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Terms of Endearment

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  20,897 Ratings  ·  258 Reviews
An Oscar-winning story of a memorable mother and her fiesty daughter who find the courage and humor to live through life's hazards and to love each other as never before. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lonesome Dove created two characters who won the hearts of readers and moviegoers everywhere--Aurora Greenway and her daughter Emma.
Paperback, 410 pages
Published 1997 by Phoenix (first published 1975)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 17, 2016 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never seen the movie and before doing so I picked up this book by the writer of "Lonesome Dove." That work cannot be too easily compared to this estrogen-drenched FemPower! novel which paints its heroine Aurora Greenway as a sassy matriarch deeply afraid of becoming a grandmother and too aware of her love life to stop and help all of her sisters in plight: mainly, her daughter and her maid, who suffer at the hands of stupid husbands. Aurora has all the suitors eating right out of her hand. ...more
Oct 14, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aurora Greenway is one of the best characters ever written, in my eyes. She cracked me up. While she wasn't always a commendable friend, mother, lover or even person, she was human, flawed and still tried to do her best.

The only reason this book doesn't get 5 stars is because I didn't see enough reaction from Aurora with what happend at the end (no spoilers!). I would have liked to see perhaps more remorse- I think I wanted to cry but instead the ending didn't make much of an impact on me.
Beth Bonini
In terms of the relationships between men and women, this book feels quite dated. In terms of the relationship between mother (Aurora Greenaway) and daughter (Emma Horton), I suspect that many readers will either identify with, or certainly acknowledge the truthfulness, of the portrayal. Aurora is one of McMurtry's finest characters - in a large stable of fine and memorable characters. She is a monster of selfishness in many ways: vain, idle, narcissistic, mercurial and self-indulgent. In the op ...more
Nov 22, 2008 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
I laughed, I cried.

What a versatile writer!
Lori Anderson
Aug 11, 2009 Lori Anderson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean Meriwether
Terms of Endearment is another novel, aside from the last 40 pages, that bears no resemblance to the movie adaptation. Where the movie defined the “chick flick” genre, the novel is decidedly less weepy. In the book, Aurora Greenway lives in a vortex of chaos, most of which she has taken on herself. Facing the south-slope of midlife with her first grandchild on the way, Aurora is a living contradiction in terms. She’s a widow who leads on her multiple suitors but has little desire to be caught, s ...more
I honestly didn't like it, but it intrigued me enough to want to know how it ends, so I did finish it, and gave it 1 star for that.

I didn't feel like any of the characters were remotely likeable. The women who were married were all in terrible marriages with abuse of some sort. The fact that they never left of their own accord makes me wonder about the author's attitudes towards marrriage and towards women. The men were largely useless - either lazy, abusive, aggressive, or undeveloped and ignor
Oct 23, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
McMurtry reminds me a little of John Irving in that he will take a character, usually a secondary one and give this whole rambling back story that can be really boring but works for them.
Terms of Endearment was marketed as a mother-daughter story but I think it was more about Aurora. She is CLASSIC! she comes across as confident and witty and whip-smart (which she is) but really the overconfidence is covering major insecurity. She needs men to make her feel powerful and sexy. She needs to be wa
Suzanne Moore
I have been a fan of McMurty since his novel Lonesome Dove was made into a TV mini-series. After watching that epic western, I immediately went to the library and read the book as well as several other McMurty novels. His novels are either set in the days of Old West or contemporary Texas. His characters are certainly memorable, as you may know if you’ve ever read any of his novels or seen movies based on his work.
Terms of Endearment takes place in modern Houston, TX and though there are both m
Apr 11, 2015 Lucynell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's another user on Goodreads who rated this two stars because the "only good things about it was the superb writing and memorable characters." I agree with her and would also add great dialogue and give it two more stars making it four. As memorable characters go Aurora Greenway is a diamond, almost vicious in her pragmatism, sharp-tongued and hilariously uncomfortable to be around. In lesser hands she may have been a cartoon but Larry McMurty is a great writer and gives depth graciously (" ...more
Krizia Anna
I did not like it that much. The only good things about it was the superb writing and the memorable characters. However, I did not really like the plot. I got a feeling that this was supposed to be a mother-daughter book but it really wasn't. It was actually a mother and her suitors, and daughter and her love affairs. If this was published today they might be called sluts and bitches. The ending was actually pretty good but I think the author wasted a lot of pages for that. The beginning was too ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I read this after seeing the movie. I think I liked it well enough, but wasn't blown away by it. Whatever McMurtry may have intended, Shirley MacLaine will always be Aurora to me. What a performance!

As for McMurtry's other novels, Lonesome Dove is really the only "blow you away it's so good" story.
Tona Ogle
Wasn't at all what I expected. I thought it was about the coming together and relationship between a mother and daughter when it's just about the similar screwed up lives of two old broads who happen to be mother & daughter. They're practically inconsequential to one another till the very end.
Sep 23, 2010 Halloweenbaby rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was manipulative aiming at wringing every possible tear out of the reader.
Tiffany T
This is one of those rare times, when I love the movie more than the book.
Jun 29, 2016 Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw the movie when it first came out. It was a tear-jerker at the end. Same thing with the book--the last section is mostly in Emma's perspective and just as heartbreaking as I remember the movie was.

The most surprising thing about the book was how little it actually followed the movie. Spoiler alert--there is no Garrett Breedlove character in the book. The paperback edition I read must have come out after the movie. It had a middle section of photos of Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger and Jeff
Alex Lee
Sep 17, 2015 Alex Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, fiction
I'm not sure I understood this novel. It would be easy to dismiss the characters because they are too selfish, or too amoral. By today's standards the violence and verbal abuse seem trivalized as when it's done, the characters easily forget and bear little to no grudges. I did want to find out what was happening but in the end, it seemed all they wanted to do was mostly drink, screw, and abuse each other because someone else isn't living up to some kind of expectations.

I'm not sure how I would f
This book is confusing to me. I kept waiting for the plot to happen.

The description points out that the author has created two women whom MOVIEGOERS everywhere fell in love with. Perhaps not readers.

Aurora Greenway is the main character here, a mature woman with several gentleman 'callers' who are all convinced they are in love with her. She deftly plays them off of each other, creating endless entertainment for herself, but perhaps leaving others hurting.

Emma is her daughter. Emma is not a st
P.S. Winn
May 05, 2016 P.S. Winn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have seen the movie, you know how special it was and you don't really need the story recapped. Just let me say that even though the movie was beautifully done, the book is still better and this is one you should grab and read, however keep a box of tissues close by. This author has so many amazing novels and readers should be glad for his accomplishments and amazing stories.
Susan Daly
Jun 16, 2011 Susan Daly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is almost an exact replica of my relationship with my own Mother and myself. It was stunning to me to read it when I did way back when because I kept stopping and thinking, "do we know Larry McMurtry", or "does my Mother know him."

The answer was no to both questions, but this book is on of the two (2) or three (3) books I reread every so often and still enjoy as if it were the first time.

I'm not great at explaining plots of books, I think because I much prefer to personalize what I fel
Mar 07, 2014 Vicki rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is that it must have taken a screenwriter of heroic proportions to see an Oscar-winning movie from this novel. If I had never seen the movie, I wouldn't have made it as far as I did (I got one-third through the book before I gave up). I did skip to the end to find out that Emma's last days in the movie were portrayed fairly true to the book.
I can't imagine how a contemporary writer can be as prolific as McMurtry. He is up there with Joyce Carol Oates and Anthony Trollope!
Anyway, this is not a favorite novel by the author. I am just getting to this now, long after publication. I suspect that many positive reviews were generated by readers fond of the movie who turned to the novel for more story. I understand that the film is substantially different than the book but readers still had a residual affection for the characters.
May 01, 2015 Nannette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gotta admit, I loved the movie, and missed Garrett Breedlove but at the same time I liked the characters of Aurora's other suitors. I feel as though Emma was more explored in the movie. Flap is an ASS. Well done Larry!
May 01, 2016 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir of Booze, Sex, and My MotherDangerous When Wet: A Memoir of Booze, Sex, and My MotherI loved the movie when it came out and I was 14. Now I find it cloying and manipulative. I read the book thinking it would be darker and deeper. The movie is better. I found the book to be rambling and dull -- way too much fat. I couldn't finish it.
Like a lot of people, I read this after seeing the classic film. I was surprised both before and after I read it that it was written by Larry McMurtry. Western novels are not my thing, and I was completely unaware he wrote anything but that genre. Having not read any of those, I thought this book proved what a skilled writer he was, because the subject matter is not what you would usually see a man writing about, much less a writer of westerns. It's a beautiful book, and while the characters are ...more
David Smith
I really didn't like this book except for the last part. I am sure it suffered from my having seen the film 20+ years ago, because I kept thinking "I don't remember *any* of this." I didn't like the characters much, as they all seemed pretty cartoonish.

However, the last bit of the book, SPOILER

after Emma is diagnosed with cancer, was amazing. So poignant, so real. I give that section a 4, and I liked it so much I am tempted to read the preceding two books of the trilogy. I didn't even know it w
Oct 19, 2015 Lois rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aurora Greenway and her daughter are the subjects of this tale, but Emma (the daughter)is mostly invisible; standing in the huge and flamboyant shadow cast by her Mother. Being raised by a 'Princess' myself, I was initially put off. But really - Aurora's hilarious repartee, her ongoing criticisms of her many suitors -- had me in stitches. In her own quieter way, Emma holds her own and in ways is as intrigued by her Mother's outrageous entitlement as all the other people Aurora shuffles in and ou ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"In this acclaimed novel that inspired the Academy Award-winning motion picture, Larry McMurtry created two unforgettable characters who won the hearts of readers and moviegoers everywhere: Aurora Greenway and her daughter Emma.
Aurora is the kind of woman who makes the whole world orbit around her, including a string of devoted suitors. Widowed and overprotective of her daughter, Aurora adapts at her own pace until life sends two enormous challenges her way: Emma's hasty marriage and su
Dec 04, 2014 Robert rated it liked it
I unabashedly fell for the film version of this book, winner of the Best Picture Oscar in 1983, a beautifully acted character-driven comedy drama about the lives and complicated relationships of a mother and daughter, in Houston and the Midwest, respectively, with a final 15 minutes that reduce me to a puddle of tears every time I see it. Who could ever forget Shirley MacLaine screaming in a panicky rage at nurses to give a patient an overdue painkiller, or Debra Winger bravely saying goodbye fo ...more
Nov 08, 2009 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-for-fun
The first, and most important thing to learn, is that the movie and the book are not the same. I listened to this on CD--- a total of 13 CDs, and as far as I can tell, the movie covered the last two CDs. And made up the beginning. And if you're expecting a tearjerker, understand that you have to wade through the first 7/8ths of the book to get to that part.

I enjoyed a lot of this book--- Aurora is an entertaining woman who reminds me of some of the difficult but entertaining people I know. What
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Around the Year i...: Terms of Endearment, by Larry McMurtry 1 14 Apr 25, 2016 10:22AM  
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Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays.

Among many other accolades he was the co-winner of an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Brokeback Mountain in 2006.

Larry McMurty was born in Wichita Falls Texas in 1936. His first published book Horseman, Pass By was
More about Larry McMurtry...

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“It was inconsiderate, she thought, how blandly people mentioned the future in the sick rooms. Phrases like next summer were always popping out; people made such assumptions about their own continuity.” 8 likes
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