Larry McMurtry, one of my favorite authors, says that his next book, RHINO RANCH, may be his last.
"It's a finite gift, for sure," he says of novel writing. "I'm about at the end of it. I can write certain things. I don't think I can write fiction any more. I think I've used it up over 30 novels. That's a lot of novels. […]Most great novels are written by people between 40 and 60, or 35 and 60. Not too many great novels are written by people over 75. Hardly any. Maybe Tolstoy."
RHINO RANCH comes out August 11th and is yet another sequel to THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, as were TEXASVILLE, DUANE'S DEPRESSED, and WHEN THE LIGHT GOES. I'm a huge fan of McMurtry's work, but I've found his "contemporary" novels of the last few years, particularly his sequels to THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, to be morose, meandering, and boring tales that lack his usual punch. I'll buy it and read it anyway, of course. Over the last 20 years, by far his best books have been his westerns, most notably LONESOME DOVE and its sequels and prequels.
But this is not the first time McMurtry has threatened to quit…and then followed the announcement by writing a great novel.