Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9780743250931, 289pp.
Publication Date: June 17, 2008
When twenty-two-year-old Nellie Courtright and her teenage brother Jackson are unexpectedly orphaned by their father's suicide on his new and unprosperous ranch, they make their way to the nearby town of Rita Blanca, where Jackson manages to secure a job as a sheriff's deputy, while Nellie, ever resourceful, becomes the town's telegrapher.
Together, they inadvertently put Rita Blanca on the map when young Jackson succeeds in shooting down all six of the ferocious Yazee brothers in a gunfight that brings him lifelong fame but which he can never repeat because his success came purely out of luck.
Propelled by her own energy and commonsense approach to life, Nellie meets and almost conquers the heart of Buffalo Bill, the man she will love most in her long life, and goes on to meet, and witness the exploits of, Billy the Kid, the Earp brothers, and Doc Holliday. She even gets a ringside seat at the Battle at the O.K. Corral, the most famous gunfight in Western history, and eventually lives long enough to see the West and its gunfighters turned into movies.
Full of life, love, shootouts, real Western heroes and villains, "Telegraph Days" is Larry McMurtry at his epic best.
"Entertaining." -- The Washington Post
"A darn good read: an entertaining spoof about the Wild West that brings alive the romance of outlaws, gunfighters and shootouts.... McMurtry has created a modern-day dime novel, a romantic knock-up of the West -- proof that an old-fashioned oater can be as much fun to read as a literary work." -- The Washington Post
"Sassing her way through a series of sometimes improbable adventures that just happen to put her in the middle of famous moments in history, Nellie proves herself irresistible." -- Library Journal
"This rollicking epic is filled with excitement and humor, tinged with sadness and a longing for the past." -- Booklist
"Most readers won't be able to help cracking a smile.... As purposely over-the-top as an episode of South Park." -- Publishers Weekly
"More laughs and a lot more sex.... An easy, breezy read." -- Kirkus Reviews