TOM MCGUANE: He's Left No Stone Unturned

Determined to bury his desperado past, novelist TOM MCGUANE is back in the saddle with a new book and hard-won, tempered confidence

An autumn snow has glazed the Crazy Mountains and left a confectionary dusting on the hills and gullies of Montana's West Boulder valley. Atop his horse, Thomas McGuane is silent for a moment as he surveys the Turkish carpet of prairie juniper, sage, buckbrush and wheatgrass that blankets his 3,700- acre ranch in Big Sky country. "It's funny," he says at last, "but you never know where lightning will strike. You're sort of a moving target for fortune, and you never know when it will befall you."

Not that McGuane is complaining. A fit 50, he has weathered the storms of...

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