LARRY McMURTY'S stunning first novel, HORSEMAN PASS BY,placed him in the ranks of brilliant novelists and became the basis for the vlassic motion picture,HUD.
McMurtry's first novel is considered a coming-of-age story, telling of the last days of Homer Bannon and the conflict between him and his stepson, Hud, all witnessed by his grandson Lonnie.
McMurtry has been one of my favorite authors ever since I read some of his early novels back in the 1970s including Leaving Cheyenne and The Last Picture Show. Horseman, Pass By has been on my shelf for several years and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. It was a wonderful novel told from the perspective of a young boy, Lonnie, who grew up on a Texas cattle ranch in the 1950s. It really shows the realities of ranch life including the loneliness, hard work, and bad luck. It also details some of the hardships of rodeo life. McMurtry's writing is superb and paints a hard hitting, realistic portrait of this life. This novel was also the basis of the movie Hud that starred Paul Newman in the role. I haven't seen Hud for many years (I need to rewatch it now) but I don't think the movie was very true to the book although Hud was definitely a good movie. Hud is a character in this novel, but not really the focus as in the movie. McMurtry of course also authored Lonesome Dove, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, and one of my favorites. But where Lonesome Dove was very broad in scope, Horseman is a novel on a more personal level showing the struggles of a ranch family. All in all, a very high recommendation for this and most of McMurtry!