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The Wandering Hill (The Berrybender Narratives #2)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  1,896 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry continues his epic four-novel telling of The Berrybender Narratives with a new adventure that is both a grand literary achievement and riveting entertainment as forged by a master wordsmith....

The indefatigable Tasmin Berrybender and her eccentric family trek on through the unexplored Wild West of 1830s America -- and suffer the
ebook, 432 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Simon Schuster (first published 2003)
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aPriL does feral sometimes
'The Wandering Hill', book 2, has a much different tone than the first book, 'Sin Killer', in the Berrybender series. It reads more like straightforward western adventure romance, similar to 19th century American dime novels, but modernized by contemporary scholarship. The author's intentional undertone of satire in the first Berrybender book is completely gone.

What remained of the Berrybender party journeyed across America from the Missouri to Yellowsto
Jul 02, 2012 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back to the Berrybenders. It was kind of nice to revisit this story, it had been about a year since I listened to the first in the series. This one was fun too- though I had some issues with it. There is always a little more dithering in the middle books of a series. I feel like there was more solid plot in book one (Sin Killer), and the plot outline for much of this second book seemed to be "the gang winters at a fort; various people have arguments." I got really tired of chapter after chapter ...more
Mikey B.
Sep 15, 2013 Mikey B. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The grandiose style is lost in this, the second volume of the Berrybender narratives – despite the quality, at times, of the dialogue and story-telling. It is too long and suffers from being too static with little of the sparkling characterizations of the first book. There is little descriptive traveling and many of the themes of volume I are repeated. I came to dread the passages of the strained relationship between the erudite Tasmin and her hapless, speechless husband. And enough of Lord Berr ...more
Jim Clinton Slusher
I didn't particularly care for the first book in this series and I'm not sure what stirred me to pick up this second. I think it's just that I like Lonesome Dove so much that I figured there must be something more to this series than the sort of haphazard slapstick of The Sin Killer. There is! This book was really engaging on so many levels. characters who were one-dimensional and uninspiring in the first book here become multi-faceted, engaging individuals, some of whom you kike, some who disgu ...more
Narrator: Alfred Molina. Great narrator. I think this book suffers from Second in Series Syndrome. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in Sin KillerSin Killerand laughed my way through. But in The Wandering HillThe Wandering HillI just found them tiresome. I couldn't figure out why Tasmin was with Jim Snow. I couldn't figure out why everyone just shrugged at Bobbety or Father Geoffrin, or who was Kate? What happened to Jim Snow's personality? And I couldn't figure out why Lord Benderberry did an ...more
May 20, 2014 Nigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The tumultuous, bloody and almost heedless trek of the Berrybenders continues, albeit much of it spent stalled in a trapper's fort waiting for the spring. Tasmin and Sin Killer's married bliss is interrupted by a bout of domestic abuse. Lord Berrybender deteriorates mentally but remains utterly appalling. Babies are on the way: no less than three are born in the course of the novel. Pity the poor babies. Barely crawling and they are subjected to long treks across deserted wilderness, buffalo sta ...more
Volume two of this series is just as bawdy and perhaps more violent than the first. However, there’s also a fascinating love story developing between Jim Snow and his new wife, Tasmin. Why has someone of her station become attached to this independent, seemingly untamable man? Likewise, what is it that draws him to her? It’s fun watching them try to fit in and adapt to each other’s worlds. Tasmin’s quick acceptance of his Indian wife was a surprise. The introduction of numerous other characters ...more
Bonnie Plested
I read Lonesome Dove and got hooked. Read the series, and watched the DVDs of the series thanks to our local public libarary.

If you haven't read The Sin Killer, please do go back and read. This will be a two star book without background to make you more interested in the characters. Thank goodness my friend loned me Sin Killer to read before ploughing through the many characters in this series.

The Wandering Hill refers to a Native American belief that a certain hill is filled with devils that
Fredrick Danysh
In book two of the Berrybender saga, outspoken Tasmin Berrybender has married Jim "Sinkiller" Snow and is living in the rugged mountains of the American West with her diverse family. Also present as characters are several famous mountain men. As the winter progresses we have greed, lust, and death as well as struggles with the Indians. While not up to the Lonesome Doves series by the same author, it is an engrossing tale of the American West in the 1830s. The title refers a a mystic hill that se ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Rod rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a little worried that I'll run out of McMurtry novels to read, after I read recently in one of his memoirs that he thinks Rhino Ranch may well be his last. So I went back to the Berrybender series that I missed when it came out originally. Not his best, but enjoyable and I have no doubt that I'll finish the series (this is the second of four). I am struck by the way McMurtry, at his best (and there are little glimmers here) uniquely and unpretentiously captures the thoughts of people who are ...more
Dec 04, 2015 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Better than the first one in the series, and look forward to reading the third one, after a few others on my waiting list. After the McMurtry's Lonesome Dove series and S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon, I feel exhausted and after, completing the Berrybender Narratives, I the may have to read more books with clearer distinctions between good and evil, and with happy endings. Something less realistic…
I enjoyed the second book of the Berrybender clan’s adventures in the 1830s frontier America. This family has its issues and the story became a little too silly in parts but I still enjoyed it overall. Just like the first book in the Berrybender series, I did not like how the story just ended. Not sure if I should continue on with this crazy British family series or find reading enjoyment else were.
Apr 30, 2011 Darlis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good companion book since I am reading Undaunted Courage. Several of the same people and some real trappers show up here, about 25 years after the Lewis and Clark Expedition. There are some interesting tales, and it is episodic so it is fun to hear all these independent stories. It does help to be interested in the mountain men era of US history.
Jun 08, 2014 Perry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Berrybender stories are still like a junior Lonesome Dove with emphasis on the cartoonish. Still enjoyable.
Sam Sattler
Mar 23, 2012 Sam Sattler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western, series
The Wandering Hill is the second volume of Larry McMurtry’s “Berrybender Narratives.”

The novel continues the story of the aristocratic Lord Berrybender as he drags his family (the ones who managed to survive volume one of the narratives, Sin Killer) through parts of the American West still largely controlled by hostile Indians. For Lord Berrybender, it is all about the hunt, and if he loses a few children or employees along the way, so be it. The man is a trophy hunter who doesn’t even bother t
Steve Chaput
Mar 27, 2012 Steve Chaput rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is McMurtry's second volume in the "Berrybender series", the first being THE SIN KILLER. The Berrybenders, lead by His Lordship, are a large, British family come to the American west, bringing with them much of their staff, various hangers-on and assorted guides. Having lost part of one foot and a leg in the previous book, Lord Berrybender still carries on in his quest to shoot as many species of game that have the misfortune to come within range of his rifle. Some of the party have already ...more
Jul 29, 2009 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore McMurty’s westerns, and having read and enjoyed “Sin Killer”, I promised myself to read more of the Berrybender series, and now, several years later, have read the second of the four books. As in Sin Killer, the humor runs deep, and so do the references to violent and gory acts on the western plains of 1833. The clan of English Lord Berrybender continues its time in the wild west, with daughter Tasmin the central figure and married to the Sin Killer, Jim Snow. She bears a child and faces ...more
May 01, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second novel in series tracing the travels and travails of the Berrybender clan. The Indians in this telling are far more savage and heartless (killing one man by sewing him inside a just-gutted buffalo). The Berrybender's western exploration in the 1830s is of course a precursor to the great migration that will soon displace the Indians from their land.

This is not a political book, and indeed the best -- and in some ways most charming parts -- are those that deal with the interacti
May 04, 2014 Chuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Larry McMurtry is currently one of those authors that I am trying to read his entire collection. He approaches his writing in many ways including his series like Lonesome Dove and his series on Duane Moore including "Last Picture Show et al. This book is the second novel in the "Berrybender" series which basically tells the story of a royal English family that travels to America with a complete entourage including cooks, stable boys, musicians, butlers, maids and more. This troupe then buys a st ...more
Dec 15, 2007 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this book a couple of nights ago. I am a big Larry McMurtry fan but this one left me a little cold. I read the first one of this series, The Sin Killer, and liked it better. I guess I'm just tired of the Berrybenders, especially the rancid old Lord Berrybender. Why doesn't Jim Bridger or Kit Carson or Hugh Glass or Jim Snow just snuff the arrogant old bastard. He is one of those people who is a simple waste of protoplasm and when coupled with his arrogance it would make murder al ...more
Jan 18, 2017 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book is like coming to the theater in the middle of a movie; it is the second of four books by Larry McMurty called the Berrybender Narratives. I advise reading them in correct order.
The story seems to be a clever blend of history and McMurty's imagination. Some of the colorful characters are based on actual people making the reader wonder how much is true? The story seems farfetched at times, but life is stranger than fiction. The characters are so well developed that I want to r
Jan 30, 2016 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, series, western
"Volume Two of the Berrybender Narratives" picks up where Sin Killer left off. The surviving members of Lord Berrybender's party have left their boat frozen in the Missouri and are sheltered at a trading post on the Yellowstone River. Tasmin Berrybender is clearly the central character here, as she adapts (or fails to adapt) to married life with Jim and gives birth to a son. The book is filled with humorous juxtapositions of the Berrybender clan's actions and outlook against those of the frontie ...more
Mar 14, 2013 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started with Sin Killer (obviously) and I gave that 4 stars because it was difficult for me to get into it initially. But once I did, I couldn't wait to start The Wandering Hill. Now, I'm in love with all the flawed characters, including the Indians. There are plenty of great reviews so I'll say that I'm currently starting the next book, "By Sorrow's River." I'm also into the audio versions of most of the books I've reviewed, especially the most recent ones. Life is busy, but I can listen whil ...more
Feb 05, 2015 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I seem to be less annoyed (now that I'm firmly tethered to this story line) that it's so similar to Lonesome Dove. I am hooked to the plight of the Berrybenders and where the journey will lead to next. In The Wandering Hill we are introduced to even more frontiersmen and Indians (although now, not too many friendly ones). Death and "rutting" are still prevalent (as they were in the first book, although maybe a little more "rutting" in this one) and we veer almost into the land of slapstick as fa ...more
Feb 08, 2017 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Missed the humor of the first book.
Joshua Stevens
The book was interesting with many plot twists but it was a little difficult to read with all of the story lines. The characters were fun to watch, how they went on their adventures and did there own thing. I liked the setting of the book because I like the old time Indian stuff were it was the frontier. The characters sometimes were a little hard to understand sometimes though because they had their own way of talking. Overall the book had action and mystery making it very fun to read and I wou ...more
Feb 09, 2017 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never in a million years would think I would read a western novel....until I came upon Larry McMurtry. Now I want to read them all! :)
I liked this better than the first book, mainly because more characters were more likable than in the first book. Everyone seemed obsessed with copulating, but beyond that, most characters didn't seem as selfish in this installment. Tasmin was especially easy to root for, and her siblings were less annoying this time around. I still think there are too many characters to easily keep straight, but that's no big deal. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Sep 08, 2010 Scilla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is Volume 2 of the Berrybender Narratives - about a British family travelling in the wild west of the 1830's. Daughter, Tasmin, has married a mountain man, Jim Snow (known as Sin Killer) and has his son about the same time that Lord Berrybender's girlfriend, Vicki Kennet has her child. There's some side stories about an Indian and some trappers who also interact with the Berrybinders. I didn't find it a gripping tale.
Feb 01, 2016 Martha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I'd give this a 3.5. I listened to it out of order and probably should have listened to it before By Sorrow's River. Like others, I found it not as compelling as either Sinkiller or By Sorrow's River. Nevertheless, McMurtry's trademark humor can be found in places as well as cruel violence and fate. Tasmin continues to be the central character and her ridiculous father, Lord Berrybender, offers comic relief.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

The Berrybender Narratives (4 books)
  • Sin Killer (The Berrybender Narratives #1)
  • By Sorrow's River (The Berrybender Narratives, #3)
  • Folly and Glory (The Berrybender Narratives, #4)

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