Picks and Pans Review: The Desert Rose

updated 10/10/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/10/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Larry McMurtry

The author of The Last Picture Show and other novels about Texas and Hollywood has chosen Las Vegas for his locale this time. His heroine is a dim-witted, heart-of-gold show girl. She lives in a duplex in the desert with her teenage daughter. Next door is an old woman, an alcoholic who has a pet goat and is addicted to garage sales. The heroine appears to be a pushover for practically any male, even the vicious ones, and her daughter is a bright, angry, foul-mouthed beauty who is going to become lead dancer at the casino. Because McMurtry has chosen to tell this slight story of an aging show girl through the heroine and her daughter, the novel seems all surface. Both of the women are inarticulate and their lives are superficial. It is a vulgar story, with kinky sex, drugs, stupid behavior and not a whole lot more. (Simon and Schuster, $14.95)

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