Telegraph Days



Author:  Larry McMurtry

Title:  Telegraph Days

Genre:  Western Stories : Humorous stories

Publication Date:  2006

Number of Pages:  289

Geographical Setting:  Rita Blanca, Dodge City, Oklahoma Panhandle

Time Period:  1876-1916

Series (If applicable):

Plot Summary:

Marie Antoinette Courtright, better know as Nellie, is a flirtatious, take charge girl who moves with her brother to Rita Blanca after the death of her father.  In one day, she gets her brother appointed to deputy and becomes the telegrapher of the town.  Her brother makes the town famous by killing the six Yazee brothers by pure luck.  With her quick thinking and entrepreneurial sense, she writes a dime magazine that puts Rita Blanca on the map and allows for the introduction of famous characters of the Old West such as the Wyatt brothers, Buffalo Bill, and Jesse James to name a few.  Nellie encounters multiple gunfights and has many sexual romps with whoever meets her fancy and lives to write about and sensationalize the West in movies.

Subject Headings:  Buffalo Bill, Wyatt Earp, Small Town life- the West, Telegraph-19th century, Outlaws


Character-driven, gritty, descriptive, relaxed, humorous, easy, romp, historical details, strong sense of place, dialect rich, small town life, flawed

3 terms that best describe this book:

Character-driven, gritty, descriptive

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Buffalo Bill’s America Louis S. Warren (Buffalo Bill, main character in the novel)

The Victorian Internet: the remarkable story of the telegraph and the

            nineteenth century on line pioneers Tom Standage (History of the telegraph)

Hurray for my new free country Leon Charles Fouquet (First person view of living on the plains)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Ghost Town Robert Coover (Humorous, story of a small town and outlaws)

End of the drive Louis L’Amour (Stories of men/ women relationships, humorous, stories of the old West)

The adventures of Johnny Vermillion Loren D. Estleman (Story of outlaws, set in a humorous tone)Leaving Missouri Ellen Recknor (strong female character, coming of age in West)

Name:  Sara Bartels



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