Leaving Cheyenne

( 8 )

Overview

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Lonesome Dove Larry McMurtry comes the second novel about love and loss on the great plains of Texas. From 1920’s ranching to range cowboys and WWII grief, McMurtry is the undisputed father of the Western literary epic.

Leaving Cheyenne traces the loves of three West Texas characters as they follow that sundown trail: Gideon Fry, the serious rancher; Johnny McCloud, the free-spirited cowhand; and Molly Taylor, the sensitive woman they ...

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Leaving Cheyenne

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Overview

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Lonesome Dove Larry McMurtry comes the second novel about love and loss on the great plains of Texas. From 1920’s ranching to range cowboys and WWII grief, McMurtry is the undisputed father of the Western literary epic.

Leaving Cheyenne traces the loves of three West Texas characters as they follow that sundown trail: Gideon Fry, the serious rancher; Johnny McCloud, the free-spirited cowhand; and Molly Taylor, the sensitive woman they both love and who bears them each a son. Told in alternating perspectives over sixty years, Leaving Cheyenne follows their dreams, secrets, and grief against a changing American landscape.

Tragic circumstances mark the trail, but fans of McMurtry’s distinctive style will cherish his unforgettable characters and pathos of the American West.

Set in the west Texas country McMurtry has immortalized, "Leaving Cheyenne" is the story of the 40-year friendship between two men and a woman.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The New York Times Book Review A rarity...funny, wonderful, heartbreaking, exhilarating.

San Francisco Chronicle A compelling story...consummate skill.

The New York Times Book Review [Larry McMurtry is] a poet, a resonant scene-setter, and a master of voice.

The Houston Post What an imagination he has! When it comes to spinning a good yarn, few writers do it better than McMurtry.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684853871
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 7/16/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 225,255
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry McMurtry

Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lives in Archer City, Texas.

Biography

Back in the late 60s, the fact that Larry McMurtry was not a household name was really a thorn in the side of the writer. To illustrate his dissatisfaction with his status, he would go around wearing a T-shirt that read "Minor Regional Novelist." Well, more than thirty books, two Oscar-winning screenplays, and a Pulitzer Prize later, McMurtry is anything but a minor regional novelist.

Having worked on his father's Texas cattle ranch for a great deal of his early life, McMurtry had an inborn fascination with the West, both its fabled history and current state. However, he never saw himself as a life-long rancher and aspired to a more creative career. He achieved this at the age of 25 when he published his first novel. Horseman, Pass By was a wholly original take on the classic western. Humorous, heartbreaking, and utterly human, this story of a hedonistic cowboy in contemporary Texas was a huge hit for the young author and even spawned a major motion picture starring Paul Newman called Hud just two years after its 1961 publication. Extraordinarily, McMurtry was even allowed to write the script, a rare honor for such a novice.

With such an auspicious debut, it is hard to believe that McMurtry ever felt as though he'd been slighted by the public or marginalized as a minor talent. While all of his books may not have received equal attention, he did have a number of astounding successes early in his career. His third novel The Last Picture Show, a coming-of-age-in-the-southwest story, became a genuine classic, drawing comparisons to J. D. Salinger and James Jones. In 1971, Peter Bogdonovich's screen adaptation of the novel would score McMurtry his first Academy award for his screenplay. Three years later, he published Terms of Endearment, a critically lauded urban family drama that would become a hit movie starring Jack Nicholson and Shirley MacLaine in 1985.

That year, McMurtry published what many believe to be his definitive novel. An expansive epic sweeping through all the legends and characters that inhabited the old west, Lonesome Dove was a masterpiece. All of the elements that made McMurtry's writing so distinguished -- his skillful dialogue, richly drawn characters, and uncanny ability to establish a fully-realized setting -- convened in this Pulitzer winning story of two retired Texas rangers who venture from Texas to Montana. The novel was a tremendous critical and commercial favorite, and became a popular miniseries in 1989.

Following the massive success of Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry's prolificacy grew. He would publish at least one book nearly every year for the next twenty years, including Texasville, a gut-wrenching yet hilarious sequel to The Last Picture Show, Buffalo Girls, a fictionalized account of the later days of Calamity Jane, and several non-fiction titles, such as Crazy Horse.

Interestingly, McMurtry would receive his greatest notoriety in his late 60s as the co-screenwriter of Ang Lee's controversial film Brokeback Mountain. The movie would score the writer another Oscar and become one of the most critically heralded films of 2005. The following year he published his latest novel. Telegraph Days is a freewheeling comedic run-through of western folklore and surely one of McMurtry's most inventive stories and enjoyable reads. Not bad for a "minor regional novelist."

Good To Know

A miniseries based on McMurtry's novel Comanche Moon is currently in production. McMurtry co-wrote the script.

The first-printing of McMurtry's novel In a Narrow Grave is one of his most obscure for a rather obscure reason. The book was withdrawn because the word "skyscrapers" was misspelled as "skycrappers" on page 105.

McMurtry comes from a long line of farmers and ranchers. His father and eight of his uncles were all in the profession.

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    1. Hometown:
      Archer City, Texas
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 3, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Wichita Falls, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A., North Texas State University, 1958; M.A., Rice University, 1960. Also studied at Stanford University.

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Slow read

    Very hard to finish this book. I expected much better from this author. Not as good as i thought it would be

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2001

    Leaving Cheyenne

    The novel Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry is a wonderful story built around the everlasting love triangle among the three main characters. I chose to read this novel because I enjoy reading westerns and it is set in Wyoming in the early 1900's. McMurtry uses amazing visual imagery to bring you to the world of the characters at every moment in the novel. It is incredibly easy to imagine the ranches where memories are made and hearts are broken, and to see how time and technology take their toll on the land. The story spans over sixty years and the strength and endurance of a friendship between two men and the love they both feel for the same woman. Gideon Fry is a rich rancher's son who wants to rebel from his father and the way of life he is destined to inherit, but his conscience always gets in his way. Johnny McCloud is a poor farmer's son who is a cowboy at heart. Molly Taylor, the incredibly strong woman whom Gid and Johnny both love, is the daughter of and alcoholic and has lost every man she has ever cared about. McMurtry was able to write the book from each of these three characters' points of view by dividing the book into three sections. This enables the reader to get to know each one of the characters' personal thoughts, but this format is also a little confusing. The plot is full of unexpected twists and turns which keep the pages turning. The characters are forced to make choices between right and wrong, needs and wants, and convenience over comfort. This novel will make you laugh and make you cry. Leaving Cheyenne is beautifully written, and I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys a great love story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2001

    Masterful portrayal of Texas life.

    No other book I have ever read has captured the feeling of rural Texas life as has Leaving Cheyenne. Being familiar with small-town life and the cowboys that live there, this book seemed to have been written in my back yard. Very touching depiction of love, loss, romance and pride. My favorite book to date.

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    Posted June 24, 2014

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    Posted June 15, 2011

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    Posted December 27, 2010

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