Duane's Depressed

Duane's Depressed

A Novel

Book - 1999
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Baker & Taylor
The conclusion to the trilogy that includes "The Last Picture Show" and "Texasville" offers a blend of humor and tragedy set in a backwater Texas town

Blackwell North Amer
McMurtry brings the Thalia saga to an end with Duane confronting depression in the midst of plenty. Surrounded by his children, who all seem to be going through life crises involving sex, drugs, and violence; his wife, Karla, who is wrestling with her own demons; and friends like Sonny, who seem to be dying, Duane can't seem to make sense of his life anymore, and shocks his loved ones and the local countryside by giving up his pickup truck to go on foot (and later by bike) - a sign of depression (if not madness) by local community standards - which will soon lead him to abandon Karla and his family and emulate Thoreau, and will eventually make him a patient of Dr. Honor Carmichael, a lesbian psychoanalyst who has put out her shingle in Wichita Falls and with whom Duane falls inappropriately in love, and to make a friend of Gay-lee, a whore who lives near him in the hellish motel he has chosen to stay in when not in his rustic cabin, and to whom Duane gives Shorty, his Queensland blue heeler and companion, as he gradually makes his way through a protracted end-of-life crisis in which he is finally cured by reading Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, a combination of penance and prescription from Dr. Carmichael that somehow works.

Baker
& Taylor

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lonesome Dove presents the long-awaited conclusion to the trilogy that includes The Last Picture Show and Texasville, a moving blend of humor and tragedy set in a backwater Texas town. 200,000 first printing.

Simon and Schuster
Funny, sad, full of wonderful characters and the word-perfect dialogue of which he is the master, Larry McMurtry's new novel is the final and eagerly awaited volume of the trilogy that now includes The Last Picture Show (one of his most acclaimed and beloved novels), Texasville, and Duane's Depressed. Set in Thalia, Texas, the small town that McMurtry literally put on the map when he wrote The Last Picture Show (and that bears a more than passing resemblance to his own hometown, Archer City), Duane's Depressed follows those of the characters who have survived into their twilight years. In The Last Picture Show and the books that follow, McMurtry has created a cast that has achieved instant recognition, both in print and on the screen -- Duane and his friend and rival, Sonny, both high school seniors in the small and shrinking oil patch town of Thalia, obsessed with sex and touchingly vulnerable behind a facade of teenage toughness; Jacy, the prettiest (and richest) girl in town, who survives small-town teenage sex to become a movie star; Ruth Popper, the sadly romantic wife of Coach Popper; Jacy's hell-raising mother; Karla, who later marries Duane; Lester, the high school geek who goes on to become the town banker and eventually does time in prison for writing up inappropriate loans -- all with a life of their own, as rich and as surprising as only Larry McMurtry could imagine. Now, in Duane's Depressed, McMurtry brings the Thalia saga to an end with Duane confronting depression in the midst of plenty. Surrounded by his children, who all seem to be going through life crises involving sex, drugs, and violence; his wife, Karla, who is wrestling with her own demons; and friends like Sonny, who seem to be dying, Duane can't seem to make sense of his life anymore, and shocks his loved ones and the local countryside by giving up his pickup truck to go on foot (and later by bike) -- a sign of depression (if not madness) by local community standards -- which will soon lead him to abandon Karla and his family and emulate Thoreau, and will eventually make him a patient of Dr. Honor Carmichael, a lesbian psychoanalyst who has put out her shingle in Wichita Falls and with whom Duane falls inappropriately in love, and to make a friend of Gay-lee, a whore who lives near him in the hellish motel he has chosen to stay in when not in his rustic cabin, and to whom Duane gives Shorty, his Queensland blue heeler and companion, as he gradually makes his way through a protracted end-of-life crisis in which he is finally cured by reading Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, a combination of penance and prescription from Dr. Carmichael that somehow works. Here is McMurtry's strongest and most appealing "contemporary" novel since the much acclaimed Terms of Endearment -- the work of a powerful, mature artist, with a deep understanding of the human condition, a profound ability to write about small-town life, and perhaps the surest touch of any American novelist for the tangled feelings that bind and separate men and women. Utterly unsentimental, often hilarious, sometimes tragic and shocking, and in the end full of hope, Duane's Depressed is one of McMurtry's strongest novels, a major work of art by any standard.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 1999.
ISBN: 9780684854977
068485497X
Branch Call Number: MAC
Characteristics: 431 p. ; 24 cm.

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LDPBLM
Mar 15, 2012

It was important to read this , as it helped me understand Mr. Proust's tome . The book plodes along , ultimately showing some good character development . Too long , but a good effort , Larry

k
KarenW
Aug 22, 2005

Poor Duane. Down at heart, but not down on his luck, he is living a life of mediocrity that is only slightly more exciting than watching his town die. His big earnings and big house don?t seem to add up to much anymore and his friends keep drifting farther away. Sonny is no more than a shadow of his former self, and Jacy is missing and presumed dead. What could happen next? Well, not much. Can you imagine Duane starting a community garden? Wow. And what if some of the characters die? Interesting, huh. Well, no not really. What the heck happened? ?The last picture show? was such a great book, perhaps it should stand by itself. And this end of a trilogy is as flat as the landscape McMurtry describes.

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