Review: Books: A Memoir

Larry McMurtry (2008)

Thoroughly disappointing. The book begins charmingly enough, briefly covering McMurtry’s childhood but once he hits adulthood and begins his career in the book trade, this memoir becomes a dull bore, of interest only to those who are fascinated by the ins-and-outs of the antiquarian and second-hand book business.

I give you exhibit A:

Her library contained a few expensive books, plus many thousands that were attractive without being very particularly expensive. One (shed) turned out to contain nothing but books by the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould. How often does a shed full of Baring-Gould’s three-deckers fall in your lap? Who could turn that down?

Woo-hoo. And there’s plenty more where that came from.

Most chapters are very short and smack of disjointed thoughts jotted in a notebook and loosely strung together to make a book. Some of the writing is downright poor; Books reads like an unedited work-in-progress. If I hadn’t known this was written by the same author responsible for Lonesome Dove and The Last Picture Show, I never would have guessed it from this unimpressive offering.

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