Top critical review
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Great spring from the board, spectacular belly flop!
on 27 February 1999
"The Last Picture Show" is one of my favorite novels. With this sequel, we finally get to see what happens to the characters that populate that novel in the potentially rich setting of the oil bust of the 80s. "Texasville" had me cracking up and feeling like I was leaving for a wonderful, wacky and unforgettable journey, but around page 150 it just got too over the top for me. Everyone's so disfunctional or just plain unlikable that I stopped caring about nearly every character long before I finished reading the book. In the end, Duane's lover Suzie Nolan is the only character I cared anything about, and I was really sick of the endless succession of unbelievable events. And Duane ends up like a mental punching bag. No wonder he's depressed. As multi-volume series novels go, I think John Updike's "Rabbit" series is far superior. Updike creates characters we shouldn't have any business liking or caring about and somehow wins our empathy. I'll be skipping "Duane's Depressed" after this disappointment.