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Folly and Glory (The Berrybender Narratives #4)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,446 Ratings  ·  93 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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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
Aug 16, 2014 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
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
Aug 29, 2015 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
Anne girl
Nov 19, 2007 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
Jul 18, 2009 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
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
Nov 11, 2013 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
Nov 02, 2014 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.
Mar 01, 2015 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.
Fredrick Danysh
In this work, the fourth of the Berrybender saga, the Berrybenders are held under house arrest in Santa Fe. The story is riddled with tragedy as the family hopes to move to Texas for a new start. Events are somewhat disjointed in time.
Oct 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A worthy finish to the Berrybender narratives. Mixed comic and tragic in the usual style.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some four years ago in the early 1830s, Lord Berrybender brought his family from England to the wild west in the first of this four book series. This is the conclusion, It follows the first three chronologically, and continues the themes of them, particularly treading the line between reality and parody – Lord Berrybender himself standing out in that vein, moments of humor, and moments of terror and violent uncertainties in the west. A number of characters have issues that seem to indicate menta ...more
Christian Schwoerke
I enjoyed reading the four Berrybender books, but what seemed like an interesting, potentially powerful narrative in Sin Killer began to waver and turn into a serio-comic pastiche in book 2 and book 3 (The Wandering Hill and By Sorrow's River), only just returning to what might seem the right pitch of gravity in the concluding chapters of Folly and Glory. ...Not that that the farcical turn was bad, just a bit disappointing when the barely believable is attached to so much good scene-setting, and ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate when I come in in the middle of a series but I didn't read that small print at the bottom of the top cover (smile). Anyway, I liked it so well that I just might go back and start at the beginning. I am left with the question "Is/was there a store by the name Berrybender in St. Louis? " At the end of the story we are left with the suggestion of one being established. This is the story of an English aristocratic family and their experiences on the early frontier. Very entertaining.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that affects you when you’re done reading it. It feels like you just sat with loved ones and had a few laughs, but at the luncheon after a funeral. This series was a great read.
Elise Ochoa
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
That was a very unexpected ending. I find myself a little disappointed but at the same time, I think it was a good way to end a series. There are a few things that I'd like to know, all of which can be summed up in one question: What became of them all?
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
final volume of this series was my favourite. Heart wrenching and soul searching honesty, quite good.
Sam Sattler
Mar 23, 2012 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
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series-2-prime
Folly and Glory ● by Larry McMurtry


"No one seems to have taken the saying that life is just one damn thing after another more to heart than Larry McMurtry when it comes to plotting the quartet of novels known as The Berrybender Narratives. By the end of Book 3 what had begun as British aristocrat Lord Albany Berrybender’s exuberant and elaborate family game-hunting excursion across the vastness of the American West had, through an incredible series of a
May 25, 2014 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
Jody Soto
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read all four of the Berrybender narratives...twice! I never do that! Absolutely my favorite books. I even purchased the set so I can read again if I so desire...I began them on my kindle, moved to the I have my own set..LOVE this tragic, funny, quirky, naughty (much "rutting' and "fornicating" among those crazy Berrybenders!) amazing story.
Feb 21, 2015 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
Morgan Erwin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 16, 2015 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
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

Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very slow start as we are given a look at all the children conceived along the trail by all the Bender sisters. Unfortunately these all will mostly meet there demise as this shorter volume quickly gathers momentum to reach the crescendo of the narratives. Extremely fast reading and exciting we get all the actions we've been anticipating. The Sin Killer in all his glory, the unstoppable force of righteous might. All evil palls at its fury. In separate incidents Lord Berrybender becomes enshrine ...more
Aug 04, 2007 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
Aug 25, 2010 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
Sep 14, 2012 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
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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
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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“It's very peculiar, the situations life presents one with, Father Geoff reflected.” 2 likes
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