The Last Kind Words Saloon
Hard Cover. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2014. First Edition. Fine.
Limited edition, first printing. One of 150 copies signed and numbered by McMurtry, this being number 9. Publisher’s black cloth with titles in gilt to spine, gilt design of a writer to front board, book designed by Lovedog Studio; housed in publisher’s black slipcase with titles in gilt to spine and rear board, gilt border to front board. Fine book; fine slipcase. Overall, a beautiful example of McMurtry’s final novel. The Last Kind Words Saloon offers a series of vignettes set in the Old West, and features some of the fabled characters from the time period, such as Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Buffalo Bill. At the beginning of the novel McMurtry provides the disclaimer: “The great director John Ford…famously said that when you had to choose between history and legend, print the legend. And so I’ve done.” Ironically though, McMurtry presents the West fairly stripped of its legendary aura, for example conveying the climactic gunfight at the OK corral in a brief and heavily understated way. The Boston Globe called the book, “Such a comfortable Western that Sam Elliot might as well be narrating it directly into your ear.”.