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Folly and Glory (The Berrybender Narratives #4)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,174 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
In this brilliant saga -- the final volume of "The Berrybender Narratives" and an epic in its own right -- Larry McMurtry lives up to his reputation for delivering novels with "wit, grace, and more than a hint of what might be called muscular nostalgia, fit together to create a panoramic portrait of the American West" "(The New York Times Book Review)."As this finale opens ...more
Hardcover, 236 pages
Published May 4th 2004 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,678)
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Michael
A very satisfying conclusion to the four-volume saga of an upper-class British family, the Berrybenders, wending their way through the West in the 1830's. We get some sort of answer on what the hell McMurtry is up to having this aristocratic family take a really long "vacation" in this wilderness. I think is out to prove how for this brief time in history the American West was the playground of the imagination, a theater of the absurd with its clashing cultures, and a great equalizer of the high ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
"I can only regret being myself. I suppose all regret comes to that..." --I. Compton-Burnett, Darkness and Day

opening quote to 'Folly and Glory'.

'Folly and Glory' is the fourth entry in the Berrybender series as well as the final book. Every thread which was begun in book one, Sin Killer is finished, the four-year vacation in 1830's America undertaken by the aristocratic Berrybenders and their servants is finally done, with all questions answered - whether they were of determining personal chara
...more
Jimmy
Aug 29, 2015 Jimmy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mcmurtry
Now that I have a new car with an actual cd player, I can drive around not concentrating and missing all my exits. But it's all good because I get to listen to tapes like this one read by Alfred Molina who handles several characters, male and female, of different ethnic groups with such ease. Terrific job by Molina. Any way, I haven't hit any pedestrians yet. That's a good thing, right?

I love McMurtry stories. His sex and violence are over the top, so he's not for everyone. I always imagine mys
...more
John
Aug 22, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
And so we say goodbye to the Berrybenders. I'm sort of sorry to see them go- I got sucked into this series accidentally four years ago, when I got the audiobook of "Sin Killer" not realizing that it was book one of four. Then I decided to consume one Berrybender book per summer, which plan had the added benefit of mirroring the 3-4 year saga of the Berrybender trek through the American West in the early 1830s. Also, I did the first two on audio, and read the actual books for 3 and 4, which meant ...more
Anne girl
Nov 19, 2007 Anne girl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
just love the audio version of this series
alfred molina does a few of them so fab
Jim Clinton Slusher
In allotting stars, I waver on this book, indeed the whole Berrybender series. It is a compelling, thought-provoking story, as unpredictable and diverse as the vast territory and unsettled time in which it is set. The book is far from a mere "western." It is literature about a time period, the ambitions of individuals and of nations, the nature of love, human frailty and human dignity, the diversity of every individual's character and much more. As the Berrybender party wanders from the Dakotas ...more
Rachel
Aug 28, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Berrybender tetralogy is McMurtry's "other" tetralogy, and is far inferior to the tetralogy that includes Lonesome Dove. I couldn't help comparing the two, and the main difference is that Lonesome Dove and its sequel Streets of Laredo were complete novels in and of themselves. The two weaker books in that series, Comanche Moon and Dead Man's Walk, although chronologically first, were published last and served mostly to fill in blank spaces in the histories of Call and McCrae. Reading the fi ...more
Buz
Dec 13, 2013 Buz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 1 had me worrying about too much comedy and farce, but the series as a whole is deep, deep tragedy. I’m glad I read it, as it was probably a fairly good depiction of the hard living conditions in the American west of the early 19th-century, but it became difficult to watch so many favorite characters dropping like flies, to violence and disease. I had the sense that McMurtry just wanted to get this last book finished, but it’s hard to put my finger on specifics, so maybe that was nothing mo ...more
Alan
Nov 02, 2014 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A relatively short, by Lonesome Dove standards, novel about the further adventures of Jim Snow and the Berrybender family. This book comes after Sin Killer in the series. The Berrybenders are arrested by the new Mexican Governor and are being escorted out of Santa Fe, presumably headed for Monterrey, Mexico. Jim had taken Kit Carson's advice and made himself scarce prior to the arrest. More deaths than in a Game of Thrones novel. Life was brutal in the West in the 1840's.
Mallory
Mar 05, 2015 Mallory rated it liked it
The Berrybender party suffers much loss in this finale, as their wanderings come to an end and they must determine if they should return to England or reside in America and make her their new home. Although Lord Berrybender was the impetus, this was Tasmin’s journey all along. She is the character who grows and develops the most through the saga. Her strong personality is further hardened by the West, especially as she has to spend much of her marriage alone. I liked how the women and the sister ...more
Katherine
Mar 12, 2015 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall this was a great series. I still maintain it would have been a little better slimmed down to three books. The story (in particular this book) turned quite sad and darker than the more jovial, (sometimes nearly) slapstick of the first two. It's hardly surprising given the tremendous hardships and sorrow our survivors had to endure.
Paul
Feb 15, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am very sad to have finished this four-book series, so entertaining. Full of adventure, terror and tragedy, overt sexuality, humor, and the 30th character-the American West, long before the Indians were tamed and sequestered. The travails and joys of this band of travelers, led by the half-crazed Lord Berrybender of England and his enchanting daughters are the stuff of great reading.

The lead characters of Tasmin Berrybender, a great English beauty, and her half-wild primitive mountain man hus
...more
Perry
Oct 27, 2014 Perry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A worthy finish to the Berrybender narratives. Mixed comic and tragic in the usual style.
Sam Sattler
Jun 17, 2015 Sam Sattler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western, series
Folly and Glory is the final book in Larry McMurtry’s four-book series known as “The Berrybender Narratives.” In this one, the surviving members of the Berrybender family and their hunting party, if they can finally make it to safety, are going to have to decide what to do with the rest of their lives. Will all of the remaining Berrybenders return to England, or will some of them decide to make permanent lives for themselves in the American West? And if any go back, are any of their American lov ...more
Morgan Erwin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nigel
Oct 31, 2014 Nigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
So, at the end of the last volume, we found ourselves filled with deep and terrible misgivings for the future of our vulnerable band. Turns out I had nothing to worry about! Absolutely nothing bad happens to anyone in this book. All journeys are brief and easy. All sojourns safe and comfortable. All dilemmas resolved with wisdom, all heart's desire fulfilled, all children grow strong and beautiful and above average, all disputes settled with civilised words over cups of hot tea. The buffalo roam ...more
Cromagon
Aug 04, 2007 Cromagon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Larry Mc Murtry fans
Shelves: western
The fourth and final(?) book in this classic western series provides a fitting end to a four year several thousand mile trek across the American heartland in the 1830's. Albany Berrybender, an English gentry man, comes to the American West to hunt before the great herds have been reduced. He brings with him his whole family of English aristocracy, cooks, and various other servants.

What happens from the very beginning (The Sin Killer) and through the next two books (The Wandering Hills and By Sor
...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Take them for what they are, critics say of Folly and Glory and the rest of the Berrybender Narratives, and you might enjoy it. Judge it against Lonesome Dove, and you will inevitably be disappointed. Criticisms of the book include its meandering and thin plot, stereotypical characters, and indiscriminate violence. Still, critics agree that this volume is much better than the previous three, particularly with the matured character of Tasmin. It at least offers a sense of closure and a meditation

...more
Becky Hirtzel
May 15, 2015 Becky Hirtzel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I accidentally purchased the first and the last books in this 4 book series. Since I disliked the first book, I didn't bother with two or three. But this fourth book was pretty good. This book brought me back to McMurtry I remember fondly: unpredictable, smart-alecky, with a pension for killing off characters I like.
Joan
Jul 26, 2015 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this 4 stars because of the scope of this series and how interestingly it weaves fact with fiction. Living in Colorado and recently visiting Yellowstone, it is fun to see how all of the streets, counties, forests, etc. got their names.
Alex
Feb 10, 2016 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, series, western
The final volume of the Berrybender saga is somewhat more somber than the others, with some significant losses and splits among the clan. It ends rather quietly, which is unexpected for such a raucous tale, but the ride sure was fun.
Mike
Sep 14, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This (from 2004) is the fourth and final one of the four novels that comprise McMurtry's series called "The Berrybender Narratives" (the other earlier novels are: "Sin Killer" [2002], "The Wandering Hill" [2003], and "By Sorrow's River" [2003]). Rather than individually, it's also possible to read them all together in one large volume that goes for a total of 908 pages. While not quite as good as the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Lonesome Dove" still in many ways the style is similar --- I enjoyed rea ...more
Mary Ann
Aug 05, 2014 Mary Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? I love Larry McMurtry and thoroughly enjoyed this series. I'm still looking things up from our early U. S. days, learning history and being amazed, impressed and horrified at the same time. And the characters, as always, are great!
Gator Girl
I wanted to rate it higher but even though it ended the way it should have, and made sense...I still felt too empty and sad afterwards for some of the characters, mainly Tasmin. I am a firm believer that authors should stop a series and let it be, instead of forcing their characters into stories that don't really fit, just to please the readers, publishing co. and their pockets. But I would be interested to see the character that Mr. McMurtry would event that could possibly be the lover, friend ...more
Bonsaiforlife
Sep 23, 2010 Bonsaiforlife rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, own, western
This was the best book of all four from this series. Though it ended not how I would have thought it should have, it made sense. There was alot of action in this book which I liked. Of course after 4 volumes you understand the characters very well and hate to see the book end. I enjoyed this series though at times it seemed like it was dragging on for a while and jumped around too, but that was just the way McMurtry writes. I rated this book higher than the others just because it was very intere ...more
Eric
A satisfying conclusion to a fine series. Tasmin changes quite a bit as the protagonist, which is a good thing since she wasn't very likable in the first book. In fact, many of the Berrybender party grew more appealing as the series went on, except for Lord B himself. The only drawback, and this prevented me from giving it five stars, was the slow start. The novel doesn't pick up until the Berrybenders leave Santa Fe.

The body count must also be mentioned. It's impressive.
Thurston
Dec 07, 2014 Thurston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, western
i made it through all 4 volumes. Interesting perspectives on relationships and building of the western us. I assume it depicted rough life on plains and the demise of the indian culture quite well.
Slave trading not much different 250 years ago then it is today with no borders.
People bored and trading partners every 50 pages or so.

Superstitions are a plenty
Mick
Sep 06, 2008 Mick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
This is the conclusion to the Berrybender Narratives and is a must read if you are already three books into the cycle. I was not disappointed here as the series was wonderfully written and staged. I found myself deaply sadden by the ending here but not sure if it was because of the plot or the fact that I would no longer have these marvously vivid characters in my life anymore.
Docta Funkenstein
Jun 16, 2013 Docta Funkenstein rated it really liked it
What a fantastic series. But absolutely crushing. Folly & Glory is one of the few novels to ever make me cry. Tasmin suffered more than any woman should, but probably as much as a woman in her situation would have. For a work of fiction, this story felt real. The good guys don't always win. Love doesn't conquer all. The innocent are not spared.
Melodee
Aug 27, 2010 Melodee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western, indulgent
This was the fourth part of a series McMurtry wrote about the adventures of a British family who take a trip across the American West in the 1830s. I read it very quickly, because I got so involved in the storyline. It is written with a lot of humor. I enjoyed all four books immensely. I recommend them for anyone who likes a good Western.
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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
More about Larry McMurtry...

Other Books in the Series

The Berrybender Narratives (4 books)
  • Sin Killer (The Berrybender Narratives #1)
  • The Wandering Hill (The Berrybender Narratives, #2)
  • By Sorrow's River (The Berrybender Narratives, #3)

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