Some Can Whistle

by Larry McMurtry

Hardcover, 1989



"Mr. Deck, are you my stinkin' Daddy?" In a furious phone call from T.R., the daughter he's never met, Danny Deck gets the jolt of his life. A TV writer who's retired to his Texas mansion, Danny spends his days talking to the answering machines of his ex-lovers from New York to Paris and dreaming of the characters in the sitcom he's created. But suddenly, a hurricane called T.R. is storming into his life... In his most moving and richly comic contemporary novel since Texasville, Larry McMurtry returns to the modern West he created so masterfully in "The Last Picture Show" and "Terms of Endearment. Some Can Whistle" spins a tale of Hollywood glitz and Texas grit; of an extraordinary young woman and a murderous young man; and of a middle-aged millionaire running head-on into the longings, joys, and pathos of real life.… (more)


(61 ratings; 3.4)

User reviews

LibraryThing member burnit99
Danny Deck, who is apparently a character from an earlier McMurtry novel, is now an aging writer with one of the most successful TV sitcoms in history, and about $300 million to his credit. He lives a reclusive life in an isolated Texas mansion, which he shares with an eccentric housekeeper and a
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more eccentric former professor of the classics, while he keeps sporadic touch with a series of former girlfriends. This insular life is shattered one day when a daughter whom he has been aware of, but has never been allowed to meet, calls him to berate him for his absence from her life. He makes it his mission to meet her and her two small children, rescue them from what he fears is a life of hazard and squalor, and forge a relationship with them. This leads to a series of semi-comic misadventures while he haltingly bonds with his daughter, T.R., which come to a sudden and shocking somber climax.

There are some affecting scenes here, but the overall feel is as if a Marx Brothers film had suddenly veered into tragedy. I'll probably eventually read the first novel featuring Danny Decker ("All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers"), but only because McMurtry is usually a worthwhile read, and occasionally a brilliant writer.
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LibraryThing member santhony
I read this book many, many years ago and recently pulled it off the shelf when looking for something to read. It features a Hollywood screenwriter named Danny Deck (who appeared in an earlier McMurtry book, All my Friends are Going to be Strangers). Deck has hit the jackpot with a top rated, long
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running Hollywood sitcom and amassed a fortune of $300 million.

He now lives on a ranch near Fort Worth with his housekeeper and an eccentric English classicist. Out of the blue, Deck receives a call from an estranged daughter. The novel is an account of his efforts to forge a relationship with the daughter and her two young children.

McMurtry is an absolute master at character creation and development. Every one of his books has been a highly entertaining page turner and this one is no exception.
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Simon & Schuster (1989), Edition: 1st, 348 pages

Original publication date





0671642677 / 9780671642679


Original language

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