is abrupt and unconvincing, taking just eight uninspired sentences to describe. This revisionist western plays loose with historical facts, and is a disappointing effort from a Pulitzer Prize–winning author.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2015

        McMurtry's first novel in five years is a brief series of vignettes featuring Western favorites Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp as well as characters such as Buffalo Bill Cody and Nellie Courtright from McMurtry's Telegraph Days. Legendary events, including the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, are packed in as well but are described as semicomic nonevents, not epic showdowns. This funny novel does include a good deal of ribald humor, but those seeking the genre's typical plotty action will come up short. The audio treatment is excellent, and narrator Tom Stechschulte has one of the best voices for Westerns. His cadences and lilts breathe life into the otherwise flat characters. VERDICT Recommended to McMurty or Earp and Holliday completists, or those looking for a quick taste of McMurtry's distinctive prose. ["By turns droll, stark, wry, or raunchy, this peripatetic novel is a bit sketchy at times," read the review of the Liveright: Norton hc, LJ 2/15/14.]--Mark John Swails, Johnson Cty. Community Coll., Overland Park, KS

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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awards
      • source: The New York Times
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publisher
Recorded Books, Inc.
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