Danny Deck is a character that winds through many McMurtystories, but this is his first major appearance since "All My Friends.." In both books, Deck is like the audience watching a performance artist--set on the role of observer, but often getting sucked in (bewildered and unprepared) by the artist's actions. Things begin with Danny sitting at breakfast in his Los Dolores mansion (same house that Jacy stayed in during "Texasville"). He's stinking rich from his successful sit-com years and quarreling with Godwin, his lecherous gadfly/friend from "All My Friends.." The phone rings: his 22-year old daughter, from his short and rough marriage with Sally, is taking him to task. Danny tracks down his girl and brings her to Los Dolores along with the usual unusual cast of McMurty characters. How they get along in this group brings in some hilarious moments (the ex-con boyfriend accidently blowing up Danny's oil tanks while target shooting his AK-47 is one good example). Danny has little choice but to leap into his father/grandfather roles and finds renewed joy in life. McMurtry uses the theme of death and coping with grief thoughout much of his work--but this story is truly devastating. How Danny tries to keep going for the remnants of his new family is powerful and very moving. Although hard to read in places due to these intense moments, I count this as one of McMurtry's best. END
What an imagination this man has! How in the world does he inhabit old men and young women and gay professor brains all at the same time? This is a glorious extension of ALL MY FRIENDS, and I loved every roller-coaster minute of it. T.R. is lovable, beautiful, tragic and haunting. Danny's newfound fatherhood is hysterically funny. Vintage, vintage McMurtry, in every way. Read it and laugh out loud; finish it and weep.
This is a classic Larry McMurtry/non Lonesome Dove book. McMurty is, in my opinion, the best character author of all time. After reading one of his books, it is hard to believe that these people didn't really exist. I feel like every one is a personal aquaintance. This is a hilarious and tragic story, with a shock at the end. One of McMurtry's best.
It's really hard to put in to words what "Some Can Whistle" does to you. You feel so sorry, you ache for happiness for all of them, and you can't put it down. It's somewhat like "Great Gatsby" in that no good deed goes unpunished. Please read it and fall in love with McMurtry's characterizations.
Although this is the first of McMurtry's books I have read, his name is familiar through films made from his books. His gift for verbal illustration is quite enjoyable and his descriptions are vivd. The problem with the book is that not one of the characters is likeable except for T.R.'s children and even that is questionable. I was actually happy when they were murdered by T.R.'s ex-lover. After her death and that of Godwin, the book spirals downward in a series of narratives of promising lives cut short as one after another of the characters dies. The narrator, Danny Deck, comes off as a spoiled and spoiling multi-millionaire without any sense of discipline for himself or the others. The entire narrative comes off as pointless and after finishing the book my feeling was one of time wasted.