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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Lonesome Dove (original 1985; edition 1988)

by Larry McMurtry (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,0631791,020 (4.55)1 / 775
Title:Lonesome Dove
Authors:Larry McMurtry (Author)
Info:Pocket Books (1988), 960 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (1985)

  1. 41
    Shane by Jack Schaefer (mcenroeucsb)
  2. 31
    Little Big Man by Thomas Berger (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Western
  3. 10
    News of the World by Paulette Jiles (Ciruelo)
  4. 10
    The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy (paulkid)
    paulkid: Epic Westerns set in Texas and Mexico, McMurtry is more somber, McCarthy more dark.
  5. 21
    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both have a wonderful, authentic flavor of the old west.
  6. 00
    The New Mexico Trilogy by John Nichols (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Much more enjoyable!

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Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
A wild ride through several states, Lonesome Dove is an adventure encompassing many character's motivations, dreams, and disillusions. It's a western, in all its complexity, and it wields a complex portrayal of the people that inhabited it. Extremely intricate, I found it to be an interesting and encompassing read that bordered on brilliance at times. However, I also found it to lag and dither at many parts. Nevertheless, a good achievement and well worth reading. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Apr 4, 2019 |
I finally read this American classic and I loved it. I get why it is as popular as it is - great characters, interesting time period and setting, exciting plot - what's not to like? Well, I didn't love all the violence and I think the relations with Native Americans were certainly oversimplified. And I wished that I personally had more background on the Texas Rangers, as the two main characters had been Rangers and I don't know much about that time period. I gather there are prequels to this novel that cover some of that. For a Western, there were some decent women characters, which is sort of a rarity, so I appreciated that.

I think the greatness here really lies in the characters and the way McMurtry slowly reveals characteristics and relationships throughout the novel. Gus, Call, Lorena, Clara, Newt, Pea Eye, Deets - they are all unforgettable.

I'm betting most have already read this, but if not I definitely recommend it. Don't be put off by the page count - it really does read quickly. ( )
  japaul22 | Mar 28, 2019 |
I would give it 10 stars if I could!

This is one of the best books I've ever read. No wonder it won a Pulitzer!

It was beautifully written. So much so that I felt as if I was transported back into that time period.

I saw the film long before I even knew it was a book and I can say they got the casting right! I could clearly picture every character and they all felt right to me.

It was slow paced, but not in a bad way. It truly told the whole story without a lot of time skips or with the reader having to forgive the author for not giving a better explaination of things. When I started the book, I felt like I already knew the story, but I know I was wrong. NOW I know the story.

As big and epic as the book is, it will find its way to my re-read shelf with The Lord of the Rings, Harty Potter and all the other books that can make me cry.

I'm usually better at reviews, but this book was so fantastic I don't even know what to say about it. It speaks for itself. I cannot wait to read the other books in the series! ( )
  Virago77 | Mar 3, 2019 |
It was appropriate that I used a publicity card for John Sayles' Place In The Sun as a bookmark. Both are engrossing in their illumination of the sum of toil necessary for the suburban ennui we now endure. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
A marvelous novel for many reasons – none of which I will bother to describe aside from the masterful way McMurtry switches between characters' focalizations. I'm not exactly sure how he does it, but I think it has something to do with how he uses paragraphs. He introduces action and important events midway through paragraphs (such as surprise attacks by indians), which is the opposite of what I’ve found most authors to do. Usually action is given a paragraph break, but instead McCurtry reserves the paragraph break for isolating and demarcating internal monologues. This allows him to flow between multiple characters across multiple pages and still make it manageable for the reader. This also allows the technique of changing focalization seem less artificial, I think, because it doesn’t require any other indication that the perspective has changed. There are often few immediate identifiers of who the narrative is being focalized through, which gives this paragraph break technique weight as an important convention that the reader learns to use. Using paragraphs in this way to show shifts in perspective also creates a sense of tension at the beginning of each paragraph as the reader anticipates a potential change in perspective. It’s a wonderful affect that underscores our vulnerability and the brutality of the story and the abruptness of its violence. It also serves another goal of the novel: deceiving the reader through deceptively simple and cheerful prose that this is a simple and cheerful book. And it is not. This is a book about how we are preyed upon by our expectations as we are both destroyed and exalted through random absurdities in life. ( )
  Algybama | Feb 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
All of Mr. McMurtry's antimythic groundwork -his refusal to glorify the West - works to reinforce the strength of the traditionally mythic parts of ''Lonesome Dove,'' by making it far more credible than the old familiar horse operas. These are real people, and they are still larger than life. The aspects of cowboying that we have found stirring for so long are, inevitably, the aspects that are stirring when given full-dress treatment by a first-rate novelist. Toward the end, through a complicated series of plot twists, Mr. McMurtry tries to show how pathetically inadequate the frontier ethos is when confronted with any facet of life but the frontier; but by that time the reader's emotional response is it does not matter - these men drove cattle to Montana!

added by Stir | editNew York Times, Necholas Lemann (Jun 9, 1985)
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All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.
T.K. Whipple, Study Out the Land
For Maureen Orth,
In memory of
the nine McMurtry boys
"Once in the saddle they
Used to go dashing . . ."
First words
When Augustus came out on the porch the blue pigs were eating a rattlesnake—not a very big one.
Fictions - in my case, novels only, to the tune of about thirty - starts in tactile motion; pecking out a few sentences on a typewriter; sentences that might encourage me and perhaps a few potential readers to press on. (Preface)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067168390X, Mass Market Paperback)

Larry McMurtry, in books like The Last Picture Show, has depicted the modern degeneration of the myth of the American West. The subject of Lonesome Dove, cowboys herding cattle on a great trail-drive, seems like the very stuff of that cliched myth, but McMurtry bravely tackles the task of creating meaningful literature out of it. At first the novel seems the kind of anti-mythic, anti-heroic story one might expect: the main protagonists are a drunken and inarticulate pair of former Texas Rangers turned horse rustlers. Yet when the trail begins, the story picks up an energy and a drive that makes heroes of these men. Their mission may be historically insignificant, or pointless--McMurtry is smart enough to address both possibilities--but there is an undoubted valor in their lives. The result is a historically aware, intelligent, romantic novel of the mythic west that won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:13 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Presents a love story and an epic of the frontier, richly authentic that makes readers laugh, weep, dream and remember

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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