Larry McMurtry quotes

  • Only a rank degenerate would drive 1,500 miles across Texas without eating a chicken fried steak.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Texas #Degenerates #Eating

  • A woman's love is like the morning dew. It's just as likely to settle on a horse turd as a rose.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Morning #Horse #Love Is

  • Incompetents invariably make trouble for people other than themselves.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #People #Intelligence #Trouble

  • Backward is just not a natural direction for Americans to look - historical ignorance remains a national characteristic.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Ignorance #Historical #Looks

  • Maybe you can make art out of unredeemed pain, but only if you're a genius -- Dostoyevsky perhaps.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Art #Pain #Genius

  • Uva uvum vivendo varia fit
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Fit

  • If you want one thing too much it’s likely to be a disappointment. The healthy way is to learn to like the everyday things, like soft beds and buttermilk—and feisty gentlemen.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Disappointment #Healthy #Gentleman

  • If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Life Is Short #Waiting

  • People would be bored shitless if they had to love only the good in someone they care about.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #People #Bored #Would Be

  • You expect far too much of a first sentence. Think of it as analagous to a good country breakfast: what we want is something simple, but nourishing to the imagination. Hold the philosophy, hold the adjectives, just give us a plain subject and verb and perhaps a wholesome, nonfattening adverb or two.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Country #Philosophy #Simple

  • It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living. I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.” ~spoken by Augustus McCrae
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Life #Talking #Doubt

  • Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Rivers #Yesterday #Gone

  • I never met a soul in this world as normal as me.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Soul #World #Normal

  • You can scare off a lot of cowboys just by looking mean, I guess.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Mean #Cowboy #Scare

  • A man that will go along with six killings is making his escape a little slow.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Men #Littles #Six

  • Razzy was insulting me silently somehow.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Insulting

  • If a warrior lacked wisdom, courage alone would not keep him alive for long.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Warrior #Long #Alive

  • Death and worse happened on the plains.
    -- Larry McMurtry

  • I make my share of mistakes, but one I never make is to underestimate the power of things. People imbued from childhood with the myth of the primacy of feeling seldom like to admit they really want things as much as they might want love, but my career has convinced me that plenty of them do. And some want things a lot worse than they want love.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Mistake #Careers #People

  • Americans don't want cowboys to be gay.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Gay #Cowboy #Want

  • I'm sure partial to the evening,' Augustus said. 'The evening and the morning. If we just didn't have to have the rest of the dern day I'd be a lot happier.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Life #Morning #Evening

  • Nobody run off with her,” Roscoe said. "She just run off with herself, I guess.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Running #Said

  • He had known several men who blew their heads off, and he had pondered it much. It seemed to him it was probably because they could not take enough happiness just from the sky and the moon to carry them over the low feelings that came to all men.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Moon #Men #Sky

  • The earth is mostly just a boneyard. But pretty in the sunlight.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Earth #Sunlight

  • If we know anything about man, it's that he's not pacific. The temptation to butcher anyone considered undesirable seems to be a common temptation, not always resisted.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Men #Temptation #Common

  • From him to the stars, in all directions, there was only silence and emptiness.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Stars #Silence #Emptiness

  • I suppose you set up reading the Good Book all night-spoken by Woodrow Call
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Book #Reading #Night

  • You know Deets is like me - he's not one to quit on a garment just because it's got a little age - spoken by Augustus McCrae
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Age #Littles #Quitting

  • Mystery is underrated, and understanding is overrated.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Understanding #Mystery #Overrated

  • It's really quite simple. Mr. Isinglass robbed my father, destroyed my mother, exiled my brothers, and ruined me. If I catch him asleep I'll kill him. I do hope you like this pudding. I had to ride quite a way to find the plums.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Mother #Brother #Father

  • Writing is a form of herding. I herd words into little paragraph-like clusters.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Writing #Littles #Herds

  • The tradition I was born into was essentially nomadic, a herdsmen tradition, following animals across the earth. The bookshops are a form of ranching; instead of herding cattle, I herd books. Writing is a form of herding, too; I herd words into little paragraph-like clusters.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Book #Writing #Animal

  • A bookman’s love of books is a love of books, not merely of the information in them.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Book #Information

  • The lives of happy people are dense with their own doings -- crowded, active, thick. But the sorrowing are nomads, on a plain with few landmarks and no boundaries; sorrow's horizons are vague and its demands are few.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Sadness #People #Sorrow

  • Obviously, where art has it over life is in the matter of editing. Life can be seen to suffer from a drastic lack of editing. It stops too quick, or else it goes on too long. Worse, its pacing is erratic. Some chapters are little more than a few sentences in length, while others stretch into volumes. Life, for all its raw talent, has little sense of structure. It creates amazing textures, but it can't be counted on for snappy beginnings or good endings either. Indeed, in many cases no ending is provided at all.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Life #Art #Editing

  • ... people are always turning out to be tougher than I think they are.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Thinking #People

  • Texas is rich in unredeemed dreams
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Dream #Texas #Rich

  • But the English are different, and they don't know how to be other than different.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Different

  • Nothing good ever comes without a price.
    -- Larry McMurtry

  • Certainly on the vast windy plain, there was plenty of nothing to be looked at.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Windy #Plenty

  • Self-parody is the first portent of age.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Self #Age #Firsts

  • Most young dealers of the Silicon Chip Era regard a reference library as merely a waste of space. Old Timers on the West Coast seem to retain a fondness for reference books that goes beyond the practical. Everything there is to know about a given volume may be only a click away, but there are still a few of us who'd rather have the book than the click. A bookman's love of books is a love of books, not merely of the information in them.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Book #Space #Library

  • Members of the Academy are mostly urban people. We are an urban nation. We are not a rural nation. It's not easy even to get a rural story made.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #People #Stories #Urban

  • There isn't a thought in my head I care to be alone with for more than five minutes.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Care #I Care #Minutes

  • Anyway, whacking a surly bartender ain't much of a crime.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Bartender #Crime #Surly

  • I hate rude behavior in a man,' he explained in his quiet, unassuming drawl. 'I won't tolerate it.' He politely tipped his hat, and rode away.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Hate #Men #Rude

  • It's a fine world, though rich in hardships at times.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Hardship #World #Rich

  • I'm glad I've been wrong enough to keep in practice. . . You can't avoid it, you've got to learn to handle it. If you only come face to face with your own mistakes once or twice in your life it's bound to be extra painful. I face mine every day--that way they ain't usually much worse than a dry shave.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Mistake #Practice #Way

  • A man who wouldn't cheat for a poke don't want one bad enough. --Augustus "Gus" McCrae
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Men #Gus #Want

  • They say money kinda melts when you take it across a border.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Travel #Borders

  • I don't see how being married could be any worse than listening to you talk for twenty years, but that still ain't much of a recommendation for it.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Years #Listening #Twenties

  • I think its a sickness to grieve too much for those who never cared a fig for you.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Thinking #Grieving #Too Much

  • Live through it," Call said. "That's all we can do.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Said

  • Part of the trick of being happy is a refusal to allow oneself to become too nostalgic for the heady triumphs of one's youth.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Contentment #Triumph #Youth

  • True maturity is only reached when a man realizes he has become a father figure to his girlfriends' boyfriend - and he accepts it
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Girlfriend #Father #Men

  • No illusion is more crucial than the illusion that great success and huge money buy you immunity from the common ills of mankind, such as cars that won't start.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Money #Car #Common

  • The reason men are so awful is because some woman has spoiled them.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Men #Awful #Reason

  • If I had a mind to rent pigs, I'd be mighty upset. A man that likes to rent pigs won't be stopped.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Men #Pigs #Upset

  • Call listened with amusement--not that the incident hadn't been terrible. Being decapitated was a grisly fate, whether you were a Yankee or not. But then, amusing things happened in battle, as they did in the rest of life. Some of the funniest things he had ever witnessed had occurred during battles. He had always found it more satisfying to laugh on a battlefield than anywhere else, for if you lived to laugh on a battlefield, you could feel you had earned the laugh. But if you just laughed in a saloon, or at a social, the laugh didn't reach deep.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Fate #Yankees #Laughing

  • Though loyal and able and brave, Pea had never displayed the slightest ability to learn from his experience, though his experience was considerable. Time and again he would walk up on the wrong side of a horse that was known to kick, and then look surprised when he got kicked.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Horse #Brave #Able

  • Call saw that everyone was looking at him, the hands and cowboys and townspeople alike. The anger had drained out of him, leaving him feeling tired. He didn't remember the fight, particularly, but people were looking at him as if they were stunned. He felt he should make some explanation, though it seemed to him a simple situation. "I hate a man that talks rude," he said. "I won't tolerate it.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Hate #Tired #Fighting

  • WHEN AUGUSTUS CAME OUT on the porch the blue pigs were eating a rattlesnake—not a very big one. It had probably just been crawling around looking for shade when it ran into the pigs. They were having a fine tug-of-war with it, and its rattling days were over.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #War #Pigs #Blue

  • Occasionally the very youngness of the young moved him to charity--they had no sense of the swiftness of life, nor of its limits. The years would pass like weeks, and loves would pass too, or else grow sour.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Years #Limits #And Love

  • -she remembered them kindly, for there was a sweetness in boys that didn't last long, once they became men.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Boys #Men #Long

  • The older the violin, the sweeter the music.
    -- Larry McMurtry

    #Violin #Aging