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Old 07-22-2012, 11:19 AM
Location: Yankee loves Dallas
537 posts, read 701,344 times
Reputation: 683


What are the best books about Dallas? Football, JFK and detectives seem to be common themes.

A Field Guide to American Houses isn’t strictly about Dallas, but the author, Virginia McAlester, lives on Swiss Avenue, and uses many Dallas examples in the book.
A Field Guide to American Houses - Virginia McAlester, Lee McAlester - Google Books
PaperCity | House & Design | Inside the Nest of Virginia McAlester

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2012) takes place largely during a Cowboys game at Texas Stadium, during the Iraq War, and the author, Ben Fountain, lives in North Dallas. Many reviews…
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Review: Absurd day for soldier in 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' - Los Angeles Times

Warren Leslie’s Dallas Public and Private (1964) attempted to profile the city in that era:
Warren Leslie May Be Dead Now, But His Book Dallas Public and Private Will Live Forever - Dallas News - Unfair Park

North Dallas Forty (1973) by former NFL player Peter Gent painted a pretty blunt picture of life in the NFL:
The Impact And The Darkness: The Lasting Effect Of Peter Gent's North Dallas Forty

The Big Rich (2009) by Bryan Burrough, about Hunt, Cullen, Richardson, and Murchison, obviously deals with Dallas -- I think he mentions Belle Nora on White Rock Lake.
Is the Era of the Texas Super Rich Over? - Newsweek and The Daily Beast
The Big Rich by Bryan Burrough - Houston Chronicle
Colorful Characters, Black Gold In 'The Big Rich' : NPR

Brendan McNally wrote an article for D Magazine in 2011 that tried to answer the question, focusing on novels in particular:
The Great Dallas Novel
McNally’s blog: Brendan McNally's Blog

Some of the books mentioned by McNally:

Fortune is a Woman (1958) by Hermes Nye is about a young lawyer living at the YMCA during the Depression.
The Neglected Books Page » Blog Archive » Fortune is a Woman, by Hermes Nye

Strange Peaches (1972) by Edwin “Bud” Shrake is also set in the Kennedy era:
Strange Peaches :: Texas Monthly

November 22 (1981) by Bryan Woolley is about several characters who were present on the date of the assassination:

Afoot in a Field of Men (1987) by Pat Ellis Taylor:
Some Sing The Blues-this Is Writing Them - Chicago Tribune
Picks and Pans Review: Afoot in a Field of Men : People.com
“ a world whose challenges include surviving outside the mainstream, coping with doubtful prospects and overcoming despair- a world, in short, whose natural idiom is the blues.”

Still River (2005) by Harry Hunsicker is a Vietnam-veteran private-detective novel.
Still River
“Harry Hunsicker was raised by wolves in the rain forests of central Dallas, near the headwaters of Turtle Creek. The fourth generation of his family to call Dallas home, Hunsicker works as a commercial real estate appraiser and speaks on creative writing when not penning the next Lee Henry Oswald mystery.”

Big Town (1993) by Doug J. Swanson is another detective novel.
Fiction Review: Big Town: A Novel of Suspense by Doug J. Swanson / Author HarperCollins Publishers $18 (293p) ISBN 978-0-06-017749-2
Nerd of Noir: Friday's Forgotten Books: BIG TOWN by Doug J. Swanson

Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles (2005) by Will Clarke is about a dot-com mogul
Book Review: Lord Vishnu's Love Handles - Blogcritics Books
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:39 PM
24,682 posts, read 43,413,516 times
Reputation: 12497
Larry McMurtry is more famous for The Last Picture Show and Lonesome Dove but his middle novels--Terms of Endearment, Movine On, and All My Friends are Going to Be Strangers" have an inside look at Dallas...

there is also a modern-day romance novel I read years ago about three sisters raised in Dallas whose father is very wealthy Texas oil man...a la JR Ewing...
The three novels had a color in their titles--can't remember now what they were but interesting for the spin on how the rich suffer from problems just like lesser mortals...

this link is to list of non-fiction books about Dallas
the one about the Walker/Peggy Railey murder case/trial is about as Texas and yet every-man as a story can be
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