Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlihy

Midnight Cowboy, James Leo Herlihy, 1965

My favorite quote: “Her voice went soft and sweet: it seemed to be luring some small child into a gas chamber with promises of candy.”

Notable characters: Joe Buck, the cowboy; Ratso Rizzo, the con-man

Most memorable scene: The bus ride to Miami, of course …

Greatest strengths: Clear, concise writing — specifically, the author’s ability to convey great imagery and invoke deep emotion in very few words

Standout achievements: Its powerful portrayal of unlikely, profound male friendship

Fun Facts: In Austin, inside a former Oriental massage parlor that was busted by the FBI, is a speakeasy bar named after the film

Other media: The 1969 film of the same name starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman

What it taught me about writing: To never flinch from tragedy

How it inspired my own work: I frequently refer to this book when I’m creating close friendships between my male characters

Additional thoughts: This book has an incredible ability to make the reader feel as alienated as its characters are. And it’s a very sad story. I got teary more than once.

My rating: 4.5 of 5

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

3 thoughts on “Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlihy

  1. Very good. I like that you ‘work’ at your art; admitting that it doesn’t just flow from your fingers, that you craft it. I have always been prone to suing more word than necessary and looked to Hemingway for lessons in brevity 🙂

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