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Terms of Endearment

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,747 Ratings  ·  234 Reviews
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 dau
Kindle Edition, 420 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1975)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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.
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
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.
Suzanne Moore
Aug 21, 2015 Suzanne Moore rated it it was amazing
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 30, 2010 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 Fem-Power! 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
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
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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
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
The characters grow on you with the exception of Emma - who you wish would quit being so laissez faire about her owns life. She's just so frumpy that you almost can't respect her. Why is she with her husband? They don't even like each other. I gradually grew to like Aurora and enjoy her random funny self-righteous comments. If she were in my life though she would be someone I would agitate on purpose to watch them dance in frustration and self-satisfaction like a performing monkey. Strangely eno ...more
Apr 21, 2009 Brittanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could find nothing to like about any of the characters in this book and yet I was somehow unable to put the damn thing down. McMurtry is a versatile author and one of the few male writers who can write convincingly in the voice of a woman (or in this book's case, several women).

It's fun to read books set in your own city, a treat I suspect is limited mostly to people who live in New York, Chicago or LA. There aren't many books based in Houston, but McMurtry has written five of them. It's fun t
You'd think I would know better than to read a book that was the source material for a movie I'm not crazy about. I thought the movie was fine, although it didn't make me cry (and I hate Jack Nicholson). But I adored Lonesome Dove which I read in the winter, and since this is considered a modern classic (and Larry McMurtry is my best friend's favorite author), it seemed like a no-brainer to give it a shot. It started off badly as I began it on the very end of the longest flight in the world (Syd ...more
May 17, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
The writing is what makes this story. My very favorite thing about the book is Aurora's love of language and how she focuses on the way people speak. It's kind of uneven in plotting, and all of Aurora's dates made me yawn. Most of the first part of the book is focused on her dating life. The end turns to Emma, who I found much more interesting but whose motives were harder to understand. The end, even though I knew what was coming, felt like an easy way out to tie up things up.

(view spoiler)
Christine Boyer
Oct 23, 2011 Christine Boyer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Maybe women 40+
Recommended to Christine by: Julie Grippo
This is the first novel where I'm having some trouble deciding whether I liked it or not. Like practically everyone else, I loved McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove". So I assumed this would be great as well. And there were aspects of greatness. I love lots of dialogue and this story had it! Also, all the characters were very real and well-developed. But it just didn't grab me as I thought it would. For a fairly short book, it took me forever to read - and that says something, too. I had never seen the m ...more
Mar 11, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this as a book on CD read by Barbara Rosenblat. She is amazing and bumps the rating of the book up from 3 to 4 stars. Every character has a wonderfully inflected accents and I really feel like I'm listening to a cast of several different real people as she switches between personalities. I'm not sure how she keeps it up for 13 cds.

Unfortunately, the book kind of slumps to the finish around disc 11, but it's so funny and involving up to then, it's still worth it. Each character is u
Jul 16, 2015 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remembered the movie to a certain extent, and as I started reading the book all I could think was "I don't remember this" and I really wasn't falling in love with Aurora Greenway. It is credit to McMurtry's skill as a writer that I was drawn in despite my initial reluctance and racing through the final two thirds of the book. Read this for a book group and it was a good choice as it provoked an extended and wide-ranging discussion.
Daniel Sloyan
I was a fan of the movie so I sought the book out. Sadly the book is very different from the movie, hardly anything that is in the book is in the movie, outside of the main 3 characters. For most of the book it's just about Aurora and her suitors, which goes on forever and never really concludes. Then quickly the last 40 pages just rushes through Emma's affair and then the cancer. It felt rushed. The film is way better
Apr 12, 2014 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved this book. It makes me laugh at loud and yet I always cry at the end. The book is pretty close to the movie if you leave Jack Nicholson's character. The first time I read the book I was disappointed that there was no astronaut! The second time I read the book, I loved it and I've loved it ever since. Larry McMurtry has been one of my favorite authors for years and I re-read his books over and over.
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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.” 7 likes
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