Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry

leavingcheyennecover-l-mcmurtrayLately I’ve been doing lots of reading. I’m especially interested in reading those authors who focus on character and setting.

I just finished “Leaving Cheyenne” by Pulitzer Prize winning author Larry McMurtry. He wrote “Lonesone Dove” for which he won the Pulitzer for fiction. You may remember it was transformed into the great TV mini-series some years ago starring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones.

In this his second novel, he tells the tale of three unlikely western heroes. Gideon Fry, a serious rancher; Johnny McCloud, the free-spirited cowboy; and the woman they both love, Molly Taylor.

She loves them both and being independent refuses to marry either one of them. Tragedy follows them as their lives intertwine. The story plus the characters made me want to find out what happens to them. The reader cares deeply about them. Dialogue is used to great effect to advance the plot and define the character traits of each of them.

The tale is set in West Texas around the turn of the twentieth century. McMurtry is so adept at description he doesn’t have to go into long detail. Short but very sweet is an apt way of describing the result.

An extremely satisfying read by a truly great author. As a writer I was thinking “oh to write like this”.

4 Responses to Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry

  1. stamperdad says:

    As a writer I am trying to sample good writing. Lately reading almost anything to at least review openings, characterization, etc. You get the idea.


  2. I read Anything for Billy some years ago, not something I would usually pick up, and enjoyed the writing. The Last Picture Show was always one of my Dad’s favorite movies, but that could have been Cybil Shepherd 😉

  3. stamperdad says:

    Thanks Pappy. I’m in San Francisco actually at a large stamp show. Hope to also get time in the evenings to do some writing.


  4. Pappy says:

    To think such talent is wasted on a guy like McMurtry when it could have been given to you and me. Have a great weekend. Pappy

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