cover image The Evening Star

The Evening Star

Larry McMurtry. Simon & Schuster, $23 (640pp) ISBN 978-0-671-68519-5

Here old age and death catch up with some beloved McMurtry characters familiar to readers since Terms of Endearment . Willful, tart-tongued Aurora Greenway and her outspoken maid and confidante, Rose Dunlup, sp ok? yes are in their 70s when this book begins; Aurora's lover, Gen. Hector Scott, is nearing 90. Their eccentricities have been exacerbated by the passing of years. Still greedy for life and sexual fulfillment, Aurora convinces Hector that they need psychoanalysis to ensure his better performance; then she begins an affair with the therapist, who is 30 years her junior. Aurora's grandchildren, the legacy of her dead daughter, Emma, are painfully neurotic: former dope dealer Tommy is in prison for manslaughter; though trying maintain mental stability with Jane and their adorable baby, Teddy again comes close to breakdown; pregnant Melissa's feckless boyfriend abandons her for a woman with a Ferrari. The vicissitudes of all these lives occupy the overlong narrative, which blends humor and bathos, snappy dialogue and tedious conversations. When McMurtry is at his best, as in capturing the wise and witty exchanges between Aurora and Rosie, the novel is irresistible. Often, however, the meandering `meanders' in next review. I have restored because the word is important here. Let's move the reviews around. Please lift this one and place it 3rd or 4th in the drop. thanks sss plot seems interminable. Readers who quit in frustration will miss the poignant last third of the novel, in which several lives come to a close. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club featured alternate. (June)