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Telegraph Days

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  2,114 Ratings  ·  214 Reviews
I've come to think that in times of crisis human beings don't have it in them to be rational. The Yazee gang was riding down upon us, six abreast. We all ran outside and confirmed that fact. The sensible thing would have been to run and hide -- but did we? Not at all.

The narrator of Larry McMurtry's newest book is spunky Nellie Courtright, twenty-two years old and already
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2006)
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May 20, 2009 rated it did not like it
Pound for pound, few writers can compare with Larry McMurtry. The Pulitzer Prize winner has penned several contempary classics--among them, 'Terms of Endearment', 'The Last Picture Show', and the epic 'Lonesome Dove'.

So it's beyond disappointment when a writer as talented as McMurtry spits out a contrived, one-dimensional shell of a novel. And that's being kind to TELEGRAPH DAYS, McMurtry's "alleged" spoof of the cheap dime store novels of the 19th Century. This is a Western dominated by unimag
Nov 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: western history buffs, female enthusiasts
Since I listened to this book rather than read it, part of my review has to go to the reader. Annie Potts did an incredible job of making the diverse characters of the old west come alive. Especially our heroine, raised during the Civil War and come of age in the wild west of all our old favorites from Wild Bill to Buffalo Bill and everyone in between. She witnesses all the famous cowboy events of the time and does so with the perspective and demeanor of a Lady. It was so fun I didn't want it to ...more
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This was a short novel on audio that I enjoyed listening to at times I couldn't read a "real" book.

It's a nice little picture of the old west through the eyes of Nellie Courtwright, a telegrapher and businesswoman. Along the way in her story, she meets just about all of the old west legends.

It's a little tongue-in-cheek, and a little dab into history at the same time. It has a dose of realism, showing how it wasn't all about blazing gunfights, but did show how those legends could evolve.

What I r
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sigh. This book was so good in the beginning. I loved the spunky heroine Nellie and the writing was actually funny. I thought it was going to be a fun light-hearted western spoof. But then Nellie started sleeping with every man she met and then left town with Buffalo Bill Cody--although she didn't sleep with him. She tried though. By then the book felt rushed and churned out and just got dumb really fast. It's like McMurtry just wrote this for some fast money from his publisher.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fluff, and not in a particularly good way. I'd call it a slutty 19th century Forrest Gump, but that's an insult to sluts, the 19th century, and Forrest Gump. I only gave this one star because goodreads won't let you rate a book 0 stars.
Sep 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was surprised, when I read this book, at how truly boring it was, given the good reviews it had received. I am guessing that the reviewers were reminiscing more on the quality of McMurtry's 'Lonesome Dove' than on the quality of the writing in this particular novel.

The book began well enough, and the main character of Nellie started off full of mouth and grit. However, there was no character development, the woman's mouth and spunk became annoying over time and the character remained shallow.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mcmurtry
Howdy pardner. Reckon y'all wonderin' if this here book was any good. Well, dadgumit if this ain't one of the finest western books I ever listened to. And if you ain't in cahoots with the Earp brothers, you'll probably like it too. Mr. McMurtry has written hisself another rootin' tootin' shoot 'em up. This time with a lady narrator. I know what you're thinkin'. What? A lady narrator? What in tarnation does a lady know about the ol' west? Well, this one, read by Miss Annie Potts, knows quite a bi ...more
Apr 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
About halfway through, this good story with a strong young heroine turned into a kind of western soft porn. I was disappointed. Three stars for the first half.
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dang, there's such a melancholy wit in the language of the west and it's so pure in all of Larry McMurtry's novels. It's not just within the local vernacular but also in the stories that the people of the great plains find interesting enough to relate to folks who dutifully listen. I chose this book to read over the weekend because I was to spend that time very near the place where most of this book takes place and I wanted to, along with the accompanying visuals of the plains, match the cadence ...more
Sep 20, 2009 rated it liked it
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
SO MANY MEN, SO LITTLE TIME, September 1, 2008
By Bookworm (St. George Utah) - See all my reviews

Larry McMurtrys Telegraph Days give us a glimpse of the old west from a woman's perspective. The woman in question is a 22 year old Virginia native, Nellis Courtright who with her 17 year old brother, Jackson, resides in the town of Rio Blanca, a nothing little place located in an area known as "no mans land". The towns tenuous claim to fame comes f
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Larry McMurtry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on June 3, 1936. He is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two essay collections, and more than thirty screenplays.

His first published book, Horseman, Pass By, was adapted into the film "Hud." A number of his other novels also were adapted into movies as well as a television mini-serie
More about Larry McMurtry...