Ted's Reviews > Lonesome Dove

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
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's review
Mar 28, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: american-literature
Read in December, 2007

I had this book on my top choices from a list of books that we might be assigned back in junior year of high school. Got "A Farewell to Arms" instead. But I found a hardcover in good condition for about $2 a few years later, so I got around to it eventually.
Larry McMurtry's epic is good enough that I'm thinking about reading others in the Lonesome Dove saga, although I probably won't - too many books, too little time. Lonesome Dove was certainly enjoyable. Entertaining, probably a less cerebral read than Cormac McCarthy's "westerns" which I intend to try soon...
So what's best? The characters are good - particularly Gus McCrae and his old flame Clara. McMurtry seems to do a pretty good job writing about women - Terms of Endearment is another of his, and it was made into an Oscar-winner and I'm pretty sure it's mostly about women. Men too. And for a western, it's uniquely realistic. Death comes abruptly and randomly, not in climactic heroic battles. Some of the hands show little depth if plenty of skill at their job, when McMurtry shows us their perspective, he shows their simplicity. An enormous geographic area is crossed, Mexico to Canada, with the country portrayed as it once was and should have remained, wild, rough, isolated pockets of settlers, Indians.
The reader has spent 900 pages with these characters but he comes away not at all tired of them. The same went for McMurtry, thus 2 prequels and 1 sequel. The prequels strike my fancy a bit, and I suppose I might pick them up if I'm looking for some light reading.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Cory (new)

Cory Hiar I personally despise McMurty. I read a non-fiction book of his about traveling the great American highways and yes, he is very fond of the characters in this book. All he does in the book that I read (which is awful beyond mention) is make pithy, offhanded comments about places in America he has no understanding of and then talk about how they relate to the many great books he has written, particularly this aggrandizing Western saga. I say this even though he had mostly positive things to say about Minnesota (but I mean really, how could one not?). I actually began to write derisive notes to him in the margins of my book. I hate the editor who skimmed it, the publisher who marketed it, the store that sold it and, most of all, Larry McMurty. I will never, ever read Lonesome Dove.

message 2: by Ted (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ted You read the wrong book, but I understand why you would not want to read Lonesome Dove after such an experience.

E.J. Lonesome Dove is one of my favorite books. As for the series, they get progressively weaker, but the follow up, STREETS OF LAREDO, is still very, very good. If you find the time, read it. YOu won't be disappointed.

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