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Folly and Glory (The Berrybender Narratives #4)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,041 ratings  ·  66 reviews
As this final volume of The Berrybender Narratives opens, Tasmin and her family are under irksome, though comfortable, arrest in Mexican Santa Fe. Her father, the eccentric Lord Berrybender, is planning to head for Texas with his whole family and his retainers. Tasmin, who would once have followed her husband, Jim Snow, anywhere, is no longer even sure she likes him, or kn ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published August 8th 2005 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2004)
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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
Anne girl
just love the audio version of this series
alfred molina does a few of them so fab
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
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
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
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
Morgan Erwin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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.
Aug 04, 2007 Cromagon rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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

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.
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
A worthy finish to the Berrybender narratives. Mixed comic and tragic in the usual style.
Mary Ann
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Listened on CD
The whole of the Berrybender Narratives is so godawful bad, I can't believe they were written by the same person who gave us Lonesome Dove. I had the feeling McMurtry just handed writing responsibilities off to a graduate assistant and said, "Come back when you're done and I'll sign it. Just make sure I get to cash the checks."
I'm tired of the Berrybenders and carnage.
Paul Parsons
Fourth and final book in the Berrybender series. Many die, yet life goes on. The Sin Killer, Jim Snow, does battle and loses himself and his wife Tasmin in the process. Lord Berrybender dies in the Alamo. McMurtry again asks, "What does it all mean?" and again provides no answer, as it should be.
Marty Nicholas
There was more to this final volume in the Berrybender Narratives, but I'll never know. The Pomp Charbonneau fiasco, coupled with the "Real Housewives of Santa Fe" plot drove me to set this book aside at p.104. There are other, MUCH better books to read. Michael Connelly, here I come.
"I suppose life is inevitably coarsening," Tasmin declared, poking him with her elbow to see if he might stir. "One's choice is to be coarse or be dead. I'll take coarse myself."

Loved this last book of the series. Great characters. Great juxtaposition of humor and brutality.
Steve Saunders
A great series - what fun!
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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)
  • The Wandering Hill (The Berrybender Narratives, #2)
  • By Sorrow's River (The Berrybender Narratives, #3)
Lonesome Dove Terms of Endearment The Last Picture Show Streets of Laredo Comanche Moon

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