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Book summary and reviews of Mr. Texas by Lawrence Wright

Mr. Texas by Lawrence Wright

Mr. Texas

A Novel

by Lawrence Wright

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  • Published:
  • Sep 2023
    336 pages
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About this book

Book Summary

A hilarious, sharply drawn send-up of Texas politics—from the Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author.

Sonny Lamb is an affable, if floundering, rancher with the unfortunate habit of becoming a punchline in his Texas hometown. Most recently, to everyone's headshaking amusement, he bought his own bull at an auction. But when a fire breaks out at a neighbor's farm, Sonny makes headlines in another way: not waiting for help, he bolts to the farm where his heroic actions make the evening news.

Almost immediately, and seemingly out of nowhere, a handsomely dressed lobbyist from Austin arrives at his ranch door and asks if he'd like to run for his West Texas district's seat in the state legislature. Though Sonny has zero experience and doesn't consider himself political at all, the fate of his ranch—and perhaps his marriage to the lovely "cowgirl" Lola—hangs in the balance. With seemingly no other choice, Sonny decides to throw his hat in the ring .

As he navigates life in politics—from running a campaign to negotiating in the capitol—Sonny must learn the ropes, weighing his own ethics and environmental concerns against the pressures of veteran politicians, savvy lobbyists, and his own party. In tracing Sonny's attempt to balance his marriage and morality with an increasingly volatile professional life, Lawrence Wright has crafted a hilarious, immensely clever roller-coaster ride about one man's pursuit of goodness in the Lonestar State.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Original and funny ... Tapping into his prodigious knowledge of and affection for the state of Texas, Wright gives us a novel about politics and people ... Wonderful characters, Texas-sized helpings of wit and insight, and, believe it or not, a vision of post-partisan redemption." —Kirkus Reviews

"A seductive portrait through words [of] the hot, barren beauty of West Texas ... A fascinating portrait of Lone Star legislating." —Booklist

"Lawrence Wright's Mr. Texas is an uproarious novel about the kitschy weirdness of Texas politics. Every page crackles with deadpan wit, satirical rube philosophy, and keen journalistic observation. But just because Mr. Texas is a hoot doesn't mean it lacks erudition. This is a classic American political novel in the tradition of Bill Lee Brammer's The Gay Place and William Kennedy's Roscoe. My only regret is that Larry McMurtry and Molly Ivins aren't alive to laugh out loud with the rest of us readers. Trust me: Mr. Texas is an irresistible humdinger of a book that has major motion picture written all over it." —Douglas Brinkley, author of Silent Spring Revolution

"Smart, biting, wickedly funny, and really good company: If Mr. Texas had a Tinder profile, that might be it. Lawrence Wright, whose nonfiction journalism is exemplary, proves he can hit from both sides of the plate with this brilliant work of fiction. His skewering of politics is pitch perfect. Mr. Texas is required reading in these politically turbulent times." —Susan Orlean, author of On Animals

"Billionaires and lobbyists battling public servants with the future of Texas in the balance. This is the novel our Texas politics deserves. The craven and absurd, the big hearted and hopeful, the old guard and the next generation, these are the characters who decide the fate of our state and by extension our nation." —Beto O'Rourke, author of We've Got to Try

"Lawrence Wright is the foremost anthropologist of all things Texas, a place where truth is indeed often stranger than fiction. In Mr. Texas, Wright examines the seemingly inexplicable nature of our horrifying partisan politics today in a way that makes the reader both laugh out loud and quietly tear up, but if you're a prisoner of hope, you'll find in these pages reason to keep believing. And it's a wildly entertaining kick in the chaps." —Mark McKinnon, creator of The Circus

This information about Mr. Texas was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Lawrence Wright

Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker, a playwright, and a screenwriter. He is the best-selling author of two previous novels, including The End of October, and eleven books of nonfiction, including Going Clear, God Save Texas, and The Looming Tower, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He and his wife are longtime residents of Austin, Texas.

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