Books: Duane's Depressed

By Larry McMurtry

The title, a sly gibe at John Updike, Rabbit at Rest and all the other Rabbits, is worth a smile. Here, McMurtry's Duane Moore, 62, rich, beset by family and bored to a frazzle, flummoxes his Texas town by ditching his pickup truck and walking everywhere. The book is within cat-kicking distance of funny. Real guys don't walk, not in Thalia, Texas. The trouble is that Duane, wambling hero of The Last Picture Show and Texasville, is actually becalmed. He has lost the happy soul's gift of reality avoidance. So too with McMurtry, usually an inspired melodramatist, who plays this one...

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