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Telegraph Days

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Telegraph Days Cover

ISBN13: 9780743250788
ISBN10: 0743250788
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Not since the publication of his own beloved classic Lonesome Dove has there been a novel like this one — another big, brilliant, unputdownable saga of the West from Larry McMurtry. Telegraph Days is at once a major work of literature and a completely absorbing read, not just great fiction, but fiction on a great scale, encompassing many years, many characters, real and fictional, and the whole vast landscape of place, time, life, and heart, which has served for more than one hundred thirty years as the background for the Western in fiction and on the screen. Nobody writes, or has ever written, better about the West than Larry McMurtry, and nobody has caught better in words its myths, its often brutal reality, its overwhelming size, and the way it captured both the imagination and the hopes of those who settled there, only, as was so often the case, to dash those hopes.

Told in the voice of Nellie Courtright, a spunky, courageous, attractive young woman whose story this is in part, Telegraph Days is the big novel of the Western gunfighters that people have been hoping for years Larry McMurtry would write.

When Nellie and her brother Jackson are unexpectedly orphaned by their father's suicide on his new and unprosperous ranch, they make their way to the nearby town of Rita Blanca, where Jackson manages to secure a job as a sheriff's deputy, while Nellie, ever resourceful, becomes the town's telegrapher.

Together, they inadvertently put Rita Blanca on the map when young Jackson succeeds in shooting down all six of the ferocious Yazee brothers in a gunfight that brings him lifelong fame but which he can never repeat because his success came purely out of luck.

Propelled by her own energy and commonsense approach to life, Nellie meets and almost conquers the heart of Buffalo Bill, the man she will love most in her long life, and goes on to meet, and witness the exploits of, Billy the Kid, the Earp brothers, and Doc Holliday. She even gets a ringside seat at the Battle at the O.K. Corral, the most famous gunfight in Western history, and eventually lives long enough to see the West and its gunfighters turned into movies.

Full of life, love, shootings, real Western heroes and villains, Telegraph Days is Larry McMurtry at his epic best, in his most ambitious Western novel since Lonesome Dove.

Review:

"McMurtry's latest skips through western lore with a wry smile. Marie Antoinette 'Nellie' Courtright and her brother, Jackson, bereft of family after their Virginia clan dies off one by one, arrive in Rita Blanca in 1876, in what would become the Oklahoma Panhandle, to remake themselves. Jackson is made a deputy sheriff and Nellie takes over the telegraph office. In short order, Jackson shoots down an entire gang of outlaws, and Nellie promptly writes it up to launch a lucrative literary career. Other adventures await: she becomes manager of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, boldly faces down Jesse James's attempt to rob her and witnesses the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. She becomes mayor of Rita Blanca, a mother of six and, later, friends with Lillian Gish and William B. Mayer. Beautiful and sexually insatiable, Nellie is a witty, sophisticated, accomplished, cunning, impudent and highly improbable woman — more than a match for any man she meets, which isn't saying much, since they're all idiots. She also is little more than a reworking of several previous McMurtry heroines, especially The Berrybender Narratives' Tasmin. This tale is contrived, episodic and lacks cohesion, and its constant comedy is self-conscious. But most readers won't be able to help cracking a smile over McMurtry's 38th book, as purposely over-the-top as an episode of South Park. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"This rollicking epic is filled with excitement and humor, tinged with sadness and a longing for the past. In his striving to demythologize the West, McMurtry's vision of the reality is compelling." Booklist

Review:

"Although not as epic as Lonesome Dove, Telegraph Days surely seems of the same vintage — good news for the legions of McMurtry fans." Library Journal

Review:

"Though the novel ultimately covers a lot of territory, this isn't a return to the Oscar-winner's epic sweep of Lonesome Dove, but it's an easy, breezy read." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] darn good read....McMurtry has created a modern-day dime novel, a romantic knock-up of the West — proof that an old-fashioned oater can be as much fun to read as a literary work." Washington Post

Review:

"Telegraph Days...rises as a fresh and invigorating story." San Antonio Express-News

Review:

"With Telegraph Days...[McMurtry] returns to form with his best work since Anything for Billy..." Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"Telegraph Days is an entertaining read and perhaps the most endearing of his minor Western-myth-busting romps..." Dallas Morning News

About the Author

Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-eight novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove. His other works include two collections of essays, three memoirs, and more than thirty screenplays, including the coauthorship of Brokeback Mountain, for which he received the Academy Award. He lives in Archer City, Texas.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

TOMMY ARNOLD, June 21, 2006 (view all comments by TOMMY ARNOLD)
I have always been a big fan of McMurtry's western novels, though his most recent efforts have not been his best. MrMurtry likes to tell us he is demythologize the west, yet his best books seem to resonate with readers because they have the exact opposite effect. Folks loved "Lonesome Dove" because it gave them every thing they wanted in a western (the myth) and more. In "Telegraph days" we are shown the final days of the frontier (when most of these myths were born) and we are introduced to Nellie Courtright, a telegraph operator in Rita Blanca, in the then outlaw territory of Oklahoma. Nellie's fortunes change when she writes a dime novel about her younger brother single handedly wiping out a gang of desperate outlaws (something he did do, but only through dumb luck). The story follows Nellie's life as she meets many of the iconic figures of the American west from Buffalo Bill to Wyatt Earp (Even witnessing the shoot out at the OK Corral, and of course McMurtry puts his spin on this very mythic event of the old west!). As in his best works McMurtry deftly mixes humor with a sadness for things past, that in the end only seems to create his own myth of the west-one I enjoyed very much! If you like McMurtry, Check out "Across the High Lonesome" a modern day western that I purchased after seeing McMurtry had given the book high marks----and he was right, great story!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743250788
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Mcmurtry, Larry
Author:
McMurtry, Larry
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Brothers and sisters
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Frontier and pioneer life
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Orphans
Subject:
Westerns - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
May 2006
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Westerns » General

Telegraph Days Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743250788 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "McMurtry's latest skips through western lore with a wry smile. Marie Antoinette 'Nellie' Courtright and her brother, Jackson, bereft of family after their Virginia clan dies off one by one, arrive in Rita Blanca in 1876, in what would become the Oklahoma Panhandle, to remake themselves. Jackson is made a deputy sheriff and Nellie takes over the telegraph office. In short order, Jackson shoots down an entire gang of outlaws, and Nellie promptly writes it up to launch a lucrative literary career. Other adventures await: she becomes manager of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, boldly faces down Jesse James's attempt to rob her and witnesses the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. She becomes mayor of Rita Blanca, a mother of six and, later, friends with Lillian Gish and William B. Mayer. Beautiful and sexually insatiable, Nellie is a witty, sophisticated, accomplished, cunning, impudent and highly improbable woman — more than a match for any man she meets, which isn't saying much, since they're all idiots. She also is little more than a reworking of several previous McMurtry heroines, especially The Berrybender Narratives' Tasmin. This tale is contrived, episodic and lacks cohesion, and its constant comedy is self-conscious. But most readers won't be able to help cracking a smile over McMurtry's 38th book, as purposely over-the-top as an episode of South Park. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "This rollicking epic is filled with excitement and humor, tinged with sadness and a longing for the past. In his striving to demythologize the West, McMurtry's vision of the reality is compelling."
"Review" by , "Although not as epic as Lonesome Dove, Telegraph Days surely seems of the same vintage — good news for the legions of McMurtry fans."
"Review" by , "Though the novel ultimately covers a lot of territory, this isn't a return to the Oscar-winner's epic sweep of Lonesome Dove, but it's an easy, breezy read."
"Review" by , "[A] darn good read....McMurtry has created a modern-day dime novel, a romantic knock-up of the West — proof that an old-fashioned oater can be as much fun to read as a literary work."
"Review" by , "Telegraph Days...rises as a fresh and invigorating story."
"Review" by , "With Telegraph Days...[McMurtry] returns to form with his best work since Anything for Billy..."
"Review" by , "Telegraph Days is an entertaining read and perhaps the most endearing of his minor Western-myth-busting romps..."
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