Tuesday, February 06, 2007

[Book Review] BUFFALO GIRLS by Larry McMurtry


Heather Lawson reviews BUFFALO GIRLS by Larry McMurtry (Simon & Schuster, 1990)

For all of you women who would not dream of reading a western, here is one I think you might enjoy. One of the reasons you might like this particular western is that part of the story is told through letters, penned by Calamity Jane to her daughter. The other part of the book, written in narrative form, movingly describes the dying Old West. As the beaver and buffalo disappear, several of the major characters join Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, while still others turn from whorehouses to hotels.

This humorous and touching story is filled with delightful characters, like the ancient Indian Scout, No Ears, who buys a dozen pair of wax ears from a London wax museum only to have them stolen by other Indians. Fictional characters intermingle with true characters of the Old West, such as Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull and Edward, Prince of Wales. Certainly not a romanticized view of the old West, this book won the 1991 Western Heritage Awards.

Heather Lawson, Public Services

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