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Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
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Dead Man's Walk (2000)

by Larry McMurtry

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1,106227,485 (3.73)40
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"Dead Man's Walk is a 1995 novel by Larry McMurtry. It is the third book published in the Lonesome Dove series, but the first installment in terms of chronology. It details the earliest adventures of the young Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call as they join up with the Texas Rangers on a fictional expedition based loosely on the historical Santa Fe Expedition of 1841." ( )
  kewlgeek | Jun 30, 2015 |
Gus & Call early years as Texas Rangers and failed conquest of Santa Fe
  kewlgeek | Jun 30, 2015 |
Dead Man's Walk throws us back in time when Gus and Call were young and green and just starting off their careers as Texas Rangers.

It definitely can't match the greatness of the first book, but I really enjoyed this shorter prologue. And plus, I was still a little in shock over the didthatjusthappen scene from the first book. So it was good to have all the characters come together again.

The best part about this book was seeing Gus and Call's friendship. The rangering parts were interesting, but we have already seen that before. The
Indian interactions were strong and action-packed, but again, we've already seen similar things before.

But what this book brings new to the reader is how our two main characters acted and became friends as youngin' rangers. They are exactly what I would expect. Gus still a lady-chaser and an exaggerating braggart. He doesn't have quite the skill to back up his talk yet, so I loved it when he ended up embarrassed or surprised. Call is definitely that strict captain - or corporal at this point in time. But you see them start to pick up the qualities they embody in the Lonesome Dove. And it's like peeking into history.

I guess we were also introduced to the other important characters, like Clara, Buffalo Hump, etc. I did not like Clara at all. To me, she's a bit of an arrogant one without any positive qualities.

I very much liked Matilda though. Strong enough to go hack up a turtle, woman enough to reclaim almost-dead bodies, caring enough to follow and save boys she loves.

On another note, I am always appalled and amazed at how casually they bring up such gruesome topics and the level of description that goes into such things. Such as the scalping, a scalped boy left aliveor the torture, or ease of hanging someone. It is always said so casually: a slice at the back of the neck and a yank off of the entire hair. Ugh. Horrifically gruesome, but it works in these books.

Solid 3 stars. I don't think it deserves any more because it didn't really wow me.

Note: I am silly and didn't read book two before this one. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
I normally don't read westerns, but thsi was amazing reading. Such detail in the reality of the old west, held me in suspense right up to the end. ( )
  nilbett | Aug 29, 2014 |
My review for those who do not want to read this book:

Hungry, thirsty, lost, hungry, thirsty, lost, hungry, thirsty, Comanches, hungry, thirsty, lost, hungry, thirsty, Mexicans, hungry, thirsty, walking, hungry, thirsty, walking.

My Review for those who may:
This book, while entertaining, is rather repetitive. I'm not sure how entertaining it would be without having read Lonesome Dove first (a clearly superior novel). Strangely, both Gus and Call are bystanders rather than protagonists in this novel. McMurtry does give us what we want though, the genesis of Gus and Call's friendship and adventures. He just doesn't involve them in any significant way, which is a bit of a let down.

Part IV is also a bit odd as there is a POV shift for half of the remaining 7 chapters. We are now seeing some events through the Comanche's eyes, and once from the perspective of a slave trader. I wonder why the change after 440 pages?

I am assuming that Comanche Moon is the volume where Gus and Call do a lot of the growing up and killing to get them to the point where we meet them in Lonesome Dove (which is set about 30 years later). ( )
  dtn620 | Sep 22, 2013 |
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Matilda Jane Roberts was naked as the air.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684857545, Paperback)

In this prequel to McMurtry's 1986 Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call are invincible young bucks, Texas Rangers, full of youthful energy and, quite frankly, full of themselves. That is until they're utterly consumed by the vicious battlefield of the early-19th-century Wild West. Their journey takes them across barren deserts and raging rivers and through steep and snowy mountains, often on foot and with barely enough provisions and clothing to keep them from certain death. The constant threat of attack by Comanches keeps them awake nights, fearing for their lives--and for good reason. "Buffalo Hump reached down and grabbed the terrified boy by his long black hair. He yanked his horse to a stop, lifted Zeke Moody off his feet, and slashed at his head with a knife, just above the boy's ears. Then he whirled and raced across the front of the huddled Rangers, dragging Zeke by the hair. As the horse increased its speed, the scalp tore loose and Zeke fell free. Buffalo Hump had whirled again, and held aloft the bloody scalp."

This bedraggled group of adventurers--on their foolhardy expedition to seize Santa Fe from the Mexicans (who also prove to be formidable enemies)--includes a salty assortment of cowboys, scouts, fortune seekers, and a fat and sassy whore nicknamed "The Great Western." McMurtry's adept storytelling paints a portrait of the Wild West that at times is palpable. One can almost smell the campfires, the body odors, and the long-awaited piece of meat after weeks without a proper meal. Dead Man's Walk will satisfy your craving for adventure, without having to put your life on the line.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Follows the adventures of Texas Rangers Gus and Call as they join an expedition to seize the Mexican territory of Santa Fe and journey home across the Jornada Del Muerto.

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