Larry McMurtry, Author . Simon & Schuster $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5079-5

In his 28th novel, Pulitzer-winner McMurtry again displays his knack for compelling characters and plots, this time as two women of a certain age take a road trip through Texas. Sixty-year-old widow Maggie Clary hasn't felt like herself since her hysterectomy; though her Hollywood company, Prime Loops, is doing well—they dub in the grunts and groans for movie soundtracks—she secretly wonders if she's going "bats." Maggie's three well-intentioned daughters have appeared on her doorstep for a Sunday morning "intervention." Though Maggie's diminutive Sicilian psychiatrist has improved her mood (thanks, in part, to their mid-session sex), she decides to follows the advice of a flirtatious waiter and try a change of scenery. Maggie invites fellow "looper" and best friend Connie (the two have been inseparable—and boy crazy—since they were 14), to join her on a drive to her octogenarian Aunt Cooney's Texas chicken ranch. Despite family troubles that threaten to sabotage their trip, the two stay the course on a road rife with reprobates, from a relentless "professional" hitchhiker to a mild-mannered car thief forever violating his parole. Aunt Cooney's brief appearance is among the high points of McMurtry's life-affirming tale: sporting an "old mashed-up" cowboy hat and an abundance of rouge, the gregarious granny greets her city slicker niece by yanking a pistol out of her pocket and firing shots into the sky. Agent, Andrew Wylie. (Dec. 7)

Reviewed on: 11/08/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4193-1282-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-9021-6
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4391-2944-9
Paperback - 242 pages - 978-0-7432-5095-5
Hardcover - 421 pages - 978-1-58724-947-1
Paperback - 398 pages - 978-1-59413-127-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4193-1588-6
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