Monday, June 27, 2011

McMurtry's Blessed Curse

Right now, I'm a-wallering bad. Tears are streaming down my cheeks and all cuz of a Lonesome Dove. I can't remember how many times now I've seen it, but it ain't enough. God, I wished I knew my favorite characters in real life: Gus, Loree, Newt, Jake, Clara.

I love 'em all so so much...except that I cannot stand the character of Woodrow Call.
Now, I loooooooovvvvvve Tommy Lee Jones. Just the thought of him makes me stand a little taller to be a Texan. But that character was a lowdown nasty butt who pushed every one of his friends to their deaths all because of his gall dern stubborn so-called "vision". And he got to live in the end. I hate him. Always have. Always will.

Aside from that, though, Jones did a grade-a perfect job portraying him. That and Larry McMurtry are why I hate Call so much. He is just too vivid to be ignored. Some of the best dialogue is the small talk between Woodrow and Gus. And then there are the daily gems of Gus's, like "Mornin', Girls" and "Loree, Darlin'".

The more times I see it, it gets shorter and shorter. That's because there are certain parts that I just can no longer watch. So, I take breaks. And there always another scene that gets added to the no-watch list. First always comes to mind -- when the mess of snakes kill the O'Brien boy crossing the river, when Gus dies of gangrene, when Blue Duck kidnaps and tortures Loree, when they hang Jake, lots of breaks for me. The last scene between Gus and Woodrow...oh, God, I cry like a baby. Duvall and Jones are just perfection perfected. But I always have to watch the end, because I have a gutteral need to scream out at Woodrow, "You MURDERER!" as the credits roll.

It was Larry McMurtry who first taught me why book jackets are useful at all: to cover up book spines so badly broken from reading that the title can no longer be read. This is my Texas section on my bookshelf, and it is pretty near holy. As you can see, every book has a jacket and now you know why.

You regular readers will notice that I even got into character to write this. That's what old Larry does to folks who read him. McMurtry is one of the finest writers to ever put pen to paper. He writes Texas. His characters are Texas. Sometimes it takes my breath away to think one man wrote The Last Picture Show, the Lonesome Dove trilogy and Terms of Endearment.

Just how does it get much better than that? xoxo