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Streets of Laredo (Lonesome Dove Book 3)
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Book Series > November 2018—STREETS OF LAREDO—Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove Series—Book 2 of 4)

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message 1: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Nov 01, 2018 08:54AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Streets of Laredo is the second book in the series.

Streets of Laredo (Lonesome Dove) by Larry McMurtry

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.


message 2: by Lavan, moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
My copy is 491 pages.
I only read Streets of Laredo on two occasions in November, not for lack of wanting to, but it wasn't a good month for reading for me.

I'm on p. 74—at 15%.
Oh, how I've missed McMurtry's writing! I'm definitely a fan. I was smiling and laughing at his humor interspersed within another captivating story. I'm glad I'm continuing this series. Some beloved characters from Lonesome Dove are included along with new ones. It's a nice mix of familiar and additional.

My one complaint is that one (main) story line from the previous book was abruptly ended in the beginning. I think McMurtry chose to do this, because he wanted to take Call in a completely different direction, but for those of us who are fond of book 1—I think it could have been handled better.

December is a busy time of year for most, but I plan to finish this list book before 2019 and begin Dead Man's Walk. I'd be happy to finish that as well, but I haven't downloaded it yet. I'm not sure how long it is.


message 3: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Dec 17, 2018 12:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Though I've not finished Streets of Laredo, I did purchase and download Dead Man's Walk early, out of curiosity. I wanted to know how long it is. My ebook copy is 441 pages. I won't extend the time frame, instead I'll keep it as is—December 1 - 31.

I'm on p. 129 (of Streets of Laredo)—at 26%.
So far, I think the writing is nearly as good as Lonesome Dove, but I'd be hesitant to say it's as good. I am enjoying the story and I am glad I'm reading it, but I question if it's possible for another western to be at the level that Lonesome Dove is. My advice would be to read this for what it is and try not to compare books 1 and 2. Sometimes there's a stand-alone or a series that is so good in a particular genre that it's in a league of its own. I have yet to read a fantasy book/series that's as extraordinary as The Lord of the Rings. I digress ...

Due to great character development by McMurtry, I'm getting to know the new characters on a deeper level and I appreciate that the reader is shown both sides in this story—the "good" guys and those they're connected to and the "bad" guys and those they're connected to. This allows for a more complex understanding of all those involved and doesn't make for a neat black and white story. It blurs the lines and makes for a far more interesting reading experience.


message 4: by Lavan, moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I'm on p. 293—at 60%.
Mox Mox's stature reminds me of Lord Farquaad in Shrek, haha! His demeanor is another story, however. Not funny in the slightest. Quite abhorrent.

The squabbling amongst the outlaws in Mox Mox's gang is amusing. In part II, chapter 3 the reader is introduced to them. I chose to go back, reread, and jot down the name and a brief description for each to keep them straight. Others may want to do this as well.

As there are two main bad guys in this story, Joey Garza and Mox Mox (that aren't working together), there's no lack of thrilling, suspenseful happenings. I feel that same rush of excitement as I read climactic parts that I did with Lonesome Dove.

Pea Eye's dilemma really stands out for me. (view spoiler)

A minor complaint—there is a little repetition here and there. I think this book could have been edited better.


message 5: by Lavan, moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I'm on p. 368—at 75%.

(view spoiler)


message 6: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Dec 29, 2018 05:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I finished a week ago.
I rated this list book a solid 4 stars. If GoodReads allowed half stars I'd have given it 4.5.

(view spoiler)

I'm going to begin book 3, Dead Man's Walk, now ...


message 7: by Rjs (new)

Rjs (noego) | 4 comments I read this many years ago and have returned to it countless times. My feelings about it change each time I read it. One thing that bothered me this time was how the characters interact with each other with no language barrier. Do all the Mexican characters speak fluent English? Highly unlikely. Do the Americans speak Kickapoo? Of course not. For a novel that seems to pride itself so much on brutal realism I feel this is a major oversight on McMurtry's part. It made it harder for me to read it through.
Incidentally, I have read Dead Man's Walk and found it the weakest of the four books. I'll be interested to hear what others think.


message 8: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Jan 22, 2019 04:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Hello, Rjs!

Fair point, well made.
Your comment reminds me of the television series Outlander. The current season 4 has a lot of interaction between Native Americans (Mohawk) and Scots, Americans and other nationalities, but the Native American characters sound American. At least the Scots sound Scottish and even use common Scottish words and phrases. It is a good show (although I think seasons 1 and 2 are better than 3 and 4) and I will continue to watch it, but I wish it were more realistic in that way.
The book series is excellent though (of the six I've read), but books are almost always better than TV adaptations.

I'm 39% through Comanche Moon, but of the other three books I like Lonesome Dove the most (probably no surprise there) and Streets of Laredo the least, but I still rated the latter 4 stars.
It's such a good series. I'll definitely be rereading and recommending it!

Here is a link to our group discussion of Dead Man's Walk in case you missed it.


message 9: by Rjs (last edited Feb 14, 2019 08:58PM) (new)

Rjs (noego) | 4 comments I've changed my mind about this book. I used to think it was fantastic - even better than Lonesome Dove, but I read it again recently for the umpteenth time and wasn't nearly so enamored. Here's why.
1. How come all the major characters, Mexican, American and Kickapoo Indian can speak to each other without the need for translators?
2. How come major characters constantly bump into each other within the vast plains of the US and Mexico?
3. How come Pea Eye married Lorena, one of the most unlikeliest consequences from Lonesome Dove?
4. How come Joey Garza, who is depicted as an almost supernatural presence who never makes any mistakes makes an error so basic which leads to his downfall. A clumsy plot hole.
5. How come the tragic and unnecessary episode of Ted Plunkert and his wife's heartbreaking demise was included? McMurtry insists on rubbing our noses in scenes of startling brutality and cruelty throughout this novel.
6. How come the pig in Crow Town? Nuff said.

I feel McMurtry has spent his latter years undoing all the great work of his early years. I don't believe he holds his readers in very high esteem. I believe he views us with contempt.


message 10: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Feb 15, 2019 08:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Some thoughts that occurred to me in response to your dislikes of Streets of Laredo:

How come all the major characters, Mexican, American and Kickapoo Indian can speak to each other without the need for translators?
I hadn't considered this until you mentioned it. It's a good point.

How come major characters constantly bump into each other within the vast plains of the US and Mexico?
The west wasn't very populated (by Caucasians) during the time period this novel is set (early 1890s). Texas Rangers, fronstiersmen, and undoubtedly brave new settlers likely traveled in the safest (closest to other established homesteads and within close proximity to water sources) routes. With this in mind, I didn't find it unbelievable that characters were crossing each other's paths throughout the series.

How come Pea Eye married Lorena, one of the most unlikeliest consequences from Lonesome Dove?
This did come as a surprise to me. I accepted it based on the need to survive. I think women of that time married out of necessity more often than not.

How come Joey Garza, who is depicted as an almost supernatural presence who never makes any mistakes makes an error so basic which leads to his downfall?
I attribute this fatal mistake to Joey Garza's arrogance. He was so cocky that he became careless in this instance.

How come the tragic and unnecessary episode of Ted Plunkert and his wife's heartbreaking demise was included? McMurtry insists on rubbing our noses in scenes of startling brutality and cruelty throughout this novel.
I have felt that there were times throughout the series that the violence was a bit overdone and unnecessary. I think McMurtry was trying to show how dangerous a time it was to live, especially in the west, but it did come across as shock value, at times.

How come the pig in Crow Town?
Hm, I don't know. I hadn't thought about it until now. Maybe someone brought it there like the Wanzs brought the blue pigs (from France) to Lonesome Dove?

Thank you for sharing your issues with this list book, Rjs! Your questions made me think, which I appreciate.


message 11: by Rjs (last edited Feb 17, 2019 07:10PM) (new)

Rjs (noego) | 4 comments Lavan wrote: "Some thoughts that occurred to me in response to your dislikes of Streets of Laredo:

How come all the major characters, Mexican, American and Kickapoo Indian can speak to each other without the ne..."


Thanks for your comments, Lavan. What I meant about the pig was an addition to what I said about McMurtry rubbing our noses in the mire. The pig episode was just unpleasant and unbelievable.
A further point. I read somewhere that McMurtry's intention when writing Lonesome Dove was an attempt to debunk the myths of the old West as depicted by Hollywood movies of old. With the ensuing massive success he felt that he had failed because people were responding to the heroism of Gus and Co and missing his point. Maybe this was why in successive chapters of the Quadrilogy [is that the right word] he insisted on stripping away the heroics and derring-do. Especially in relation to Streets of Laredo.


message 12: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Feb 17, 2019 08:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
My pleasure, Rjs, and likewise!

I think I remember reading something similar in a Larry McMurtry interview that Andrew posted at the end of August (before our group started Lonesome Dove in September) or I might have read it elsewhere.

I don't think I've watched any on-screen westerns, but it doesn't surprise me if McMurtry thinks they're generally romanticized.

I would have to disagree with him that he failed with Lonesome Dove though. The realism of that list book is one of the main reasons I love it.

I usually just say "book series," but quadrilogy works or I've heard quartet used when referring to a series with four.


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