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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Lonesome Dove (1985)

by Larry McMurtry

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,0381771,031 (4.55)1 / 764
Recently added byDXAnderson, mnemeth01, private library, Denollear, Graimprey, Tahamata, petermoccia, farrhon
  1. 41
    Shane by Jack Schaefer (mcenroeucsb)
  2. 31
    Little Big Man by Thomas Berger (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Western
  3. 10
    News of the World by Paulette Jiles (Ciruelo)
  4. 10
    The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy (paulkid)
    paulkid: Epic Westerns set in Texas and Mexico, McMurtry is more somber, McCarthy more dark.
  5. 21
    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both have a wonderful, authentic flavor of the old west.
  6. 00
    The New Mexico Trilogy by John Nichols (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Much more enjoyable!

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Showing 1-5 of 178 (next | show all)
I would give it 10 stars if I could!

This is one of the best books I've ever read. No wonder it won a Pulitzer!

It was beautifully written. So much so that I felt as if I was transported back into that time period.

I saw the film long before I even knew it was a book and I can say they got the casting right! I could clearly picture every character and they all felt right to me.

It was slow paced, but not in a bad way. It truly told the whole story without a lot of time skips or with the reader having to forgive the author for not giving a better explaination of things. When I started the book, I felt like I already knew the story, but I know I was wrong. NOW I know the story.

As big and epic as the book is, it will find its way to my re-read shelf with The Lord of the Rings, Harty Potter and all the other books that can make me cry.

I'm usually better at reviews, but this book was so fantastic I don't even know what to say about it. It speaks for itself. I cannot wait to read the other books in the series! ( )
  Virago77 | Mar 3, 2019 |
It was appropriate that I used a publicity card for John Sayles' Place In The Sun as a bookmark. Both are engrossing in their illumination of the sum of toil necessary for the suburban ennui we now endure. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
A marvelous novel for many reasons – none of which I will bother to describe aside from the masterful way McMurtry switches between characters' focalizations. I'm not exactly sure how he does it, but I think it has something to do with how he uses paragraphs. He introduces action and important events midway through paragraphs (such as surprise attacks by indians), which is the opposite of what I’ve found most authors to do. Usually action is given a paragraph break, but instead McCurtry reserves the paragraph break for isolating and demarcating internal monologues. This allows him to flow between multiple characters across multiple pages and still make it manageable for the reader. This also allows the technique of changing focalization seem less artificial, I think, because it doesn’t require any other indication that the perspective has changed. There are often few immediate identifiers of who the narrative is being focalized through, which gives this paragraph break technique weight as an important convention that the reader learns to use. Using paragraphs in this way to show shifts in perspective also creates a sense of tension at the beginning of each paragraph as the reader anticipates a potential change in perspective. It’s a wonderful affect that underscores our vulnerability and the brutality of the story and the abruptness of its violence. It also serves another goal of the novel: deceiving the reader through deceptively simple and cheerful prose that this is a simple and cheerful book. And it is not. This is a book about how we are preyed upon by our expectations as we are both destroyed and exalted through random absurdities in life. ( )
  Algybama | Feb 22, 2019 |
Have to go back to it.
  adrianburke | Jan 26, 2019 |
Former Texas Rangers, Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call had a place of honor in cleaning the bandits and Indians out of Texas. Even in retirement, the are still renowned for their deeds. But Texas has become civilized and life has gotten boring on their ranch just north of the Mexican border.

So when they hear a casual suggestion about how good it could be to establish the first cattle outfit in Montana, it sounds downright interesting. They head south of the border and round up three thousand cattle and the requisite number of horses from a dead bandit so they can make the drive north.

This is an epic novel. Gus and Call are more than just well rounded – they play off each other well, and are the crux of the story. But they also have an entire entourage of interesting characters going along with them on the drive and traveling through the empty areas in between.

The plot is full of twists and turns; unexpected death happens swiftly in a land full of danger. There are scenes you will never forget – including a nest of water moccasins that I remembered from watching the mini series 30 years ago.

A great story, a sweeping canvas. I was sorry when it ended. ( )
  streamsong | Jan 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 178 (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

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