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Lonesome Dove (1985)

by Larry McMurtry

Series: Lonesome Dove (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,5372041,033 (4.55)1 / 842
Chronicles a cattle drive in the nineteenth century from Texas to Montana, and follows the lives of Gus and Call, the cowboys heading the drive, Gus's woman, Lorena, and Blue Duck, a sinister Indian renegade.
  1. 30
    The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy (paulkid)
    paulkid: Epic Westerns set in Texas and Mexico, McMurtry is more somber, McCarthy more dark.
  2. 41
    Shane by Jack Schaefer (mcenroeucsb)
  3. 31
    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both have a wonderful, authentic flavor of the old west.
  4. 31
    Little Big Man by Thomas Berger (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Western
  5. 10
    Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (sturlington)
  6. 10
    News of the World by Paulette Jiles (Ciruelo)
  7. 00
    The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both are immersive historical adventure stories with a great cast of characters, heart and a sense of humor.
  8. 00
    The New Mexico Trilogy by John Nichols (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Much more enjoyable!
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English (203)  Italian (1)  All languages (204)
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
One of my favorites - I've lost count of how many times I've read it. Fabulous characters. Great story.
If you're jumping in to this one - be advised until they get the cattle moving it's a bit slow - just hang in there.
I enjoyed the first bit much more the second time through the book because I was so familiar with the characters.

2017 - reread by listening to the audiobook. This is still one of my favorite reads. Westerns are not my genre of choice - but this one is a great character study of two old Texas Rangers and the people they work with and encounter on their 3000 mile cattle drive to Montana. If you only read one western - it should be this one. ( )
  wills2003 | Jul 30, 2020 |
This is a long story, equal to three normal size books. If you are going to read it, be prepared for violence. It describes the life of cowboys, mostly during a cattle drive, where they are confronted by almost every calamity known to man.
It continually emphasizes the weaknesses of the cowboys and their frequent bouts of tears. A bunch of indecision makers concerned about what the others think of them. The women are the strong characters, nothing getting in the way of their goals.
The author has no remorse about the elimination of his characters, seldom dying in bed. ( )
  delta61 | Jul 30, 2020 |
I listened to this as an audio book and enjoyed it tremendously. Great characters, good writing and an excellent reader. ( )
  gbelik | Jul 25, 2020 |
Arguably, this is the best book (series) I have read in a long time. It happened after I re-read Anna Karenina and the Dove stands at the same level of engagement of the reader, depth of dialogues and story narrated. I decided,after finishing the Dove and the first of the series Dead man's walk, to drive from Cleveland to N Texas and see in person where these adventures took place. Read them in order, or just read the Lonesome Dove. ( )
  Lapsus16 | Jul 9, 2020 |
People think this book about a cattle drive. It's not. The story is the path we chose to take in life. Woodrow works hard and takes life seriously, and Gus likes to gamble, drink and chase women. We all end up the same place no matter what path we take in life, so stop and smell the roses. ( )
  kerryp | Jul 4, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 203 (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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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