When the Light Goes: Book summary and reviews of When the Light Goes by Larry McMurty

When the Light Goes

by Larry McMurty

When the Light Goes
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2007
    192 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Back from a two-week trip to Egypt, Duane finds he cannot readjust to life in Thalia, the small, dusty, West Texas hometown in which he has spent all of his life. In the short time he was away, it seems that everything has changed alarmingly. His office barely has a reason to exist now that his son Dickie is running the company from Wichita Falls, his lifelong friends seem to have suddenly grown old, his familiar hangout, once a good old-fashioned convenience store, has been transformed into an "Asian Wonder Deli," his daughters seem to have taken leave of their senses and moved on to new and strange lives, and his own health is at serious risk.

The only consolation is meeting the young, attractive geologist, Annie Cameron, whom Dickie has hired to work out of the Thalia office. Annie is brazenly seductive, yet oddly cold, young enough to be Duane's daughter, or worse, and Duane hasn't a clue how to handle her. He's also in love with his psychiatrist, Honor Carmichael, who after years of rebuffing him, has decided to undertake what she feels is Duane's very necessary sex reeducation, opening him up to some major, life-changing surprises.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Although amusing in places and full of sharp McMurtry observations and sentences, it's as weak a book as he has produced." - PW.

"For McMurtry fans, there's some heat here, but little light." - Kirkus.

"McMurtry keeps the sexual play frank--too frank, with descriptions of Duane's impotence falling under the heading of too much information. Although Duane is surprised by his late-blooming sexuality, readers won't be, and his prolonged malaise deadens the impact of his self-discovery."

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McMurty continues the life of Duane Moore, first seen as a teenager in The Last Picture Show (1966), continued in Texasville (1987) and Duane's Depressed (1999). Now he returns to Duane aged 64.

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