Not exactly "Hud," but very good
This is Larry McMurtry's first novel, on which the film "Hud" featuring Paul Newman was based. In the novel, Hud is a much more brutal character even than in the film, committing both rape and murder, and harboring even deeper unexplained resentments. But the novel focuses less on the title character of the film than on the young boy, Lonnie, who narrates the novel. The title of the novel is taken from the last lines of William Butler Yeats's poem "Under Ben Bulben": "Cast a cold eye / on life, on death / Horseman, pass by!" The bleakness of the context from which the novel's title is taken is appropriate. Although Lonnie ultimately breaks away, his future is even more problematic in the novel than in the film, given the bleak and brutal environment which has nurtured him. This is not a casual read for someone looking for an uplifting message about life; but it is a stirring and thought-provoking novel, and a great example of the "anti-Western."