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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Lonesome Dove (original 1985; edition 1990)

by Larry McMurtry

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5,572159773 (4.56)703
Title:Lonesome Dove
Authors:Larry McMurtry
Info:Pan Books (1990), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 960 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, TBR, Western

Work details

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (1985)

Recently added byprivate library, kmhoy, CallieMarie, KCV, EllAreBee, Penske, awells45, kellsie90
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Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
Lonesome Dove has been on my to-be-read list for over twenty years. A classic western and a Pulitzer prize winner, I've started it at least three times. I've even successfully avoided watching the Lonesome Dove TV miniseries all these years because I knew I wanted to read the book first. So when I was creating my list of 50 Classic Books in 5 Years for My 50th Birthday, this was one of the first books I put on it. I felt it was time to get the monkey off my back.

Was it worth the wait? Definitely.

Lonesome Dove is a truly epic story with memorable, well-drawn characters. McMurtry really knows how to bring a story to life. Despite the novel's massive length, none of the story felt like filler. The book is full of moments of beauty, sadness, humor, and action that unfold organically. I don't remember a single event in the book that didn't ring true. Not that it was perfect, however.

My biggest complaint about the novel is the lack of a satisfying conclusion, at least for me. There were several ways McMurtry could have ended the novel that would have been more emotionally satisfying for me, especially regarding one of the main antagonists. But I assume he chose to go more for realism than for the conventional ending, and I can understand that.

Overall, a terrific novel, and I look forward to finally being able to watch the TV miniseries. ( )
  nsenger | Jul 16, 2017 |
This is the Pulitzer Prize winning novel (1986) of the story of the South West in the years after the Civil War. It is a long, and at first, daunting book. But once you start, it pulls you along whether you want to or not.

It is the story of Gus and Call, two former Captains in the Texas Rangers. They run a cattle and horse ranch in the small town on the Mexican border called Lonesome Dove. Feeling the call of adventure, they put together a team cowboys together and "find" a herd of cattle and start on an epic journey to move them to the new frontier in Montana.

A classic western tale, men struggling to move their charges north, confronting Indian bands, thieves, and the weather. At the same time it is story of changing times, buffalos disappearing from the plains as eminent domain marches west and a love (both requited and unrequited) story between Gus and Lorena, a prostitute with a heart of gold (yeah I know a little cliched, but it works)

A brilliant story from the heat soaked porch on Lonesome Dove to Montana and back leading to an abrupt, suprising and ultimately profound ending. This was one of the best books I've read this year.


S: 3/26/17 - 6/18/17 (85 Days) ( )
2 vote mahsdad | Jun 25, 2017 |
Wow, just wow. Let me just say that I don't read westerns - I can't for the life of me remember ever reading a western before this. This was amazing. McMurtry has such a way with words. Every character (and there were quite a few) was so well developed. Every sense was titillated. I felt the sand sting, heard the thunder crack, saw the lightning, felt the pelt of the hail, heard the Indian war cry, felt my mouth parch... I was Gus, Call, Lorena, Deets, Newt... Cannot recommend this enough. Go read it! ( )
1 vote LisaMorr | Apr 29, 2017 |
An amazing book. The mini series was just as good too. You can't say that all too often. ( )
  annabw | Feb 21, 2017 |
Brilliant! Best words to describe this book. I watched the series years ago and mostly forgot it but always remembered that I loved it. This book was so well written, after 800 pages, I still wanted more. All of the characters were so personal and believable they will forever live with me. Remembering the characters in the mini series right off had me visualizing Gus as Robert Duvall and Call as Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Urich as Jake Spoon so much so that it made to read even more enjoyable.. Excellent, Excellent Excellent!! ( )
  booklovers2 | Jan 29, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 160 (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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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)

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