This is a Page Turners from the Past Three-Fer! The reading of Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show led to his Texasville and then to the last of what the literati call a trilogy—Duane’s Depressed!
The Last Picture Show
Simon & Schuster (1966)
If you like coming of age novels and haven’t read the novel or seen the film, then start right at the beginning and read The Last Picture Show. It’s set in the 1950s in Thalia, a butt ugly little Texas oil town where frankly there isn’t much going on. Oil rigs work the dusty prairie, young high schoolers—co-protagonists Duane and Sonny, best friends—shoot pool, drink beer and play on the football team. They sleep in class and stir long enough for both of them to fall in love with Jacy Farrow, the prom queen. And all of this plays around Thalia’s “cultural centers,” an old movie hall where the population watches classics from the 50’s—kids make out in the balcony, the elders enjoy Ronald Reagan and Grace Kelly. And then there’s the pool hall. Owned by a solid citizen named The Lion, it is where Thalia’s male population gathers to chew, spit, drink, talk sex, shoot a lotta bull and a little pool.
The novel is funny sad, and sexy. In Thalia, sex trumps football as the town’s favorite sport with the citizens playing out their “attractions” with little or no feelings. Read More »