Books

Reviews, profiles, and interviews that capture the diverse voices adding to Texas’s rich literary tradition

Books |
June 30, 1994

Blood Lines

With eight books in print, David Lindsey has established his own gory niche in the world of mystery writers.

Books |
March 1, 1994

Animal Writes

Eight indigenous authors, nine native critters: A bookish look at the wildest, woolliest creatures in Texas history.

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February 1, 1994

Waco Untold

Four quickie Branch Davidian books reveal that the full story has yet to come out.

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December 1, 1993

The Old Man And the Tee

How 89-year-old Harvey Penick turned life’s lessons into a best-selling book—and followed it up with another master stroke.

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July 31, 1993

Mean Streets

Larry McMurtry rallies Lonesome Dove’s geriatric survivors for a last perilous, meandering adventure in Streets of Laredo.

Books |
April 30, 1993

Court Reporter

Renowned legal scholar and law professor Charles Alan Wright is deadly serious—about murder mysteries.

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December 1, 1992

Keyboard Kops

Hacker Crackdown tells how the feds busted employees of a Texas games company for a crime they didn’t commit.

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April 1, 1992

Having a Cow

Beyond Beef blames cattle for the decline of civilization—not to mention famine, pestilence, destruction, and death.

Books |
January 1, 1990

A Child’s Garden of Texas

The young—and even the not-so-young-can travel back through the state’s glorious past simply by opening up any one of these fourteen children’s classics.

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December 1, 1989

Continental Drift

Five beautifully produced books explore the Americas, from anonymous folk art to the great muralists, from revolutionary heroes to a Texas ranching patriarch.

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May 31, 1989

Moving On

Dave Hickey’s fine short stories are enhanced by the scarcity; Texas expatriate William Humphrey takes on the Cherokees’ Trail of Tears.

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November 1, 1988

Hasty Copy

Dan Jenkins’ latest takes a tough-cookie journalist out of a thirties movie and puts her into a chase through Depression-era Fort Worth; Sarah Glasscock populates her fictional Alpine with a cast of real characters.

Books |
July 31, 1988

Long Live the Kink

Kinky Friedman dropped out for a while, but it sure beat dropping dead. Now the warped warbler is back with a play, a movie deal, and murder mystery number three.

Books |
May 31, 1988

Character Flaw

A tour of the Texas psyche, with guides like Sam Houston, Katherine Anne Porter, and John Henry Faulk; a novel of adolescence addresses carnal knowledge and fundamentalist religion.

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March 1, 1988

The Soft Sell

Once, the term “paperback original” was reserved for second-rate work. Now, thanks to an innovative editor, two Texas novelists are proud to see their books in softcover.

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December 1, 1987

Poison Pen

Dallas’ drive-in film critic Joe Bob Briggs made us laugh at bad movies. When we became the butt of the joke, it wasn’t funny anymore.

Books |
June 30, 1987

Oil Gluttons

Getty Oil dropped into the market like raw steak into a bay full of sharks: Oil and Honor clarifies the waters. Beverly Lowry keeps the pages turning in her deft and racy roman à clef. The Perfect Sonya.

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April 1, 1987

The Next Picture Show

In Larry McMurtry’s Texasville, the teenagers from The Last Picture Show await their thirtieth high school reunion amid the hard times in Thalia and, as always, the war between the sexes.

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March 1, 1987

Slim Pickens

Boone, T. Boone Pickens’ autobiography, is most interesting when it names names and tells tales, but such moments surface only occasionally and sink quickly.

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February 1, 1987

The Apple Version

Walt Disney, Howard Johnson, and Margery Post Merriweather have one thing in common: they’re all trapped inside Max Apple’s new novel.

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November 1, 1986

Forty-two Per Cent Potent

In the novel Paradise, Donald Barthelme offers a cereal box of current events and social observations; Laura Furman challenges the dogged ideal of family in Tuxedo Park; Karleen Koen’s Through a Glass is a crash-bang publishing event.

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September 30, 1986

Partners in Crime

David Lindsey stalks Houston cops, through the violence the violence and around the blood, in search of another mystery novel.

Books |
July 31, 1986

Texas, In Short

The characters in Prize Stories and South by Southwest often dwell on the past while living out their lives in an anxious present.

Books |
June 30, 1986

My Fair Editor

George Bernard Shaw wrote a quarter of a million pieces of correspondence and never mailed one to San Antonio. So where does his editor choose to live?…

Books |
May 31, 1986

Nine Days of Solitude

The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor is more than just journalistic ghostwriting; I the Supreme is robbed of its punch; Bird of Life, Bird of Death peeks behind Central America’s dictators and dominoes.

Books |
April 30, 1986

Southern Discomfort

Bobby Jack Nelson—roughneck, cowhand, prospector, and Australian talk show host—is also a fine novelist; Larry L. King writes about writing.