Books: Unhappy Trails

BUFFALO GIRLS

by Larry McMurtry

Simon & Schuster

351 pages; $19.95

Few writers spin a better yarn than Larry McMurtry, whether he's writing about the frost-free, air-conditioned suburbs of Texas or the wild-and-woolly West of hangings and horse trading. In his third historical novel, McMurtry is back on the frontier, telling of its twilight through the final days of the hard-drinking Calamity Jane, who proves that even buffalo girls get the blues. So rawhide tough that many take her for a man and so down on her luck that only a horse and saddlebags stand between her and homelessness, Jane is...

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