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All My Friends are Going to Be Strangers

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,992 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Ranging from Texas to California on a young writer's journey in a car he calls El Chevy, All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers is one of Larry McMurtry's most vital and entertaining novels.
Danny Deck is on the verge of success as an author when he flees Houston and hurtles unexpectedly into the hearts of three women: a girlfriend who makes him happy but who won't stay
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 2nd 2002 by Simon & Schuster (first published March 20th 1972)
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Best Book Titles
263rd out of 2,209 books — 2,025 voters
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryThe Time It Never Rained by Elmer KeltonMolly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? by Molly IvinsThe Road by Cormac McCarthyBurn Down the Ground by Kambri Crews
Texas Authors
26th out of 298 books — 119 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bob Mayer
I read this book a long time ago, but searching under Larry McMurtry I saw the title and was reminded how much I enjoyed it.

It's funny and tender and evokes a Texas I vaguely remember when I was stationed at Fort Hood.
Bryce Wilson
Old Shit I've Been Revisiting Part II: The Sequel.

Believe it or not but my tolerance for books about young men who are so desperately swamped by ennui, alienation and genius that they have no choice but to love up all the lovely ladies is extrodinarily low.

No really I kid you not. Yet for some reason this particular case of this dubious breed remains one of my favorite novels.

It's Larry McMurty's genius (yes I did say genius and I'll fight anyone who says different) for drawing character and p
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Patrick McCoy
I was inspired to go seek out Larry McMurtry’s novel, All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers after hearing Quentin Tarantino say that he had wanted to become a writer after reading this book. So I wanted to see what it was about the book that inspired him so. It is a bildungsroman, a sort of portrait of the artist as a young man. A young novelist, Danny Decker publishes his first novel which becomes optioned for a movie, not unlike McMurtry himself, who’s first novel Horseman, Pass By was made ...more
Nikki
Reasons why I loved this book:
1. The main character is an English major at Rice and there is a lot of lovely, loving description about Houston, its swampiness, its smell. Nothing like seeing your hometown and your home state treated with so much tenderness. I always hear that McMurtry is calling into question the mythology around Texas with his novels but I think he does that more with his flawed characters than he does with the land itself. I want to wade the Rio Grande at night more than anyth
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Monica
Danny Deck works on his first novel, bounces between Houston and San Francisco, suffers a breakdown, and falls in love with at least four different women in the 1960s. Some of the traditional coming of age arcs coupled with McMurtry's total mastery of setting and road trip style characters that flit in and out stream of consciousness style. This was also very funny and an unbelievably fast read.

Honestly, my love for Larry McMurtry just continues to grow. Our library genre study is finally on to
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Deborah
This was my favorite book in college. I recommended it to my daughter and after reading it she said she did not like the way McMurtry portrayed women in it; so after 40 years I decided I should reread it. So far I have to agree with her. His writing is still awesome. I can literally feel the Houston heat in his descriptions, but his does paint his female characters with a bitter brush.

I will do a final review when I finish the book.

8/25/2012 - Finished the book yesterday and yes, it does portra
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Dusty
Fun and bizarre situations. The dinner scene with the Hollywood producer in the icy cave is my favorite. Swell characters, too, except the narrator, who is whiny and sleeps with -- literally -- EVERY female with whom he comes into contact. I wasn't repulsed. Just bored eventually.
Slmcmahon
"All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers" was the first of the many books by Larry McMurtry I have read. I found the book in a used book shop in Tucson, Arizona, where I was studying at the UofA, many years ago. To say that I have since read most of Mr. McMurtry's books and refuse to part with one of them is a testament to my regard for this author and bookman.

I highly recommend all of McMurtry's books that I have read. The author's ability to create characters that are likeable even if they ar
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Alec
There is a phenomenon out there known as Omaha Syndrome or, alternatively, The Omaha Complex. Google, for some reason, is not supporting me in this claim, but I am positive it exists. Omaha Syndrome, in a nutshell, refers to the fact that any and all Omahans have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of all people/things/events originating in Omaha and an astounding eagerness to share these facts with the world. Warren Buffet! Gerald Ford! 311! Gale Sayers! Marlon Brando! Malcolm X! (And obviously you a ...more
Lark
Changed my mind. I'm giving it 3 because I enjoyed and believed the voice, and voice is particularly important to me. For a wannabe beat-gen, on-the-road hipster who's basically using a skeletal plot to detail some sexual exploits... our protagonist is refreshingly self-aware. He's a young guy struggling to come to grips with his own talent and what it means to be a successful writer while stuck in the rut of starving student and smelly hippie. And y'know, all of this rings very true. I'm kinda ...more
Debbie Reschke Schug
I feel like I need to read McMurtry's other works before I can properly review this since it seems to be reflecting and commenting on some of his well-traveled themes, so this will be somewhat of a cursory analysis.

Half way through the book, I started to feel like I was just in the backseat of McMurtry’s protagonist’s El Chevy, being thrown this way and that around the Southwest; rambling along into different worlds with not a lot of direction from Danny or the book. I think I even started ment
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Bill Weinberg
Although this is far from one of McMurtry's best books, it is very important if you're a fan of his work. This book gives the reader the feel for his main characters in many of his other books. His hero is a man who has strong moral feelings and is tormented by them.

This is a recurrent theme. His characters are always sexual hedonists but they still display a moralistic tone towards the other characters. McMurtry is able to portray sex in many ways - tender, ridiculous, tawdry, shallow, fleeting
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Davethorson
I read this book when I was in college back in the late 70s when Larry McMurtry first became very prominent after the film of "The Last Picture Show" came out. I always remembered it as a very touching, moving book but I could hardly remember what it was about. When I ran across a used copy of it, I picked it up to read it again.

While I enjoyed it thoroughly, I could see as a young man of 19 full of youthful angst why it appealed to me and why I remembered its impact on me so many years later. O
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Glen
If Ellen Gilchrist were a man from Texas, I suspect she would write a book like this. It's a novel about highly intelligent, literate, and in the case of the central protagonist, literary characters who are also all deeply flawed and wounded in some way. It is often hard to pinpoint in what way exactly, but while there are moments in which the reader becomes angry or disgusted with a character because of how he or she behaves, in the end McMurtry handles all of his characters with compassion, gr ...more
Sean Owen
In "All My Friends Are Going to be Strangers" McMurtry mines his own biographer for material. It's the story of a young writer selling his first novel and then being commissioned by a big Hollywood studio to adapt it for the screen. The young writer picks up with his unfaithful wife and heads to California. There isn't much in the way of plot. The action is the interactions that happen on the way from Texas to California and then on back to Texas.. The scenes skewering Hollywood producers and ac ...more
Shawn
The characters, oh the characters... This is, as you might guess, a character driven book. There is no quest, the settings are described only well enough to be the backdrop in front of which the story takes place. The characters, however, jump off the page with their quirks and passions, and their frailties.
The main, and in some ways only, character is Danny the novelist. Danny is passionate, obsessive, and a bit amoral, and in many ways I rooted for him to ultimately find his peace and redempt
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Ryan Hull
An intriguing, pseudo-biographical tale. A coming of age story for a student of literature. Tons of "meta-" whatevers running through it. The real point of reading McMurtry's story is that the prose is simple, the emotion heartfelt, and the writing good. He portrays the down and out crowd of a Bohemian in a red state, and the false allure of the grass is greener mentality.
Paul
I reread this book after having finished it about 20 years ago. It has regularly crossed my mind as one the most depressing stories of a star-crossed protagonist I've ever read. Could also be titled, "Every Thing I Do Is Wrong." (like one of my favorite lines by singer Johnny Motard, in the song Alien Autopsy- "You know I don't belong/ And everything I do is wrong")
Natasha
I loved this book. Not enough for five stars, I think I have to save that for my all time favorite books ever written, but still really loved it. The main character is compelling, vulnerable and tough at the same time. It's also an insightful look at what it's like to be an artist (he's a writer) and the ups and downs of that life. Also, it's funny.
Sam
Enjoyable book...3.5 Stars It kind of reminded me of Catcher in the Rye a bit, with the angst and coming of age kind of themes. If you are looking for old western style Larry McMurtry, this isn't it, but it had memorable characters along the lines of The Last Picture Show.
Stacy
The enjoyment of any book is relative to the readers preferences and life experience. This book is one of my favorites ever because in an odd way it helped make sense of and articulate my experiences shortly after my college graduation in my early 20's.
Angela
Apr 21, 2008 Angela rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like to use the f-word a lot.
Recommended to Angela by: Mr. Hixenbaugh (my English IV teacher)
So far this book is pretty weird, i mean they say the f-word very often. everybody cheats on everybody, people see eachother naked all the time and they all feel okay with it. The most ironic thing about it is that my english IV teacher recommended it to me.
Lucy
Again this is something I was particularly fond of at the time-I loved the fact that the main character became successful and made a ton of money and had wacky adventures on the way. I wonder what I would think of it now.
Brian Grover
I read Lonesome Dove about 20 years ago, and haven't thought much of Larry McMurtry since. Recently somebody blurbed this book enough to interest me, and I'm glad I picked it up. In brief, the story follows a young writer as he journeys from his native Houston out to California, and eventually back again, loving (and losing) a string of women along the way. This reads a lot like a Charles Portis novel, giving us a world-weary yet stoic narrator who scatters bone dry humor throughout the telling ...more
Max Greene
Undeniably entertaining, but lonesome and sad. Especially, it seems, if you lived through the times described. Serves as a literal hangover for hippie era.
Corinna
One of My favorite Books. It was very real, very true. The style and form was believeable and kept the reader drawn in.
Kurt Reichenbaugh
A young writer's journey. Entertaining and sad, like McMurtry's best work.
Jenny
Just reread. Holds up. Love Larry so.
Tim
Much about "All My Friends are Going to be Strangers," from Larry McMurtry writing in his preface that it was expelled as a kind of afterbirth in the wake of the massive "Moving On," to its comparitive brevity, says "minor novel." It isn't.

One could naturally read "All My Friends" right after finishing "Moving On." They have similar qualities (episodic bed-hopping, people in their early to mid-20s with connections to academia trying to figure out their lives), as well as a setting (Houston, part
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Steven
Jan 28, 2010 Steven rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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1055
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 adapted into the film "Hud".

McMurty went on to publish many more novels, a number of which went on to become movies as well as a TV mini-series.
More about Larry McMurtry...
Lonesome Dove Terms of Endearment The Last Picture Show Streets of Laredo Comanche Moon

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“Razzy was insulting me silently somehow.” 5 likes
“He said there were going to be literary parties. I tried to imagine a literary party and was unable to. It was a very abstract effort, like trying to imagine a triangle or a cube. Wearing a suit made me feel even more abstract. I had a mental picture of me inside my suit, inside a party, inside a building, inside San Francisco. I didn't know what I was doing, inside so many things that were unlike me.” 4 likes
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