Review by Booklist Review
Although he is most famous as a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, McMurtry has worked for decades as a screenwriter. He and his partner, Diana Ossana, won the 2005 Academy Award for the screenplay of Brokeback Mountain. This is the third installment of a trilogy of memoirs dealing with McMurtry's artistic experiences, and it covers more than 40 years of his career interacting with Hollywood figures and the process of turning the written word into celluloid. This is the most intriguing of the three memoirs; it has an oddly detached tone, since McMurtry often writes like a starstruck outsider who fails to realize he has become a Hollywood insider. He asserts that he lacks a passion for the screenwriting craft and the filmmaking process, but he approaches the topic with relish. The memoir is divided into a series of short, often disconnected chapters in which a constant theme is the fact that the vast majority of screenplays, including his own, never become films. In his wanderings, McMurtry ranges from the role of agents to the difficulty of producing westerns to the tedium of attending awards ceremonies. He includes numerous vignettes in which he discusses his relations with various Hollywood personalities, some famous and some obscure. His descriptions are not always charitable, but they are consistently sharp, interesting, and enjoyable.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Prolific novelist and screenwriter McMurtry shares his history with the movies via breezy anecdotes and insightful reflections on a writer's fluctuating currency in Hollywood. McMurtry muses on the elusive and capricious nature of the filmmaking industry with humor and compassion for some of the people who have inhabited it. With observations on the often predictable decline of movie stars, and recollections of his own projects, McMurtry is always the writer who loves what he does, despite setbacks, delays, or disappointments. He shares some of Tinsel Town's characters, less idiosyncratic today than they once were, and the many opportunities he was given to write for the movies; his endeavors, even those that never made it to the screen, served a purpose in the long, productive trajectory of his career. Unpretentious but wise, passionate but not precious about his craft (when he won an Oscar for Brokeback Mountain he skipped the parties in favor of "a decent cheeseburger" and bed), McMurtry shames his angst-ridden peers with a frank appreciation for the chance to be a part of the massive entertainment machine. (Aug.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Review by Library Journal Review
McMurtry is best known for his novels, a number of which have been made into successful films, notably Hud, The Last Picture Show, and Terms of Endearment. In his spare time, McMurtry has worked on numerous film treatments and screenplays, and he and his writing partner won an Oscar for their screenplay adaptation for Brokeback Mountain. In this brief book, McMurtry writes of the challenges of scriptwriting, the tedium of attending awards ceremonies, a heart attack that shook his creative confidence, and his lifelong passion for collecting and selling books. His admission to liking Hollywood does not prevent his penning of some hard-edged portraits of actors, agents, producers, and directors. There's surprisingly little information on the making of Lonesome Dove, one of the most popular miniseries in television history. Verdict McMurtry's latest memoir is a fast, breezy read with many deliberate digressions and his characteristically sharp observations. However, interest will probably be limited to hard-core McMurtry fans, film buffs, and industry insiders.-Stephen Rees, formerly with Bucks Cty. Free Lib., Levittown, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.