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The Berrybender Narratives (The Berrybender Narratives #1-4)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  367 ratings  ·  32 reviews
A sweeping four-part epic of the American West that could only come from the boundless skill and imagination of Pulitzer Prize– winning author Larry McMurtry.

Over a career that spans fifty years, Larry McMurtry has been celebrated as “one of America’s great storytellers” (The Wall Street Journal) and a writer who “stands a
Hardcover, 928 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Simon & Schuster (first published May 29th 2010)
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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryThe Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtryTerms of Endearment by Larry McMurtryThe Berrybender Narratives by Larry McMurtryStreets of Laredo by Larry McMurtry
The Best of Larry McMurtry
4th out of 19 books — 24 voters
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryThe Time It Never Rained by Elmer KeltonThe Road by Cormac McCarthyMolly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? by Molly IvinsThe Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
Texas Authors
83rd out of 326 books — 138 voters

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Community Reviews

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Read all four in short order! What can I say? It's Larry McMurtry!
McMurtry's epic story of a family's trek across 1830s American frontier. This is excellent historical fiction. His ability to create believable characterizations and blend interweaving storylines is Dickensian. Entertaining on the surface, the narrative is a vehicle to paint a portrait of the American West in the early days of westward expansion, beginning from the office of Captain Clark himself.
Larry McMurtry is my guy. He casts a spell here with an incredible cast of eccentric characters from the Sin Killer to sad Pomp to the naughty Petal. Travel with the Berrybender clan as they make their way across the rugged west and encounter every type of calamity known to man!
As with most McMurtry stories, no character is immune to getting maimed or killed and when you least expect it. I love that about his books. This series has caused me to read "Prairie Fever", a historical book British aristocrats who roamed the American plains in the 1800's.
Christine Durkin
Even better than Lonesome Dove.

The idea of a series about a handful of people facing the sometimes fierce and violent challenges of traveling cross-country in pioneer days wouldn't normally appeal to me all. But I love Larry McMurtry, and at the time, needed something so absorbing that I could completely forget about my own state and circumstance. This series did not disappoint.

The characters are realistic, so they're flawed but sometimes awe inspiring. The journey, which is central to the plot
Brian Lee
This book is a compilation of the four Berrybender novels. I think they work together as one long novel like this. It just seemed like too much of a broken up story when they came out in short installments. Nobody writes westerns like McMurtry. Action, adventure, humor, gunslingers, Indians, whores, he's got it all. I recommend reading this only after reading his entire Lonesome Dove series (a classic). I wish McMurtry would write more stuff like this before he dies.
DeeDee Andrews
McMurtry has never failed me. His characters become so real to me. These stories are about a Wealthy English family traveling through the old west for sport and adventure. They came to see the Indians and shoot the buffalo, and they are all crazy. It was shocking the way this family behaved. Yet, it was probably more historically true than all the American history books I had ever read.


I am amazed at McMurtry's skill at portraying the Old West with each additional page I read. His characters are quirky individuals, sometimes funny, sometimes pathetic, but always real. HIs descriptions of the action of the untamed West are not to be equalled--brutal, breath-taking, and again, very real.
John Curtis
great book series.. heros, villans struggles in the west with a rich
english family starting on a River Boat with servants.. and heroine is amazing along with all the characters.

McMurtry is always worth reading including the none westerns..
Absolutely loved it. McMurtry is a master at pulling humanity and history into a an engaging series of tales based in the old west.
Terry Dullum
As good as Lonesome Dove, and that's saying something.
TOTO from Kansas
Sorry when the Series came to a conclusion!!
Byron Van
Love this series. Over the top Western parody and satire with a very huge and quite large cast as well. Plenty of action and adventure. There is enough sentiment in it to enjoy following the characters. The biggest bang is all the varieties of characters in it. Then the landscape is well envisioned as McMurtry is so good at evoking. If you like a good romp then you will like this. If you are the sincere emotional type stick with Lonesome Dove, another favorite of mine.
Hazel Hart
It took a bit to get into this satire of adventures on the 1830s American frontier, but after a bit I was laughing at events that shouldn't have been funny. By the end, I was crying for some of the Berrybenders. I stuck with this collection of McMurtry's four Berrybender novels--all 911 pages--to the very end.
Dee Mills
I really enjoyed this series. It was consistently good throughout all the books. Full of eccentric characters from the Old West and crazy happenings; lots of humor and excitement.
Hans Bauer
A phenomenal read. I'm generally not prone to completing 900 page novels, but this one had me from page one, to the point where I found it necessary to put the rest of my life on hold, and worth every syllable.
Jennifer Birch
If you liked Lonesome Dove you'll like this too. Bloody, sexy and violent. Very good.
Great Characters, engaging story. Fantastic writing.
I love some of Larry McMurtry's books. This one was not his best. I think Lonesome Dove is one of the best books I've ever read. The Texas Rangers, Capt. Call, Gus McRae, Deets and Dobbs and all the other guys were so flawed and wonderful. I just loved them all. His indians were vicious and scary and easy to hate. The characters in The Berrybender Narratives while flawed were not loveable at all and the indians were kind of dull. Certainly not vicious and scary. I was hoping for another Lonesome ...more
Jeff Young
This is a highly entertaining book. This is the story of a wealthy English family who travel with their parents up into the heart of the American wilderness on a steamship. At least, that's how it begins. The cast of characters is varied and interesting. It provides an fresh look at the brutal nature of life in the American West just at the cusp of being tamed. Warning- there is a lot of "fornincatin'" but it certainly isn't graphic.
Awesome. Read, fans of sweeping western novels with frequent (and humorous) cameos of historical characters.
Zoe Hare
This book is a treasure - humorous, tragic, zany, sweet...I was skeptical of reading Larry McMurtry but I immensely enjoyed this - great historical fiction with real life characters interspersed with dysfunctional family members!
Liam Kincaid
Excellent! McMurtry really has the juice when it comes to characters, and understanding how people work inside, and relate to one another.
Kevin Hodgson
A mosaic of characters immersed in the west during that time when American Indians still ruled but the whites are on the way ....
James Braddock
Thought it was great - didn't want it to end! After reading the Lonesome Dove series, I just didn't want to leave McMurtry.
Mark C'de Baca
More great reading from Larry. The whole set is really great with the beginning "Sin Killer".
I loved this epic collection.
Louie Haltom
as good if not better than lonesome dove same author
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why so under rated? 13 21 Jul 25, 2015 02:13PM  
Wealth in the American West 1 3 Aug 18, 2013 01:23PM  
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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)
  • Folly and Glory (The Berrybender Narratives, #4)
Lonesome Dove Terms of Endearment The Last Picture Show Streets of Laredo Comanche Moon

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