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Leaving Cheyenne (A Southwest Landmark, No 3)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,576 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Lonesome Dove Larry McMurtry comes the second novel about love and loss on the great plains of Texas. From 1920’s ranching to range cowboys and WWII grief, McMurtry is the undisputed father of the Western literary epic.

Leaving Cheyenne traces the loves of three West Texas characters as they follow that sundown trail: Gideon Fry, th
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1962)
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Apr 15, 2012 Ron rated it it was amazing
Larry McMurtry grew up among ranchers and cowboys, and his familiarity with this rural world makes his early novels set in and around Thalia, Texas, genuinely alive with rich detail and believable characters. He knows this world as it's seen and understood by the people who live there, both young and old. Most revealingly (and colorfully) he knows how they really talk to each other and to themselves -- not in the stereotypical ways often ascribed to country people.

You read "Leaving Cheyenne" slo
Aug 13, 2009 Jeff rated it it was amazing
_leaving cheyenne_ doesn't beg a rigorous academic analysis, and having just finished it, i'm not in a mood to provide one.

it's just a beautiful, moving novel i literally could not put down in my few non-working moments.

the characters are fully-drawn and mcmurtry inhabits equally their voices and emotions, dedicating each of the novel's three "books" to one of the central characters' perspectives.

this was my first brush with mcmurtry and i can guarantee it will not be my last; i'm told _leaving
Larry McMurtry is one of my favourite authors. Leaving Cheyenne Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtrydid not disappoint. This one of McMurtry's earlier works, before he wrote the wonderful Lonesome Dove (Part 1 of 3) by Larry McMurtryLonesome Dove, which I count among my all-time favourite novels. In fact, Gid and Johnny could be thought of as earlier, less fleshed out versions of Gus and Call. This book is so many things-a coming of age story, an unusual love triangle and romance, and a close-up look at the friendship between two very different men. Gid and Johnny share a g ...more
Mar 18, 2012 Doug rated it really liked it
Larry McMurtry is one of my two or three favorite authors. I've read everything he's written since Lonesome Dove and have now gone back to read some of his earlier work. As one might expect, he has refined his craft as he's gone along. Don't get me wrong, this book was good, but it did not have the breadth of scope of much of his later work. Actually, it is easy to see this book as a presurser to Lonesome Dove in some respects. The main male characters, Gid and Johnny can easily be seen as proto ...more
Keri Daskam
Jan 18, 2015 Keri Daskam rated it really liked it
Shelves: year-12
I never guessed I would be such a fan of Larry McMurtry books. The characters are robust and charming and old Texas is a marvelous place for a plot.
Feb 11, 2009 Tim rated it liked it
This is a pretty good book that almost makes it into the four star category, if it weren't for a kind of niggling thought in my mind that the three main characters, though all likable, seem as if they were painted with a brush that was a little too broad. It's the story of three people, two men and a woman, and the love triangle between them. There are three sections to the novel, and each is told from the point of view of each of the three main characters. Each section is at a different point i ...more
Apr 28, 2008 Kathy rated it really liked it
Larry McMurtry's books are unique. I NEVER thought I'd be one to enjoy a western until I first read Lonesome Dove. That is still my favorite, but I enjoyed this more modern 'western', too. McMurtry's characters are extremely well-drawn and his dialogue addictive. I start talking like a cowboy myself with 3 pages! As far as the PLOT of Leaving Cheyenne...well.. I wish there were actually more of it. A little suspense might be good as well, but the characters and their relationships carry the book ...more
Dec 15, 2010 ehnonymus rated it it was ok
this book leaves me with no desire to read lonesome dove, even though heaps of folks think it is one of the best books ever. i think it is because i do not like mcmurtry's style; what some people regard as a lack of sentimentality i think of as being emotionally disengaged. i spent most of the novel being perplexed by the main characters' motivations, rendering me completely unable to relate to them in any meaningful way. which is probably why i just didn't care about the characters, or for the ...more
Sep 30, 2009 Hollis rated it liked it
This was recommended to me by a dear 'book friend' as one of her all-time favorites. I was put off at the beginning, thinking 'oh dear - I'm not really into cowboy books', but the sweetness of the story and the characters soon won me over and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's the story of three friends - two men and a woman - and how that friendship overcomes all the adversity and twists that life throws at us - love, work, and finding our inner selves.
Carolyn Engquist
May 05, 2009 Carolyn Engquist rated it did not like it
My book club enjoyed the book, but I felt depressed by the bad choices the main female character made!
Nikki Conley
Aug 02, 2013 Nikki Conley rated it it was amazing
I read this at least once a year. It may be my favorite book. Written in 3 sections, each from one of the main character's viewpoints, the story is original and heartbreaking just like life.
Feb 23, 2017 jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed the audio version of this panoramic, but intimate character study of three individuals. The book is divided into three parts, each written from the point of view of the three well-defined primary characters. In the audio version I listened to, each part was narrated by a different reader -- all were excellent.
Aug 27, 2013 Rob rated it really liked it
My dad told me that Larry McMurtry has written some books that were only so-so. I have yet to find one though. This one is great. I think I don't like it quite as much as Lonesome Dove or The Last Picture Show, but that could be because I read Lonesome Dove first, and because I really am blown away by the movie version of The Last Picture Show. This one is a drama about a rancher's son, a cowhand, and a woman who loves them both; it follows them from their teenage years to old age, roughly the n ...more
Oct 04, 2009 Josie rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
Ok, so, people are often like, "my, isn't it incredible that this male author can be a woman in his prose?!" Well, at least circa this, his 2nd novel, Larry McMurtry can't. Maybe he also can't be a man, not sure.

I wanted this tone--Western, heavy romance. There's a lot of nice sex as well. But the dialect/naivete/flat affect of the 1st-person narration (first by Gideon, then Molly, probably by Johnny after that though I won't get that far) make the characters seem like probably retards or maybe
Feb 19, 2015 Sailco26 rated it it was ok
As much as I usually enjoy McMurtry's books, I had to stretch to give this one a 2nd star. Honestly, I couldn't wait to be finished with it. While I admit that the character development was engaging, this really was one of the most boring books I've ever read.

Most people's lives are mundane, and the realities of ranching life aren't any different. This book is probably very accurate in its portrayal of the less-than-glamorous lifestyle - typical cowboy books/movies notwithstanding.

Then again, m
Jan 11, 2016 Chuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McMurtry is one of my favorite authors and one of the best western authors of all time. His works including :Lonesome Dove, The last Picture Show series and Terms of Endearment" are among the best books that I have read. On the other hand some of his books including when he fictionalizes famous western personalities leaves me a little disappointed. This book is of the first catagory when he takes a threesome of west Texas characters and brings them to life over sixty years. He even does it in Th ...more
Ann Grant
Jan 26, 2013 Ann Grant rated it liked it
McMurty's books are really long, and I usually don't want to devote that much time to a western adventure story, so I listened to it on an audiotape. It's a realy good "listen" to help while away the hours when you are doing repetitive tasks like cutting fabrics or mindless strip piecing for quilts. After you get in the groove you can even do paper piecing! The story is told in McMurty's laconic style, with quite a bit of understated humor, along with starvation, nearly dying of thirst, fighting ...more
May 05, 2016 Rachelle rated it really liked it
There is something awe inspiring about the descriptions in this book of back-breaking physical labor under the Texas sun and the vast whistling physical distances between people. It's not just atmospheric. It helps me believe that the emotional connection that these characters have with each other is simply bottomless, and fickle media-saturated kids like us, we just don't get it. Tho' it does seem with all the post digging and fence mending I read about, they could've built a wall all the way t ...more
Tjbrowne Browne
Apr 20, 2009 Tjbrowne Browne rated it liked it
The characters in this book have got to be the most charitable characters ever imagined on paper. This is the third book I've read by Larry McMurtry, and as a result, his stories are starting to get a little bit predictable. "Lonesome Dove" made me cry crocodile tears. "Leaving Cheyenne" didn't even get me choked up. The female protagonist, Molly, made me furious, and the emotionless way that the male characters handled hetero relationships was akin to the way that you'd pick a new pet from the ...more
Gabe Redel
Sep 03, 2012 Gabe Redel rated it it was amazing
Cowboy story, yes sir! Loved it. Reminded me of all of my favorite cowboy and rancher stories that I can never get enough of. This is a coming of age novel, and McMurtry couldn't have written a better epic. Love triangles, chasing coyotes, and cowboying the panhandle---wow! So much fun. So much personality. So much heartbreak, tragedy, and broken pieces to pick up out of the mud after a drunken brawl. I wished I was right along side Gid and his sidekick buddy as they chased after their dreams, t ...more
Sep 16, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Larry McMurtry's historical western novels. This story is much more a character study of three friends in the early 1900's and spans much of their lives. The book is divided into three parts with each of them telling a part of the story from their perspective. The book is not as exciting and full of adventure as Lonesome Dove and some of the others I have read, but the author's ability to create a real sense of living, breathing characters and setting to life remains intact.
This story relives the time of friends growing old together. At the start we see a cattleman's son Gideon Fry, his best friend and cowboy Johnny McCloud and the woman they both loved, Molly. As time goes by they both father a son with Molly and yet their friendship remains solid. Gideon is a serious rancher, Johnny a footloose cowboy, and Molly is courted by both and marries someone else, but the love between her and Gideon and her and Johnny continues. This is a beautiful story of friendship b ...more
Mike Harper
Mar 02, 2014 Mike Harper rated it it was amazing
I guess I'm a sucker for books like this, books that take me through the characters' lives and leave me happy to have made their acquaintances. I hate it that they don't get everything they deserve, and wish it could have turned out better for them. Their losses, though, are my gain.
This one's a complicated love story - all three characters love one another, even the two men - and, I guess, a nice evocation of Texas life in the twentieth century.
I think it's in a class with Wallace Stegner's An
Sep 01, 2007 Cecilia rated it it was amazing
A western love story set in and around Archer County, Texas, Leaving Cheyenne is beautifully narrated by three members of a lifelong love triangle. It is a love story in three dimensions: romantic, plutonic and love of place. The language, characters and story ring achingly true. Gid, Molly and Johnny’s story is worth reading for almost any reader. Whether you like romance, westerns, Texas literature or literary fiction you will enjoy this book, as it excels in all these genres.
Robert Branham
Jul 31, 2015 Robert Branham rated it really liked it
I am inclined to find McMurtry's writing style to be effective with exceptional character development, but this book is unique in that each section of the book is given from a different perspective (each of the main characters). Time progresses, of course as the reader progresses and so it is demonstrates McMurtry's talents as a writer to see the story from all the perspectives and to be able to communicate those as the character's personality would see it and say it.
John Earnhart
Dec 23, 2014 John Earnhart rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book!

This is the first novel I've read by Larry McMurtry. This is one of the few times where, upon finishing the story, I have next to nothing to gripe about. Both the story and the way it was told was great.

Something in the way McMurtry lays everything out makes you feel like you're there with the three characters, sitting on the porch with them or out working in the field.

Great book.
Tiffani Erickson
Oct 24, 2016 Tiffani Erickson rated it liked it
I would have liked this book more if Molly wouldn't have been the "lady of the night" she is. She married Eddie, but had a son with Gideon and Jonathan. She kept courting both guys even while she was married and strung them both along and they didn't care, as long as she paid them mind. Meanwhile, Gideon marries Mabel and she is a stuck up brat and treats him like he isn't worth her time. I kept expecting this to get better and it didn't.
Nov 19, 2015 Phebe rated it really liked it
A good story, but not nearly as good as my favorite McMurtry novel, Lonesome Dove. I still don't really understand the title. I liked the cowboys Gid and Johnny, but Molly's character had me perplexed. Sometimes I admired her, and sometimes I thought she was just plumb crazy. Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading another McMurtry tale sometime soon.

My favorite quote from this book: "a woman's love is like the morning dew; it'sas likely to settle on a horse turd as a rose." :)
Jun 20, 2009 Susie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fred-s-books

A Fred Dale Lending Library Book
As often happens, I found myself without a book and thus went to the shelves of the Fred Dale Lending Library - A love story mainly about 2 men who love Molly. Set in the early 1900's just a simple story with some great laughs, heartache, adventure, and love - decisions not made which ended up as decisions made. I really enjoyed this but I'm a big fan of McMurtry; probably like most things he's written.
Chris Miller
Dec 03, 2014 Chris Miller rated it really liked it
Shoot, I needed this book. It's a great escape into the early 19th-century world of the American West. Larry McMurtry gets the dialogue just right, and it's impressive that he wrote this in the early 60s. Some of this book's content and insight into human relationships prove that times and technology may change, but emotions and character are set during childhood and last for decades.
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Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays.

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
More about Larry McMurtry...

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“But just let me tell you something, son, a woman's love is like the morning dew, it's just as apt to settle on a horse turd as it is on a rose. So you better just get over it.” 25 likes
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