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Lonesome Dove
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Book Series > September 1 - October 31, 2018—LONESOME DOVE—Larry McMurtry (Book 1 of 4)

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message 1: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Feb 14, 2019 09:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
The winner for our next book series is Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.
Lonesome Dove is the first book in the series.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

To all who voted—thank you!
To everyone—I hope you'll participate and read this selection for our book club.
For those who do—share your thoughts as you read, please!

Spoilers are allowed; add a considerate warning if your comment includes any so members have the option to skip.

Feel free to begin reading it early, if you'd like, and start the discussion at your leisure.
_______

NOTES: I plan to purchase the ebook tomorrow. It's likely that I'll extend the time frame for this selection after I've confirmed the page count. It appears to be a lengthy tome.

This is the publication order, which is how our group reads will be organized:
#1— Lonesome Dove
#2—Streets of Laredo
#3—Dead Man's Walk
#4—Comanche Moon

For those of you who'd prefer to read this series in chronological order:
Dead Man's Walk— (set in the early 1840s)
Comanche Moon—(set in the 1850–60s)
Lonesome Dove—(set in mid-to-late 1870s)
Streets of Laredo—(set in the early 1890s)

I will add discussion topics for the other three books tomorrow.


Tasha I loved Lonesome Dove, what a great book!! I may join in when you move on to the others in the series although I think I may read it in chronological order.


message 3: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Feb 18, 2019 10:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I purchased the ebook for $13.99 this morning. It's 941 pages. I've doubled the timespan to two months for this first novel.
Streets of Laredo and Dead Man's Walk don't seem to be as long as Lonesome Dove. I'll schedule one month for each. Comanche Moon looks like it may require more time, so I'll give that final book two months.

Here is the tentative schedule:

Lonesome Dove—Sept. 1 - Oct. 31

Streets of Laredo—Nov. 1 - 30

Dead Man's Walk—Dec. 1 - 31

Comanche Moon—Jan. 1 - Feb. 28

Some information on this novel and author:
Larry McMurtry was born June 3, 1936 in Archer City, Texas.
● In 1986, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for this novel.
● He lives in Archer City, Texas, and is 82 years old.
Lonesome Dove was first published in 1985.
● genre: western
● explores themes of: death, friendship, old age, and unrequited love
● In 1989, it was adapted as a television miniseries starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall.
● GoodReads rating: 4.48—88% rated it 4 or 5 stars
● ranked #22 on a PBS's list

I've not read anything by Larry McMurtry nor from the western genre (that I can remember). I'm really looking forward to this series!

Glad you'll be reading Lonesome Dove, Loretta!

Tasha—I noticed that you rated it 5 stars and said it was "amazing." Makes me want to read it that much more!
I was thinking about publication vs. chronological order last night. I plan to start a topic in the READING and Associated Themes section of the group, for members to discuss their preference and reasons.


Bree Callen | 1 comments I read this a couple of weeks ago and loved it! I have a very large TBR pile, so I will not be reading the series quite yet, but I will eventually.


Tasha It was amazing, Lavan. Depending on how my scheduling and time goes, I may join in on the LD read in Sept but may just check in the discussion thread instead to see the discussion. Two months seems very reasonable. I'm really looking forward to moving along in the series.


message 6: by Andrew, moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Hmm, I'm not sure about this one. It's a long book in a genre I'm usually not interested in. But it won a Pulitzer, so it's probably worth giving it a try...


message 7: by Cindy (new)

Cindy  | 35 comments I am a slow reader. Not sure I can read an 800-900 page book in one month. I would have to get the book from the public library. Their loan time is 30 days.


Tasha It's scheduled for 2 months, Cindy. :)


message 9: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 17, 2018 02:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Hello, Bree!
I'm glad you enjoyed Lonesome Dove. Feel free to add your thoughts about this series (and any group reads) whenever you do decide to read them, even if our scheduled time frames have passed. I'm always interested in what members have to say!

Tasha—I'd be happy if you decide to reread this along with us, of course! It would refresh your memory before moving on to the three books in the series you haven't read yet.

I hope you give Lonesome Dove a try, Andrew! We'd both be reading a genre that's new to us.

I think what Cindy means, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that because the library would require the book back within a month she wouldn't have enough time to finish it.
I wonder if your library would make an exception for a book of this length? I hope they do, because it would be wonderful if you could read it at a relaxed pace.


Parker | 58 comments Andrew wrote: "Hmm, I'm not sure about this one. It's a long book in a genre I'm usually not interested in. But it won a Pulitzer, so it's probably worth giving it a try..."

Although it's set in the West, its themes are universal. I thought it was an amazing book.


message 11: by Cindy (new)

Cindy  | 35 comments I will check the used book sellers on Amazon. I can’t decide if I want to read 1984 or Lonesome Dove. I am leaning towards 1984 because I just finished a lengthy book, Gone with the Wind. Not sure I wanted to read 900 pages. It is over two months so it would be more like 450.


message 12: by Andrew, moderator (last edited Aug 18, 2018 04:13AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
I ordered a used paperback copy of this off eBay last night for $4. So I'll give it a try. If I don't like it, no big loss. I can just toss it in the "donate to library sale" pile.


message 13: by Tasha (last edited Aug 19, 2018 04:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tasha I never think about ebay for books! I usually go to ThriftBooks.com.


Tasha I have my own copy so will skim along. :)


message 15: by Andrew, moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Andrew wrote: "I ordered a used paperback copy of this off eBay last night for $4. So I'll give it a try. If I don't like it, no big loss. I can just toss it in the "donate to library sale" pile."

A battered paperback copy of this book showed up in the mail today, and I just finished reading another novel, so I'll start this one today or tomorrow. (The paperback is frighteningly thick though!)


Parker | 58 comments Don't let its size daunt you. It moves along quite fast.


Tasha I agree, it does move quickly.


message 18: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 28, 2018 02:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Andrew, I'm glad you've decided to give Lonesome Dove a try!

I can't wait to hear what you and everyone else has to say about it. It has an impressive GoodReads rating and members who have read it all rated it 5 stars, except one person who rated it 4.

I plan to start reading it September 2ⁿᵈ (I'll start my reread of 1984 on the 1ˢᵗ).


message 19: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Sep 06, 2018 06:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I'm on p. 49—at 5%.
I read the preface yesterday, which was short. Unfortunately, it included spoilers and I think it even gave away the ending. Needless to say, I was annoyed by this, especially because I didn't know anything prior to beginning except that it was a western. Lesson learned. I've made a mental note to never read a preface again until after I've finished a book.

That aside, I like this story so far. Even though I'm only about fifty pages in I already appreciate how well it flows (I'm in complete agreement with both Parker and Tasha—it moves quickly).
The characters are unique and already forming into realistic personae. I love the banter, and it's quite humorous. I chuckled at a couple parts, and was smiling often.

This is one of those books that I'm looking forward to continuing each day and discovering what's going to happen next.


message 20: by Trina (new) - added it

Trina  (trinanycolbrown) Lavan wrote: "I'm on p. 49—at 5%.
I read the preface yesterday, which was short. Unfortunately, it included spoilers, and I think it even gave away the ending. Needless to say, I was annoyed by this, especially ..."


Ow, I hate that. I did that before:-(

I'm glad you like it so far. I'm looking forward to jumping in on the 15th when I receive mine.

Happy Reading!


message 21: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather | 1 comments I’ve read this series before but forgot how beautiful scenes and characters McMurtry paints


Tasha He is a wonderful writer, at least in this book.


message 23: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Sep 13, 2018 01:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I'm glad you'll be joining in soon, Trina, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts!

Hello, Heather!
Will you be rereading Lonesome Dove with us?

That's okay, Loretta!
This discussion will be here for whenever you do decide to read this selection.

I'm on p. 159—at 17%.
This. Book. Is. So. Funny! (The full stops are necessary to express my enthusiasm.) I laugh out loud every time I sit down for an hour to continue the story.
There were a couple of days when I couldn't fit Lonesome Dove into my schedule and I was disappointed.
With every page, I grow fonder of McMurtry's style. He writes in such an honest, engaging way. There are no lulls. The pacing is terrific, and I can visualize everything with ease.

So far, I have no complaints about this list book and it's a nice contrast from the intensity and gravity of 1984.


Tasha I'm so glad you are enjoying it, Lavan. His writing really is so good.


message 25: by Toni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Toni Gary I haven’t had time to stop and write anything, but I have been able to read a lot between football and soccer practices and games. I love Larry McMurty’s writing. I had forgotten he wrote Terms of Endearment which I read and loved years ago. When I started Lonesome Dove I wasn’t sure how I would feel about “western” book. Gus is what got me hooked! The characters are wonderful and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen to them. After reading the book, I went to Amazon Prime and bought the miniseries. This is a series I will definitely continue to read.


Bethany | 123 comments Used a bit of my hurricane day off to read more of this. I'm not finding it to be a quick read. When I'm reading, I enjoy the story, but it's not really moving for me. It feels like the equivalent of a long, steady trip (as if to Montana!). I'll be stuck inside over the weekend, so I'll read what I can as long as my charge lasts (Lonesome Dove is on audio book and 1984 is on my Kindle, so I'm set unless/until my power goes out).
I'm safe, but we'll get a lot of wind and rain all weekend and into Monday. Hoping to catch up on reading.


Parker | 58 comments Bethany wrote: "Used a bit of my hurricane day off to read more of this. I'm not finding it to be a quick read. When I'm reading, I enjoy the story, but it's not really moving for me. It feels like the equivalent ..."

Where are you, Bethany? Here, we're fine so far. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed.


Bethany | 123 comments I'm in NC, but inland. It's currently raining off and on with some gusts of wind. The worst of it is to the east and the south of me. We even still have power! School was cancelled yesterday, though, and I'll be out again on Monday. Hope it's not too bad where you are, Parker!


Tasha Yes, I'm glad to hear you are ok as well. It's a big one!


Parker | 58 comments We made it just fine. A little rain, a little wind. Far different from what they were predicting. Glad you're okay, Bethany.


Laurie | 15 comments Just got a copy of Lonesome Dove from my library. was very hesitant...not my usual type of book...will keep you posted!


Tasha Glad things went better than predicted, Parker!


message 33: by Andrew, moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Got back to reading this over the weekend. Still haven't made much of a dent in it though. I enjoyed the description of the sunrise at the beginning of chapter 5. (Here it is.)


message 34: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Sep 20, 2018 12:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I'm thrilled that you enjoyed Lonesome Dove, Toni, and that you'll be continuing the series with us! Gus is a riot. I'm going to look for the miniseries after I finish, too. Let us know how you like it, please!

Bethany—I hope you, your family, and friends are all safe.
I see you've rated this selection 3 stars. Was it only the pace of the story you disliked? Did you enjoy it enough to continue the series with Streets of Laredo?

I hope you and your loved ones are safe too, Parker!

I'm glad you're joining in Laurie, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts!

Did you put Catch-22 aside Andrew, or are you reading them both?
I knew which excerpt you were referring to even before I clicked on your link, because I have that bookmarked too. It's beautiful!

I'm on p. 276—at 29%.
It struck me how difficult it was to be a woman during this time and in this place. In this story it seems as though they had two main choices—either get married (oftentimes out of necessity), have children and work themselves to the bone day in and day out or become a prostitute to survive. Yikes!
I finished Part 1 yesterday. At the end of Part 1 and the beginning of Part 2 a lot of new characters are introduced. I'm keeping fairly good track of who's who, but I wish I'd jotted them down with a brief description to refer to.

I feel as though the action is just around the corner ...
I'm still enjoying this book immensely!


Bethany | 123 comments We're all safe and sound. I rated it 3 stars a bit for the pace, a bit because I'm not a huge fan of Western, and a bit because of the ending. It has that bleak, western ending. I don't plan on continuing the series.


message 36: by Andrew, moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Lavan wrote: "Did you put Catch-22 aside, Andrew, or are you reading them both?"
My loan on the Catch-22 ebook expired, so I'm putting that aside for a bit. I put myself back in the hold queue for it, but it'll be a while before I get back to the top of the queue. I'm probably going to wind up buying my own copy of that book eventually.


message 37: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Sep 20, 2018 03:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Oh no! How long is the loan time for your library's e-books, Andrew?
You stopped at 15%. Did you enjoy the beginning of Catch-22?

I'm on p. 322—at 34% of Lonesome Dove.

(view spoiler)

There's still more than 600 pages left. I wonder what else is in store for them ...


message 38: by Andrew, moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Lavan wrote: "Oh no! How long is the loan time for your library's e-books, Andrew?
You stopped at 15%. Did you enjoy the beginning of Catch-22?"


It's three weeks. I really didn't make much progress in Catch-22. Too much other stuff going on over the last few weeks. But I was enjoying it.

I'm only up to page 76 in Lonesome Dove. Just past where Jake Spoon comes in. By the way, I just googled "Jake Spoon" to see if I had his name right, and I think Google auto-complete just gave me a huge spoiler about Jake! (view spoiler)


message 39: by Lavan, moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Aw, that's a shame!
Without thinking, I clicked on your spoiler. [face-palm] My fault!
That wasn't revealed in the preface and it hasn't happened yet, but I'm guessing that it does at some point. It makes sense.

I'm on p. 373—at 40%.
Mr. Sedgewick is an interesting character. I hope he makes another appearance in the story.

(view spoiler)


message 40: by Andrew, moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Yeah. I hit another spoiler by googling the motto Gus writes on his sign: "Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Fit". But at least now I know what the motto means!


message 41: by Tasha (last edited Sep 23, 2018 07:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tasha I hate when that happens, Andrew! That just happened to me as well with a book I'm reading.

I can't remember if I mentioned that I put this on hold for audio as a way to reread this before we start the rest of the series. I'm hoping it comes in soon so I can take October to listen to it. If not, I am considering joining an audio book membership just to have this on audio.


message 42: by Toni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Toni Gary I had forgotten that Larry McMurty wrote Terms of Endearment and The Last Picture Show, which were great. The language throughout the book is amazing. You can actually google “Lonesome Dove quotes.”

If you only come face-to-face with your own mistakes once or twice in your life it’s bound to be extra painful. I face mine every day—that way they ain’t usually much worse than a dry shave.
Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove


message 43: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Sep 24, 2018 02:24PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Andrew—I Googled that Latin motto too (luckily, I somehow missed the spoiler in the process). That sign cracks me up!

That's great Tasha, what a wonderful "reread" for you!
If you do get an audiobook membership you could listen to And Then There Were None since you loved reading it. That would be good, spooky fun. I'm considering the audiobook for that selection myself.

Thank you for sharing that McMurtry quotation, Toni!

I'm on p. 429—at 46%.

(view spoiler)


message 44: by Tasha (last edited Oct 02, 2018 06:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tasha I started this on audio yesterday as I want to refresh my memory of the story. I'd rather read it frankly as the audio/narrator is truly not the best, but it's way too thick to squeeze in a read this month. That being said, I'm enjoying being reunited with these characters and I'm surprised that I'm remembering them as well as I am. I think this audio was done really long ago bc I can't imagine this narrator being asked to read this today. Today's audios are like major productions this is very 'unclean'. I'll be listening over the month so that I'll be ready to start the next one in November. :)


message 45: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Oct 09, 2018 07:28AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Thank you for mentioning that the Lonesome Dove audiobook isn't narrated well so other members will know to avoid it, Tasha.
I'm glad you'll be reading Streets Of Laredo with us next month!

I'm on p. 702—at 75%. I'm on chapter 80 of Part III. Since Part II, the action has been non-stop. I've wanted to give an update for the past week, but I kept reading instead.

This was an exceptionally dangerous time to live (1870s). The average life expectancy was less than 40. Women often died in childbirth. Medical care was poor. People didn't understand the importance of basic hygiene. Plumbing was new and therefore scarce. Education wasn't readily available and wasn't considered necessary. The law was undependable. Life was hard all around for everyone, but considerably more difficult for women as they generally weren't considered equals. Sometimes books and movies romanticize this time period, but this novel does not do that—at all. It's eye-opening, that's for sure!


Tasha It's not that bad that it needs to be avoided but I think reading over audio is definitely the prefered format for this one.

I'm glad you are enjoying it, Lavan!


message 47: by Lavan, moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I'm on p. 833—at 89%.
Sometimes, when you read a good book there will be parts that make you feel so deeply that you're raw. This story has done that at regular intervals for the past 500+ pages. Outstanding!

I think this is my favorite Great American Read book that I've read this year. It's right up there with A Game of Thrones.


message 48: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Oct 14, 2018 06:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I finished this afternoon.

Larry McMurtry is the George R.R. Martin of western fiction. He doesn't shy away from killing off characters, that's for sure.

I've added McMurtry's Terms of Endearment to my to_read_next shelf. I definitely want to read more of this author's works.

I'm really looking forward to continuing the Lonesome Dove series with book 2, Streets Of Laredo, on November 1ˢᵗ!


message 49: by Andrew, moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
I'm making some progress on this, and just passed page 500. I just finished chapter 58, and geez, there's some sad and violent stuff in this book. I understand Lavan's "Larry McMurtry is the George R.R. Martin of western fiction" comment now!


message 50: by Lavan, moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Excellent, Andrew!
I was a little worried that 1—you weren't enjoying it, because usually you finish group reads much faster than I do, but this is the longest list book we've tackled (you are enjoying it, aren't you?), or 2—you don't have the time to devote to Lonesome Dove given the library recently came through with several books you requested.

It is rather dark, but I didn't mind. It's gritty and realistic and feels like an historical fiction, to me. It doesn't seem to follow any conventional tropes, which I like.


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