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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
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Lonesome Dove (original 1985; edition 1990)

by Larry McMurtry

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,284157836 (4.56)656
Member:gaskella
Title:Lonesome Dove
Authors:Larry McMurtry
Info:Pan Books (1990), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 960 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Fiction, TBR, Western

Work details

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (1985)

  1. 31
    Shane by Jack Schaefer (mcenroeucsb)
  2. 10
    The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy (paulkid)
    paulkid: Epic Westerns set in Texas and Mexico, McMurtry is more somber, McCarthy more dark.
  3. 21
    Little Big Man by Thomas Berger (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Western
  4. 21
    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both have a wonderful, authentic flavor of the old west.
  5. 00
    The New Mexico Trilogy by John Nichols (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Much more enjoyable!
  6. 12
    The Cowboy and the Cossack by Clair Huffaker (shesinplainview)
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» See also 656 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 158 (next | show all)
Best Western ever written. One of the best books ever written. What is it about? Like 'War & Peace' it is about life, everything in life. ( )
  ramon4 | Sep 19, 2016 |
Remarkable. ( )
  bookofmoons | Sep 1, 2016 |
Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call, former Texas Rangers, are running a livery stable with some young men in Lonesome Dove. When one of their old friends, Jake Spoon, comes back on the run having accidentally killed a man, he tells them tales of Montana and Call decides to make a cattle drive up north.

This epic saga of the Old West has a little bit of everything: good guys, bad guys, dumb guys just going a long for the ride; cowboys and Indians; cattle drives; whorehouses. There's a little bit of history and the mentality of the Texas Rangers. Various characters are introduced and intertwine throughout the 800+ pages. The writing is evocative and reading about the hot Texas summer in the middle of a heat wave, I could just feel the dust and the heat coming off the pages. I can understand why this Western is one of the best beloved. ( )
2 vote bell7 | Aug 1, 2016 |
"If you only come face-to-face with your own mistakes once or twice in your life it's bound to be extra painful. I face mine every day - that way they ain't usually much worse than a dry shave."

So all y'all were right. This book is so much more than a western - it is also a western would be a more apt description. And I was not expecting to love it despite all the glowing praise that it accrued at just being mentioned on my thread. I think what really shines here is the humor that resides even in the darker passages. This was such a fabulous surprise to me. And the well crafted characters who are deeply flawed but also deeply lovable. And the ones that you want to love but just can't because they keep letting you down - we have all known people like that. Life is full of them.

Perhaps the greatest achievement here is that the book does not feel like it is over 800 pages - you just open the cover and fall right in. I never had to make myself pick it up, and I found myself sneaking moments with it for just one more chapter. And then just one more after that. I also loved that, for me, it was not predictable. Just when I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen, it went another direction. I loved how the characters wove into and out of each others' lives. And how the plot got twisty only to straighten itself out again before it began once more twisting in on itself. Beautiful.

My favorite character? Deets, hands down, and I wanted to know more about him. After that, I don't know how you could possibly fail to love Gus, who gets all the best lines and who never fails to stand tall when he needs to, but is just as quick to sit back down again. His introspection on a life lived taming the West only to find that it came at perhaps too high a cost is worth the price of admission alone, but there is so much more here. Heartbreak and belly laughs, passages begging to be read aloud and bittersweet irony that will have you holding your breath, characters that will stay with you long after closing the covers of the book...it's all here. Just waiting. Oh so highly recommended. ( )
6 vote Crazymamie | Jul 24, 2016 |
Larry
  StPaulsChurch | Jul 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 158 (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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Epigraph
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
Dedication
For Maureen Orth,
and
In memory of
the nine McMurtry boys
(1878-1983)
"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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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 9 descriptions

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