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Lonesome Dove

(Lonesome Dove #1)

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  152,742 ratings  ·  7,810 reviews
A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize— winning classic, Lonesome Dove, the third book in the Lonesome Dove tetralogy, is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America.

Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws, whores and
Paperback, 960 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Pocket Books (first published 1985)
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Jason No. There isn't.

Blood Meridian is the typical answer to this question and while Blood Meridian is an exceptional novel, it isn't as personal or as gr…more
No. There isn't.

Blood Meridian is the typical answer to this question and while Blood Meridian is an exceptional novel, it isn't as personal or as grand as Lonesome Dove. Lonesome Dove is simply the best.

On a personal note, I do not believe Blood Meridian is Cormac McCarthy's best western. I would recommend All the Pretty Horses over Blood Meridian. It isn't a popular answer, but I thought I would share. (less)
Salender I totally disagree! For those who haven't read it yet, I wouldn't read Lonesome Dove first because there is not another book that compares! I read it …moreI totally disagree! For those who haven't read it yet, I wouldn't read Lonesome Dove first because there is not another book that compares! I read it and was blown away. So i read every Larry McMurtry book published at that time (about 14!) trying to recapture the experience of LD. Impossible. But if I had read some of the others first, I would have enjoyed them. At least read them in order. After almost 30 years, LD is still my favorite book of ALL.(less)
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Average rating 4.47  · 
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Update: Finally able to talk about the book.

This book touched my heart, made me laugh so many times, made me mad and made me cry.

There are a lot of books I would never have read if it wasn't for my Goodreads friends, but the two most memorable and that have made it to my favorites list are:

The Conte Of Monte Cristo and Lonesome Dove

I loved so many characters in this book and I feel like I have been on that journey with them. I kept wishing they would have stayed in Texas or at least stopped
Jul 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any human
I was only willing to read this book because a friend told me I had to. When I was thirty pages into it and complaining to him about being unable to handle any more discussion about horses and beans, he made me a bet: If I got to page 101 (out of 900, mind you) and I still didn't enjoy it, he'd take me out to dinner at any restaurant I wanted in New York City. If at page 101 I had warmed up to it, I had to finish. I don't think I made it past the 60th page before I knew I had "lost" the bet.

Larry McMurtry is considered one of America's master story tellers. His novels include Terms of Endearment and The Last Picture Show, as well as the screenplay to Brokeback Mountain, which later became award winning films. A revered author in Texas, he was invited by former First Lady Laura Bush to be a special guest speaker at the first annual Texas Book Festival. It seems fitting that I began his definitive work, Pulitzer winning Lonesome Dove, on his birthday, June 3. A story of Texas Rangers ...more
Bill Kerwin
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing

The account of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. This is a very long novel which is nevertheless always compelling. It contains memorable characters whose adventures are narrated in a deceptively straightforward style.

What impresses me most about this book is that the fates of the characters are neither cornily predictable nor deliberately surprising. The book's great length allows life to happen to them as it happens to all of us. We have the leisure to observe them carefully, and we are gl
David Putnam
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is my top favorite book of all time. Its been on top since I read it shortly after it came out in paperback. This is one of those great books where I remember the segment of my life while reading it. That's how strong the Fictive Dream is in this book: Where were you when? The book has two of the most endearing characters of all time, there's action, romance and great story lines. But most of all I think this book is about enduring friendship and loyalty. For years I wondered how McMurtry c ...more
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Epic Fans and Western Fans
Are you looking for the most Western book ever? If so, Lonesome Dove better be in your search!

This was a fantastic epic journey! I am glad I took this one slowly over the course of several months so that I could savor it. You may look at this and say, “Matthew, you took exactly four months to read an 858 page novel? That must have been a chore!” But, it was not. Every chapter was a story in itself, every page added to the characters, atmosphere, drama, etc. No filler. No boring parts. Everything
Feb 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favoritest books ever. In fact, put a gun to my head and tell me chose just one, and it’d be better than even money that Lonesome Dove would be what I’d name.

It has the bonus of not only being an incredible book but also having an excellent companion piece in the television mini-series based on it that is one of the great all-time fusions of print and film. I can’t read this without hearing the voices of Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Anjelica Huston, Chris Cooper, Danny Glov
Michael Finocchiaro
This was such a surprisingly wonderful read, well beyond the traditional stereotypes of westerns with realistic, lovable (and hateful) characters and an incredible scenario. I am not sure how to present my review of this 1000 page masterpiece. Perhaps we start with the town of Lonesome Dove itself.

It is a small settlement next to the Mexican border. There is the Hat Creek crew with their horses (a collection of which is a remuda) and cattle. In charge of the crew are Captain Woodrow Call and Cap
Elyse  Walters
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pulitzer Prize winner: 2010.

I’ve made some unexpected -surprisingly great -choices these past couple of months.
1- I never planned on watching the Netflix series “Anne With An E”....
It turned out to be so darn good...I was crushed when it was over.
It’s NOT....though.... I recently learned another season will be returning.

2- Other friends raved to me about “Poldark”, years ago....(both the books and the series)....but I didn’t plan on diving in. Well.....
I just finished the first
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely everyone!

Hands Down my Favourite Book in 2014

First of all the physical; the book I see looking up at me from my coffee table. It looks worn, well thumbed, well read, pages and cover alike, beginning to curl up, and soiled by use. Well that and all the casual (I take books with me) acquaintances, to the one, they all had to pick it up, look it over. It may look well rode, but it still feels soft, warm and pliant in my hand. The stars twinkle up at me from the cover and I wish, I wish, I wish it wasn’t ov
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-lit-us
I approached Lonesome Dove with some trepidation. It’s a very, very long novel about cowboys and set in the 1860’s - not a literary comfort zone for me!
Investing a few weeks could have been risky .......
I needn’t have worried however, all the hype for this Pulitzer Prize winning novel is deserved.
The plot is full of incident and high excitement, the human stories are emotionally gripping and there is a lovely, wry humour throughout.
The book is also surprisingly brutal in places. Life is often
“‘I don’t like sending that boy off to sit up with a whore,’ [Woodrow Call] said.

‘He’s young and innocent,” Augustus [McCrae] said. ‘That’s why I picked him. He’ll just moon over her a little. If I’d sent one of the full-grown rowdies, Jake might have come back and shoot him. I doubt he’d shoot Newt.’

‘I doubt he’ll even come back, myself,’ Call said. ‘That girl ought to have stayed in Lonesome Dove.’

‘If you was a young girl, with life before you, would you want to settle in Lonesome Dove?’ Aug
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry is a 1985 Pocket Books publication.

A little background- I do not read westerns- with the occasional exception of western historical romances here and there over the years. When it comes to movies or television shows- again, that would be a big, fat, no- except for the movie Tombstone.

However, after reading a nonfictional book about Dodge City, I thought I might finally be ready to try a fictional western.

Overwhelmingly, my Goodreads friends recommended I read t
Joe Valdez
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
My introduction to the fiction of Larry McMurtry is Lonesome Dove, consistently ranked as one of the best westerns whether the conversation is print or television. Published the year of the Texas Sesquicentennial in 1985 and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction the following year, the magnum opus is a magnificent exploration of male friendship, with a dozen supporting characters of both genders who McMurtry could've dedicated a novella to (and often attempts to over 857 pages). The bantering ...more
Dec 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading it, but McMurtry asks way too much. This epic tale spans thousands of miles from the Old West (Texas) to the as-of-yet-up-for-grabs land of Montana. The characters are endearing; these are the premiere & authentic cowboys. The best stuff here is the campfire philosophy of Gus, and his incredible relationship with the solemn Woodrow Call is the stuff that legend is made of. The book refuses to end though, and despite the authenticity of this far away world (it is the Lord of the ...more
Paul Bryant
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Larry McMurtry is as surefooted as any cowboy’s favourite horse. He never trips or stumbles. It doesn’t take many pages before you know this is a 5 star book.

As you know this is the enormous story of a big old cattle drive from Texas to Montana. That’s kind of it. Bits get added on here and there but the main idea is to get these thousands of cows across 3000 miles of dangerous territory, through sandstorms, blizzards, bandits, droughts, through Indian nations, across rivers, via grizzly bears a
Em Lost In Books
“If you read only one western novel in your life, read Lonesome Dove.”
—USA Today

Above statement seemed a bit too much to me before reading the book but not after reading it.

My first time reading a Pulitzer winner and it is truly an epic story in every sense. A book that left me happy, sad, angry, and teary at times.

Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call are two retired rangers who run a cattle company in a small town called Lonesome Dove. Whereas Augustus is very talkative Call is the opposite, t
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Robin by: Julie
I've always had a soft spot for western movies. In high school, I roped my friends into watching the ones starring this guy:

Later, I swooned over the epic starring this guy:

Westerns haven't featured heavily in my reading life, but Cormac McCarthy sure got my attention last year with All the Pretty Horses and No Country for Old Men.

This one, written in 1985, and winner of the Pulitzer prize, is about a million pages long. So you gotta love westerns if you're gonna love this. Cowboys, guns, whores
Dan Schwent
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a phenomenal read, enormous and brilliant, witty and heartbreaking, a mamoth tale that touches the reader's emotions on so many levels. This is a book that honestly did not appeal to me in the slightest but 100 pages in I was hooked, invested, facinated and brought back in time to the Wild West of the 1870s and the adventures of a bunch of unforgettable and unique characters. I can definatley see why this is a Pulitzer Prize Winner.

The story focuses on a the relationship amount a bunch of
Ahmad Sharabiani
Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove #3), Larry McMurtry

‎Lonesome Dove: a novel‬ ‎by Larry McMurtry, ‎New York‬: ‎Simon and Schuster‬, ‎2000 = 1379‬. 857p, ISBN: ‎068487122X‬

A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize— winning classic, Lonesome Dove, the third book in the Lonesome Dove tetralogy, is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America.

Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable as
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“It’s a fine world, though rich in hardships at times.”

What does one say about “Lonesome Dove”? Seriously?
This epic novel is sprawling, contains a large cast of characters (in every sense of the word) and tells a story that combines the strongest elements of love that we can understand, those of a physical and intellectual nature.
This novel begins on the Rio Grande in Lonesome Dove, Texas, makes a long journey to practically Canada by way of Montana, and ends back in Lonesome Dove. The main dri
Dirk Grobbelaar
Gus and his pig were aggravating company.

When I finished this, yesterday evening, I was filled by a tremendous sense of melancholy, not just because the book was finally finished, but because of its introspective nature. By far one of the best I’ve read, Lonesome Dove is a dense book in more ways than one, and runs a gamut of emotions that will leave you feeling giddy. Hysterically funny the one moment, heartbreakingly tragic the next, it alternately delighted and depressed me to an extent I hav
Looking for the Great American Novel? It's right here. Read this book before you die. It's as simple as that. ...more
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who enjoys reading
Recommended to Maciek by: Tressa
All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.

This is an epic novel, and the quotation by T.K. Whipple which I provided above is indeed an appropriate epigraph. It's interesting that Larry McMurty originally devised it as a
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
It was quite a few years ago that I read this epic tale, and I’ve read a lot of great books since then. Even so, Lonesome Dove continues to hold a spot in my top ten. I’m thinking as a tribute to this longstanding favorite that I should do something different. So this will not be a run-of-the-mill review; it’ll be a meta-review instead. I’ll be distilling the wisdom of the crowd in a kind of ensemble piece, finding repeated observations from the book’s top ten Goodreads reviews to emphasize its ...more
Jul 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
Lonesome Dove is my favorite book of all time and, when asked, is what I consider to be the greatest American novel ever written. It was so engrossing and the characters so compelling and the adventures so entertaining, that I wanted to read it in one sitting. It's one of those reads that I envy others who have yet to read it.

Gus and Call are two of the most memorable characters in American fiction. They are the yin & yang of cowboys: one caring and comical, the other cold and unemotional.

Blue D
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, wild-west
Quite simply a stunning achievement, the most compelling novel I’ve read all year. The relationship between the two old Texas Rangers, Call and McCrae has to be one of my favourites in all literature. Both are brilliant character studies of archetypal men – Cal, infuriatingly silent, emotionally shy, almost retarded in his refusal to allow feeling, McCrae, prone to excess drinking, lazy and vain about his scant erudition. The bond they share becomes more and more moving as the novel progresses. ...more
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The earth is mostly just a boneyard. But pretty in the sunlight.

During a recent trip to the local bookstore, a discount stack of Lonesome Dove caught my distracted eye. Picking up a copy, I randomly flipped through to read three separate passages. And like an amnesiac, I promptly forgot all about the books I sought to find in the first place. Because this here was the book I didn’t know I needed to read right now.

At its core is a simple enough story—an epic cattle drive, not long after the Civ
I wish books could get married too, because I really would like to see ‘Lonesome Dove’ and ‘Gone with the Wind’ getting married and living happily forever. Raising their tiny little books which would certainly grow to become epic novels like their parents. Perfect.

These two books have so much in common it’s actually hard to believe they haven’t been written by the same author.
They’re both Pulitzer Prize winners, big in size, great in scope and character development and they’re both written in p
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Larry McMurtry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on June 3, 1936. He is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two essay collections, and more than thirty screenplays.

His first published book, Horseman, Pass By, was adapted into the film "Hud." A number of his other novels also were adapted into movies as well as a television mini-serie

Other books in the series

Lonesome Dove (4 books)
  • Streets of Laredo
  • Dead Man's Walk (Lonesome Dove, #3)
  • Comanche Moon (Lonesome Dove, #4)

Articles featuring this book

Well, here we all are, sheltering in place, buying canned beans, and generally trying to figure out how to stay inside and keep our minds busy....
93 likes · 67 comments
“If you want one thing too much it’s likely to be a disappointment. The healthy way is to learn to like the everyday things, like soft beds and buttermilk—and feisty gentlemen.” 294 likes
“It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living. I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.” ~spoken by Augustus McCrae” 266 likes
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