Literary life : a second memoir

by Larry McMurtry

Hardcover, 2009




New York : Simon & Schuster, c2009.


McMurtry has delighted generations with his witty and elegant prose. In "Literary Life, " the sequel to "Books, " McMurtry expounds on life on the private side: the trials and triumphs of being a writer.

User reviews

LibraryThing member nmele
Larry McMurtry's second memoir, this one focused on writing and writers, engaged me more than "Books", possibly because I found myself jotting titles and authors down as I read. Interesting also to read which of his books McMurtry considers his best.
LibraryThing member clue
Larry McMurtry continues his autobiography in the syle of Books.
I think of it as an autobiography told in bullet points. No great secrets revealed, no long discussions or introspectives. In this book a literary person drops short (usually) comments about the literary scene as he's known it. The strongest parts of the book are his comments about other writers, particularly those he thinks are good. I picked up several suggestions for new (to me) authors. I enjoyed reading it but a reader expecting a traditional autobiography will be dissapointed.… (more)
LibraryThing member mmignano11
I enjoyed McMurtry's book but I thought it contained more name-dropping than information on books. The author related many tidbits of moments during his life in which he met with various writers. He talks about the different personalities and the assorted experiences with each of them. He doesn't say much about their writing though. I didn't feel that he shared much information about his own writing, on where it was going or where it had been. The book seemed to be more of a gossipy magazine while still maintaining some dignity by referring to writers of some magnitude. Since it was a quick read I would suggest it for those who have read the first part of the memoir entitled "Books" if only for the continuity. I expected a bit more wit from McMurtry as his recent books are filled with comic characters and situations, which I find to be the draw for me.… (more)
LibraryThing member Micalhut
Typically love to read about writer's lives -- one of my favorite genres whether memoir or fiction, but McMurtry let me down. This read like a dry goodreads account: mostly name-dropping in the literary world with a brief account of how he met them or why. Did I mention dry? Like a sentence or two at best. MIT thinking combined with lit talk. A rare book collector would probably gobble it up like popcorn though, because he treats rare books with as much euphoria as he does Kurt Vonnegut. This is a writer who really knows writers, how to class them and the books they produced. A true bibliophile that makes me pale in comparison. I did perk up when he used J.K. Rowling in one sentence. So maybe my biggest let-down was the era he focused on.… (more)
LibraryThing member SESchend
Unfocused and meandering 2nd volume of memoirs; I'd recommend BOOKS to bibliophiles but not this one for writers. Barely touches on his writing process or what works for him as a writer. Far more about what went on around his writing books (and far more about the politics of PEN than anyone outside of NYC might care about). Not bad, and I did finish, but disappointing on the whole.… (more)
LibraryThing member realbigcat
I enjoyed this book because I'm a fan of Larry McMurtry. I'm not sure other would find it as interesting. As in other reviews it is dry and there is a lot of names dropping but as with any memoir of this type you pull tid-bits of information, namely some authors to check out and books to acquire. It is short and not a lot of substance. I found his "Book" memoir more interesting but still it's worth the read from a man who is truly a "book" man.… (more)
LibraryThing member bibleblaster
I scaanned some of the other reviews and people seem to be greatly disappointed in this because of its "unfocused" quality. I enjoyed the sort of meandering style, as if you were just sitting on the porch listening to him tell stories. I don't turn to McMurty for "focus" in any case. His books meander, and I sort of wait for them to latch onto a plot, and then I realize the meandering is the book and much more life-like in that sense. I liked hearing about his friendship with Susan Sontag (talk about an odd couple!) and his own favorite novel ("Duane's Depressed;" I liked this one a lot, too). An entertaining excursion, no literary masterpiece, perfect to listen to in the car...… (more)



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