The Last Kind Words Saloon
This is Larry McMurtry's ballad in prose: his heartfelt tribute to a bygone era of the American West.
Larry McMurtry has done more than any other living writer to shape our literary imagination of the American West. With The Last Kind Words Saloon, he returns to the vivid and unsparing portrait of the nineteenth-century and cowboy lifestyle made so memorable in his classic Lonesome Dove. Evoking the greatest characters and legends of the Old Wild West, McMurtry tells the story of the closing of the American frontier through the travails of two of its most immortal figures: Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.
Long Grass, Texas. Once hailed as heroes for their days of subduing drunks in Abilene and Dodge – more often with a mean look than a pistol – the taciturn Wyatt now idles away his time between bottles, while the dentist-turned-gunslinger Doc is more adept at poker than extracting teeth. With the buffalo herds gone, the Comanche defeated, and vast swaths of the Great Plains enclosed by cattle ranches, Wyatt and Doc live on, even as the storied West that forged their myths disappears.
McMurtry traces the rich and varied friendship of the heroic pair from the town of Long Grass to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Denver, then to Mobetie, Texas, and finally to Tombstone, Arizona, culminating with the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral, rendered here in McMurtry's stark and peerless prose.
As harsh and beautiful, and as brutal and captivating as the open range it depicts, The Last Kind Words Saloon celebrates the genius of one of the most original American writers.