Terms of Endearment Paperback – 1989
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Top Customer Reviews
Instead the reader is "treated" to the story of an aging widow, Aurora Greenway, and her equally aging suitors and the activities that surround her vapid existence in 1960s Houston.Read more ›
The first part of this book was pretty entertaining. Aurora was someone who I would want to strangle in real life, but her suitors and housekeeper Rosie kept things rolling. I especially liked Vernon, her Texas millionaire oilman. However, no characters really seemed to do anything--just sit around having dinner parties, going out to breakfast, and generally behaving like spoiled brats at all times between and during.
If you have seen the movie by the same name, you know that the movie focuses mainly on this last 1/10 of the book--Emma's dramatic demise. I don't intend to make light of anyone's suffering, and certainly not of cancer, but this part of the book was overdone to the extreme, much like the Bette Midler movie "Beaches." I hate books and movies that seem to be written solely with the intention of getting a cheap cry out of you, and that's they way this part of the book read to me. Emma's speech to her son Tommy about how he should be nice to her because 10 years from now he will look back and regret mistreating her on her deathbed made me cringe.
I had a hard time accepting this book's structure. So little happened in the majority of the novel and so much happened at the end. The akward structure and forced tearjerking made me less appreciative of all the good writing that came before the sapply finale. I have to admit that this book kept me entertained, but great literature it's not.
While this novel doesn't contain the wholesale slaughter of his westerns, there is enough pain to carry the story in his manner described above. What makes the book great is how he takes a pair of characters who are not that pleasant a couple, and makes us really care for them. Aurora, the widowed mother, is an overweight, overbearing woman who constantly cajoles those close to her. Her daughter Emma, also overweight and seemingly without focus in life, is not exactly someone you're gonna turn the TV on to see. One is tempted to close the book early on and look for more uplifting characters, but McMurtry hooks you, first with comedy, then tragedy.
I was surprised to see how much I grew to like Aurora by the end of the book, and have sympathy for Emma. There is a method to Aurora's rudeness. For example, being a widow, she has a handful of male suitors. At first I was wondering what all these older guys saw in her, as elderly guys, by sheer numbers, would have the pick of much more numerous older ladies. We see how she keeps them at arm's length, and as the book goes on, we see how they fit into their lives.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Funny, heartbreaking, and entirely memorable. Aurora Greenaway is without a doubt one of the best characters McMurtry ever wrote, which makes her one of the best characters... Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2003 by Bryant Burnette
How can a man write so well about women and their day to day experiences, attitudes and emotions with such humor and understanding? It's almost uncanny. Read morePublished on May 24 2003 by Evelyn Horan
This book is really good. I love the movie; I have seen it a million times. I thought I would get the book and see what I had been missing all these years. Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2002
Terms of Endearment is a standout from a special author. The book has it all: unforgetable characters (I can't imagine where McMurtry comes up with these people), laugh out loud... Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2001 by Andrew Herron