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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
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Lonesome Dove (1985)

by Larry McMurtry

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5,598163768 (4.56)717
Recently added byYells, ErwinRommel, rickklaw, Kadia, anicat, meandmybooks, alo1224, nbarnes9, kasyapa, private library
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» See also 717 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
Fifth reread of summer ( )
  Abbey_Harlow | Oct 5, 2017 |
This book is wonderful. I picked this to stretch my reading a bit into a genre I don't usually read (westerns). What I found was an epic story with characters who felt so real and meaningful to me that I didn't want this book to end (and it's a big book, so that is something). The ending is perfect and unsatisfying, all at the same time, which pretty much also describes the rest of the story. The story follows a group of men on a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, but really it's about friends, and family, and the deep characteristics that make each one of the men tick. No one is perfect, no one is evil, they just all have their strengths and flaws, and the struggle against themselves and each other and the often harsh landscape is fascinating reading. ( )
  duchessjlh | Sep 27, 2017 |
This was one of my favorites for many years. Years later when the two prequels came out, however, I downgraded Lonesome Dove. The articulation between the prequels and Lonesome Dove is not tight and some of the aspects of the story no longer make sense. ( )
  Tatoosh | Aug 14, 2017 |
A story that grows on you as it goes a long. Before too long you don't want to leave the story or the characters. A beautiful novel all in all. ( )
  Mitchell_Bergeson_Jr | Aug 6, 2017 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 164 (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.)
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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

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