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Zeke and Ned

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,569 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Zeke and Ned is the story of Ezekiel Proctor and Ned Christie, the last Cherokee warriors -- two proud, passionate men whose remarkable quest to carve a future out of Indian Territory east of the Arkansas River after the Civil War is not only history but legend. Played out against an American West governed by a brutal brand of frontier justice, this intensely moving saga b ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published December 3rd 2002 by Simon Schuster (first published 1997)
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Jeff Some yes, some no, but even with the real people, they are fictionalized. There are many true and interesting facets to the book though. For example, …moreSome yes, some no, but even with the real people, they are fictionalized. There are many true and interesting facets to the book though. For example, there really was a shootout in a courthouse between the Becks and the Proctors ( Google Goingsnake Shootout or Massacre) where the many were killed, including the judge. However, in the book the Becks are white and the Proctors are Cherokee, when as a matter of fact the Becks were Cherokees also. My guess is that the author thought that it might be simpler to have a white vs Indian narrative. I am a descendent of the Beck and Downing lines of Cherokee and knew a lot of the facts going in, which added to my intrigue of how these were fictionalized. There are too many examples to point out, however I thought it would make an interesting blog! If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to look it up. I have lots of Cherokee reference books not online(less)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Larry McMurtry is my new discovery. For years I've looked at his many books on the shelves of bookstores with their pictures of cowboys on the covers and passed them over thinking that someone who wrote so many books and so many popular ones could not have written them well. I know. I'm ashamed to have thought this way. But with age sometimes comes wisdom and better yet humility. This is my second McMurtry book and the thought of all those other of his books of his yet to read fills me with hope ...more
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chanced upon a video about Ned that has interesting photos. ("Our Geronimo. Our Sitting Bull. He represented the Cherokee People.")
Read McMurtry's famous one, and multiple others by him. Annoyed by his South Pacific piece. Zeke and Ned pleasantly surprised me, curious about co-author.

In Zeke, there are memorable characters, some reminding me of the outlaws in Douglas Jones' HF, set in the Territory. Think Douglas deserves more attention th
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
In real life, Ezekiel Proctor (1831-1907) was a mixed blood Cherokee who survived The Trail of Tears at age 7, fought for the Union in the Civil War, was a district sheriff and a federal marshal, served the Cherokee Nation as a respected senator, and made a living being a farmer and a cattleman. He had two children before he married, and 5 more by his first wife who died a few months after she delivered triplets. He married twice more before he died.

Ned Christie (1852-1892) was the son of Trail
Peter Tillman
I strongly recommend Larry McMurtry's very fine Zeke and Ned, set in mid-19th century Oklahoma, after the Cherokee tribe's forced resettlement to Indian Territory (now eastern Oklahoma). A crackerjack, underrated historical novel. On my to-be-reread list.

For more details, read Toni's informative review. "Based on a true story", as you might have guessed. I did, but never pursued it. Thanks, Toni!

NB: I tried re-reading this one in late 2015 (copy at BG), b
Susie James
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Going into "Zeke and Ned" I didn't realize both Zeke Proctor and Ned (Edward) Christie were real people. As I got into the story, however, I did some research and lo and behold: what kind of mixed bag storytelling were McMurtry and Ossana doing here? This is a fine novel, but it's troubling that the writers have taken real people from the Cherokee Nation and then have proceeded with the fictionalization. Why not just either try and flesh out these men and their neighbors, or create fictional nam ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lonesome Dove is one of my all-time favorite books so I had to try this one. I really enjoyed Zeke and Ned, although the ending seemed a bit abrupt. Perhaps I was just sorry to see the book end. McMurtry combines description and dialogue so beautifully. His characters live on in my memory as if I had really known them.
Michael P.
Feb 21, 2019 marked it as books-abandoned
I quite like some of Larry McMurtry's books, so I puzzle over why this one bored me so much that I gave up after reading about 15% of it. Perhaps he has lost a step, perhaps his collaborator watered down the McMurty style, and perhaps it is something else. All I can be sure about is that I will not read more to find out.
David Wesson
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Felt like I was waiting for something big to happen the whole book, and it never really did. I didn't see much difference between the Indian characters and white characters in the way they spoke or were portrayed. Everyone is pretty much an idiot in this book. Nonetheless, McMurty still a great writer and I read the whole damn thing!
P.S. Winn
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
History and legend join together in the story of Zeke and Ned. Ezekiel Proctor and Ned Christie, are the last Cherokee warriors on a journey to the Indian Territory near the Arkansas River. Larry McMurtry writes wonderful novels that bring the past alive.
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WHAT an INCREDIBLY entertaining read! The many eccentric characters and unanticipated antics remind me of a classic Greek morality tragedy by Sophocles or Homer.
That "Hanging" Judge Isaac Parker (of Fort Smith, Arkansas) is presented as a really likable and harried civil servant!
I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the hard copy book and KNOW that the audible version by my favorite Barrett Whitener would be outstanding!
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Aside from Lonesome Dove, Zeke and Ned was the most amazing book I've read by Larry McMurtry. I both laughed out loud (and still do) and cried for the character's loss. The tragedy of the Cherokee nation is not fully understood by Americans today. Larry brings us an unforgettable group of characters to give us and up close look at this moment of American history.
William Howle
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I started this book, I thought it was going to be silly, but as I got into it found it to be interesting. The novel is based on actual occurrences and the characters should be researched prior to reading. It once again makes the case that the Indian, particularly the Cherokee were treated poorly by the government and the establishment.
Mar 07, 2011 marked it as to-read
Stephen King recommended author and book.

Author noted in Chapter 9 of Berkley's 1983 paperback edition of Danse Macabre.
David Burke
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Awesome. McMurtry does it again. From the first line I was hooked. This time a western from the point of view of reservation Indians.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes! some really excellent story telling of historical fiction and drama. The story jumps around between a host of characters, but I loved the neat way their intertwined lives were explained. By the time you get to the end, it's very easy to forget WHY their lives concluded as they did given all the details in between, but ugh Zeke. He really was the cause of so much pain and death, all because he wanted a second wife.

I haven't read a lot about Native Americans, so this was a very educational s
Ethan Nahté
McMurtry's Zeke and Ned is an interesting look at true events that occurred in western Arkansas and Indian Territory (Oklahoma) during the early 1870's and the era of Judge Parker. The events of the Going Snake Massacre in the court located in Talequah with Zeke Proctor's trial leads to the events that become Ned Christie's War. The novel does reflect some truths about the hardship of the times, the prejudice against the Natives, and the fact that many deputies (and even some Marshals) were wors ...more
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5+ McMurtry and Ossana take us into the very heart of the Cherokee nation - literally. 1875, give or take, in the beautiful country around Talequah, Oklahoma, Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and points up and down the Arkansas River to Fort Smith. Zeke Proctor and Ned Christie are close friends. Ned is a member of the Cherokee Senate, well over six feet tall, handsome, with black hair that reaches to his waist. Zeke is somewhat older, married to Becca, father of beautiful Jewel, talkative Liza, and ve ...more
LyndaIn Oregon
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Authors Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana play fast and loose with history here, in this tale of the clash between U.S. law and Cherokee Nation law in the late 1800s.

Historical characters include Zeke Proctor, Ned Christie, and "the hanging judge" Isaac Parker; real-life incidents include the Goingsnake massacre and Ned Christie's war. Other than that, timelines are mixed, fictional characters ride alongside historical ones, and many of the relationships -- particularly the father-in-law / son-in-
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
"Could have been half as long, if it didn't repeat everything multiple times. Everything was repeated, most of it three times. Some things got repeated six times, others a dozen. Nothing was left unrepeated. It took up a lot of space. You'd read a sentence, and think you were done with it, but it circled around and came at you again. The repeats just kept coming. Over and over they came. A person could go crazy with all that repeating, I thought. It made the book last a long time."

Ugh! I have lo
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've been on a wild west era kick lately, and this book was great for that. McMurtry is an easy storyteller, and this book is filled with colorful, likable characters and great tension. I was also tickled that it is set in Tahlequah, Oklahoma (home of my alma mater), and Siloam Springs, the small town where I teach college, is even mentioned. That was a first! So as I read, I had a real sense of where things were and what they looked like.

I really enjoyed this book.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of Westerns--this may be the first one I've ever read--so much of my rating should be considered keeping that in mind. The writing was good enough that I didn't give up, and did read through to the end, even appreciated many of the characters, but won't be reaching for another any time soon. 2.5 stars
Shea Casey
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wanted to give this a 3 star rating but it grew on me the more I read. One of those books based on history that you had no idea happened even if you have lived there all your life!! The main characters are pretty flawed but it give a great view of how poorly treated by "white law" people were in Indian territory at the time.
May 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Zeke and Ned is a novel about 2 historical Cherokee warriors who fought for the Cherokee nation against the white man, but really only when the white man swooped in and disrupted their lives. Full of love, full of anger, full of braggadocio, full of racism, full of respect and full of angst. This is a very readable story, but you wouldn't expect any less from Larry McMurtry!
Vickie Dee
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A work of fiction based on events that actually happened in Tahlequah OK. It lead me to do a little research into how the US federal government mistreated and discriminated members of the Cherokee Nation.
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a long story and it felt like it took a while to get moving. But once I was engaged, I really wanted to keep reading and find out what was going to happen to everyone. It's also a sad / true description of relationships between native americans and white settlers. Great characters.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read though it not necessarily to modern sensibilities. That does help to give it a bit more feel of realism/pragmatism I suppose, more just a fair warning. I do appreciate that it was credited as co-written.
Jan Dittbrenner
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it, enjoyed, western
If you enjoy a good yarn....
Jeannie Marshall
Characters All

Always a complete pleasure to read the absolute best character development. I have the autographed copy of Texasville from years ago. You still have the gift.
Shelley Adams
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much! Perhaps not more than any of the other books by this author, but definitely in the top five!
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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

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