Dead Man's Walk
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Dead Man's Walk (Lonesome Dove #3)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  5,790 ratings  ·  274 reviews
Dead Man's Walk is the first, extraordinary book in the epic Lonesome Dove tetralogy, in which Larry McMurtry breathed new life into the vanished American West and created two of the most memorable heroes in contemporary fiction: Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call.
As young Texas Rangers, Gus and Call have much to learn about survival in a land fraught with perils: not only...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 17th 2000 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1995)
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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryTrue Grit by Charles PortisBlood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthyBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Best Westerns
13th out of 497 books — 627 voters
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryThe Time It Never Rained by Elmer KeltonMolly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? by Molly IvinsThe Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtryBurn Down the Ground by Kambri Crews
Texas Authors
11th out of 297 books — 106 voters


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Community Reviews

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sckenda
Nov 01, 2013 sckenda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Expecting to Live
Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae did not begin as the competent Texas Rangers whom we met in Lonesome Dove. Here our young men blunder their way through one ignominious defeat after another. They get schooled and outdueled by Comanches, Mexican soldiers, outlaws, and strong women, but these men survive and adapt with optimism. Their response to certain death: "I expect to live."

Call is pragmatic, quiet, and duty bound. Gus is a romantic dreamer preoccupied with whores, rumors of gold, and Clara Forsy...more
Craig
Wow. What a stinkeroo this turned out to be. In fact, it sadly confirms the suspicions I had of McMurtry while reading Lonesome Dove which is to say he has incredible skill in drawing you into a rich, realistic, dusty Old West atmosphere but lacks the ability to create a well-structured story. Also, contrary to popular opinion, I feel McMurtry -- at least in his Western novels -- paints some pretty one-dimensional characters.

This book triples the meandering of Lonesome Dove, which incidentally I...more
Jon
While it was great to read about Gus and Call again - two of literature's more vivid characters - there seemed to be little point to DEAD MAN'S WALK other than "here's some more Gus & Call." While LONESOME DOVE contains not only great characters and stirring developments, but also meditates on themes of change, age and regret, here McMurtry seems content to just revisit his two leads and kick them around the old west for a few hundred pages.

Most disappointingly, in this novel Gus and Call a...more
Dan
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 nov...more
Christopher
The reader meets Captains Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call in the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove as tired old men, ready for one last adventure after a life of Texas Rangering. Here in Dead Man's Walk, the reader is reintroduced to them as young recruits to the Rangers.

Like Lonesome Dove and its sequel Streets of Laredo, this prequel is a hell of a good time. McMurtry turns a guilty pleasure genre into a rich, capital-L Literary experience. Though the thorough characterization in Lo...more
Monkey
so far better than I expected!

Well, I'm glad I read this first because apparently it blows if you've read Lonesome Dove first.

I quite liked it; Feckless youths and scary-ass indians!
Not at all the romantical-style western I thought it would be.
Jim
Dead Man's Walk is one of the best Western novels I have read, not nearly as deep as Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian or All the Pretty Horses; but this is only the first McMurtry I have read, and I am delighted to find that there are so many more to read.

I am not very familiar with the Texas landscape, but reading this book makes me want to go visit Big Bend National Park and some of the other areas around West Texas.

At first I had a little difficulty separating the two main characters in my...more
Joshua Gross
Like Lonesome Dove, there's a long journey through the whole book with a surprisingly short return journey. There's also a prostitute trying to get to California and some evil and creative Indians. This book, however, seemed more like tragedy after tragedy on the open range, where everyone is always completely miserable or in danger. Then things got weird and the book was suddenly over.
smetchie
Mar 06, 2011 smetchie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to smetchie by: overwhelming desire for Lonesome Dove to last forever
What a let-down. Prequels blow. I don't want to see my beloved, crusty, bad-ass cowboy heroes as young, inexperienced, frightened, blundering, bottom-of-the-totem-pole, young'ins any more than I want to see Darth Vader as an insolent, surly, teenager. It's not fun or cool or satisfying at all. I wonder if I'll ever learn.
Mary
Jul 03, 2011 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: adult
While not as good as Lonesome Dove, I still enjoyed this book (this is actually the 2nd or 3rd time I've read it). I love the characters of Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call who were first introduced in Lonesome Dove. Dead Man's Walk is one of two prequels to Lonesome Dove. Here we see Gus and Woodrow beginning their careers as Texas Rangers. Their adventures in this book will leave the reader exhausted by the end. There are some very gruesome scenes, but there are also moments of levity provided main...more
Molly Jae
Jun 30, 2009 Molly Jae rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Vaughn, Rex, Jay, Clark, Jerry, Darren, Dad, Uncle John and all other cowboys.
Ahh, this is a great cowboy story. It's the first time I've ever read McMurtry who has written over 30 books, and I'm excited to read more. Dead Man's Walk is the first in a tetrology which includes the Pulitzer Prize winning Lonesome Dove. I think his writing flows beautifully, his dialogue is great and you can smell the sagebrush and taste the dry sand as he describes the West. I imagine that his story reflects some truth of how the West was explored which means it is not a light-hearted story...more
Kyle
Dead Man's Walk is the first book in the Lonesome Dove series, and features three beloved characters -- Woodrow Call, Augustus McCrae, and Clara.

If you enjoyed Lonesome Dove, don't expect to find awe inspiring younger versions of Call and McCrae in this story. Call and McCrae do not posesses great marksmanship, horsemanship, or tracking skills, they are not gifted with the ability to quickly learn Spanish, Apache, and Commanche, and they do not have great insights into the minds of Indians. The...more
Teri Anderson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Keli Wright
Sep 24, 2009 Keli Wright rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cowboys
Recommended to Keli by: Mitch
I just finished "Dead Man's Walk" by Larry McMurtry It was written after "Lonesome Dove" but chronologically came before so I read it first when I was dating Mitch we talked about me reading some westerns so I had all ready bought this one and I finally got around to reading it... At first I thought "oh man this is ANOTHER GUY BOOK! this reminds me of when Ryan and Chris would tell me to read books, except Mitch had never read this book but as I'm slogging throught it, saying I think I can, I t...more
Erik Hanberg
McMurtry has such an interesting style of writing. I liked this book. Looking forward to going through all four in the series. Lonesome Dove is one of my favorite books ever. I'll reread it in order, since I haven't read since college and I have such fond memories.
Lark
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...more
Mark
The first volume in the Lonesome Dove prequels with August Macrae and Woodrow Call as teenagers (I think) in the Texas Rangers. The characters, some of whom were real people, mostly walk through the Llano Estacado and the Chihuahuan Desert where they have the opportunity to witness one deus ex machina event after another. The author has the old problem of needing to eliminate most of the characters without losing too many important ones. He uses an interesting technique that I call retroactive c...more
Scott Axsom
Another rollicking McMurtry Western, the first (chronologically) of the "Lonesome Dove" series. A fun, easy read with maybe a little less allegory than I'd have preferred but what it contains is quite good. Excellent back-story work regarding Gus and Woodrow - quite delicious, that. Would've been 4 stars, if he'd shaved about a hundred pages off of it - got a little unwieldy toward the end and he had to bring in a deus ex machina to wrangle it all into the corral. Still, all-in-all, a wonderful...more
katy
Second book of the "Lonesome Dove" tetralogy. In this novel some Texas Rangers, including Gus and Call, head north to Santa Fe looking for silver, gold, and pretty señoritas. One mishap after another, largely due to irrational, irresponsible leaders, overtakes them. At the end only four of the original group of 200 are left. It's hard to believe these men could survive with so little food and water and walk the plains for days at a time. They overcome their final challenge through the magic-real...more
Micki
OK so not as great as Lonesome Dove but still a very good read!! The ending was soooo cool!!
Lindsay Michael
Trying to branch out my type of book...but failed. Couldn't get past page 10! Not my thing.
Amber Laha
It is disappointing to me that this book didn't live up to Lonesome Dove. I found it a bit boring and the love for Gus and Call, not so much here. Although, I loved getting to know their back story, it really wasn't necessary for Lonesome Dove and I wish that I had decided that before wasting money and time on this one. I am not saying it is bad or you wouldn't enjoy it. But I am not saying it didn't have some major issues. It dragged a lot in the story for me. I just wanted more of angry Call,...more
Sara
I liked this one less than Lonesome Dove (no western beats that classic) but more than Streets of Laredo. It's really interesting to see my two favorite Texas Rangers as young men. Call is pretty much himself, but Gus is a much more timid and less sure version of who he turns out to be. He meets the love of his life, Clara, in this book and that encounter was pretty amusing.

McMurtry really pours it on in this book. The action is brutal and graphic (some of the scalping descriptions will probabl...more
Aja
After reading Lonesome Dove, I was surprised and ecstatic to find that it was the third book of a four book series. I was so excited to get the back story of Gus and Call, and figured that the best place to start would be book one (Dead Man's Walk). Unfortunately it did not live up yo my lofty expectations.

This book does a lot to explain the background and even some personality traits of the two that you see in the 3rd book, but for me this was the one and only redeeming quality. The violence,...more
Craig
This was one of the worst, most ludicrous books I have read; truly awful. I do not recommend it. A prequel to Lonesome Dove, it details the lives of Gus and Woodrow as they begin their careers as Texas Rangers. Poorly written, its dialogue consisted of mindless (truly mindless) palavering. Furthermore, there was no plot. The narrative reminded me of the game sometimes played at a teenage party where (with several people in a circle), the first begins to spin a yarn from his wild imagination. The...more
Armand
Oct 24, 2011 Armand rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nobody really.
Unfortunately, this novel was a grim, mediocre follow up to Lonesome Dove. The plot basically follows a failed Texan invasion of New Mexico (and when I say failed, I mean really, really failed) with ensuing tragedy and tragedy and then some more tragedy. Like tragedy on a Greek or Biblical level, to the point that I was wondering if it was a metaphor for something.

Anyway, the weak plot is somewhat held in check by Larry McMurtry's brilliant, Mark-Twainian narrative voice (seldom has slavery, to...more
S.B. Davidson
Lonesome Dove is one of my favorite stories, novel and mini-series. The characters, from the leads to throwaways, are rich, fascinating, full of quirks and flaws, and always fully-realized. I went into this book with high expectations. I wasn't wholly disappointed, but I found Dead Man's Walk lacking when directly compared to the great Lonesome Dove. It's a good book in its own right, though - gripping, darkly humorous, disturbing, and sad.

McMurty is a masterful writer. He excels in sharp dialog...more
Karen Klink
Not up to the quality of "Lonesome Dove," but a fun read about Call and McCrae when they first became inexperienced and naive rangers. If you don't care for blood and violence, don't read this novel, because McMurtry doesn't hold back during this age of Comanche raids in Texas.

It has been a long time since I read "Lonesome Dove," and I wish McMurtry would have given some idea of the year of his story, though I believe it must have been well before the Texas Rangers became organized and decently...more
John
This is the first part of the Lonesome Dove trilogy, and for some reason I never read it, even though I finished the second and third books years ago. It was a pleasure to pick up this book and read about Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call again. They're just young pups in this book, barely old enough to shave (well, maybe they've been shaving for a few years), but their personalities are developed just as strongly as in the later books. McMurtry does a great job of describing the plains of Texas, and...more
Lara
I finally finished this one late last night, and it was very disappointing. I absolutely loved Lonesome Dove and Streets of Laredo, but this prequel could not possibly compare to the vastness and intelligence of its predecessors. For one thing, there was no central character or main narrative for the reader to follow. The narration meandered from one Ranger to the other and offered little insight into the characters' thoughts, feelings, motivations, or anything else. This irked me because I know...more
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Among many other accolades he was the co-winner of an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Brokeback Mountain in 2006.

Larry McMurty was born in Wichita Falls Texas in 1936. His first published book Horseman, Pass By was adapted into the film "Hud".

McMurty went on to publish many more novels, a number of which went on to become movies as well as a TV mini-series.
More about Larry McMurtry...
Lonesome Dove Terms of Endearment The Last Picture Show Streets of Laredo Comanche Moon

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“-she remembered them kindly, for there was a sweetness in boys that didn't last long, once they became men.” 7 likes
“Well, boys," Long Bill said. "I guess here's where I quit rangering. It's rare sport, but it ain't quite safe.” 3 likes
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