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Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove #1)
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Archive Hefty/Husky > 2019 Lonesome Dove (April thru June)

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message 1: by Claire (last edited Mar 30, 2019 01:38PM) (new) - added it

Claire  | 251 comments .A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize— winning classic, Lonesome Dove, the third book in the Lonesome Dove tetralogy, is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America.

Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic, Lonesome Dove is a book to make us laugh, weep, dream, and remember.


Literary AwardsPulitzer Prize for Fiction (1986), PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Nominee (1986), National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for Fiction (1985), Spur Award for Best Western Novel (1985)


message 2: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire  | 251 comments Res.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 202 comments I love this book which I read for the first time a few months ago.


message 4: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (last edited Apr 02, 2019 06:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Blueberry will be our host for this quarterly Hefty read.

I have loved this book and movie from the release. (Movie: I am a huge Robert Duvall fan. Duvall turned down the role of Woodrow Call so he could play Gus.). It is amazingly written and there is never a time that your wondering is it going to pick up? Its full of OMGosh moments! It is my favorite read of all time.

I am rereading it with Blueberry this quarter (my 3rd time).


message 5: by Claire (last edited Apr 01, 2019 04:08AM) (new) - added it

Claire  | 251 comments I still feel awkward this book is here. I do not think it is a classic, no matter how good it is.
But that is of course just my opinion...


message 6: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (last edited Apr 01, 2019 05:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Claire, I appreciate your opinion, it is probably an American thing as it is in most all list and it is also in our category of 30 years or older for FWC (Frontier Western Adventure Classics).

It was also in our Members Poll of Best loved Classics:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... and part of The Great Amercian Read 100 List on PBS the Novel came in 22nd out of the 100. The list does not contain all American Authors, War and Peace, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Rebecca, to name a few, are listed as well.

On Goodreads alone it is listed in over 480 lists: https://www.goodreads.com/list/book/2...

Lonesome Dove was the winner of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and in 1985 won the Spur Award for Western Novel.

The novel received favorable reviews. In the New York Times, Nicholas Lemann praised the novel as "thrilling and almost perfectly realized," calling it "the great cowboy novel."

McMurtry himself eventually expressed dissatisfaction with the popularity of the novel. In the preface to the 2000 edition he wrote: "It's hard to go wrong if one writes at length about the Old West, still the phantom leg of the American psyche. I thought I had written about a harsh time and some pretty harsh people, but, to the public at large, I had produced something nearer to an idealization; instead of a poor man's Inferno, filled with violence, faithlessness and betrayal, I had actually delivered a kind of Gone With The Wind of the West, a turnabout I'll be mulling over for a long, long time."


message 7: by Brian (last edited Apr 01, 2019 04:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 4430 comments So, according to McMurtry, NTLTRC has provided its members with Spring Hefty Classics of both Gone With the Wind and Gone With the Wind of the West.
Let's see, should I read GWTW of the South or GWTW of the West …..... I will choose West, but I'll start closer to June.


message 8: by Blueberry (last edited Apr 01, 2019 09:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Blueberry (blueberry1) | 890 comments I disagree with Larry McMurtry's thinking that his book ending up glorifying the old west. I have read 3 of the 4 books and so they do blur together (and why I will reread it this month) and I surely felt the harshness of the time, people and place.


message 9: by Blueberry (last edited Apr 01, 2019 04:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Blueberry (blueberry1) | 890 comments FYI:

Series in order of publication:
Lonesome Dove (1985)
Streets of Laredo (1993)
Dead Man's Walk (1995)
Comanche Moon (1997)

Series in order of internal chronology:
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 had no idea Lonesome Dove was first written as a screenplay.
Following the success of The Last Picture Show in 1971, Peter Bogdanovich was keen to collaborate with McMurtry on a Western. Their original script was welcomed by the studio, but disliked by the actors McMurtry and Bogdanovich had in mind: Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, and John Wayne. According to McMurtry, the script languished in development hell for 12 years before he bought the rights back for $35,000, to adapt the story as a novel. He spent several years working on it intermittently, between writing Cadillac Jack (1983) and The Desert Rose, and eventually submitted it to his publishers in 1984.[1]


Blueberry (blueberry1) | 890 comments 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, ie. Terms of Endearment and The Last Picture Show, also were adapted into movies as well as a television mini-series.

Among many other accolades, in 2006 he was the co-winner of both the Best Screenplay Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for "Brokeback Mountain."


Blueberry (blueberry1) | 890 comments Historical References (Wikipedia):
According to McMurtry, Gus and Call were not modeled after historical characters, but there are similarities with real-life cattle drivers Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving. (view spoiler)(Goodnight himself appears as a minor but generally sympathetic character in this novel, and more so in the sequel, Streets of Laredo, and the prequels Dead Man's Walk and Comanche Moon.)

According to McMurtry's memoir, Books: A Memoir, the ultimate sources for Gus and Call were Quixote, the crazy old knight, and Sancho, the peasant pragmatist, from Don Quixote. He stated: "What is important that, early on, I read some version of Don Quixote and pondered the grave differences (comically cast) between Sancho and the Don. Between the two is where fiction, as I've mostly read and written it, lives." [14]

Other books of the Lonesome Dove series feature more-prominent historical events and locations such as the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, the Great Raid of 1840, and the King Ranch, and characters such as Buffalo Hump, John Wesley Hardin, and Judge Roy Bean.


message 12: by Brian (last edited Apr 01, 2019 08:01PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 4430 comments So Pulitzer winner McMurtry did the screenplay of Pulitzer winner Prouix's story. It's like Nobel winner Faulkner writing the screenplay of Nobel winner Hemingway's To Have and Have Not.

Since it helps portray gritty or harsh conditions, McMurtry probably liked it that both Hud and The Last Picture Show were filmed in black and white.

I loved the movie The Last Picture Show, so I read its sequel Texasville when it came out. Its the only McMurtry I've read so far. McMurtry seems to like to write sequels - and prequels.

Interesting info, so good hosting so far, Blueberry,


message 13: by Blueberry (last edited Apr 01, 2019 07:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Blueberry (blueberry1) | 890 comments Thank you Brian. It makes me nervous to host. :)


message 14: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 11268 comments Mod
Fantastic information so far, Blueberry.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 202 comments I read this one just last year and LOVED it. So I will try to follow the discussions.


message 16: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Great job Blueberry! I always consider myself a McMurtry fan. I own 10 of his books including the The Berrybender Narratives series and the three companion books of Lonesome Dove.


message 17: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
I have seen the miniseries several times, so love picturing Duvall, Jones, Scott and Schroder as Im reading and getting reintroduced to the gritty characters of Hat Creek Cattle Company.


message 18: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
“If you read only one western novel in your life, read Lonesome Dove.”
—USA Today

"Lonesome Dove" is Larry McMurtry's loftiest novel, a wondrous work, drowned in love, melancholy, and yet, ultimately, exultant."
- Los Angeles Times

″As an amateur student of Texas history ... certainly in my opinion that’s the best novel that’s ever been written about early Texas - without any question."
- Governor Bill Clements of Texas


Blueberry (blueberry1) | 890 comments I never could finish the author's Terms of Endearment in book or film.


message 20: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Me either Blueberry! the book that is...not seen the movie.


message 21: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (last edited Apr 03, 2019 03:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Even though this is my 3rd time reading...character building and getting to know each of their personalities is an important step in this story. Learning the type of person each character is and how they relate to each other helps immensely and none are just passing through. (Slipped my mind)

It does take a few chapters to get through this part but by than you should already be having a hard time setting it aside!


message 22: by Pam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 148 comments I read the book and watched the mini-series last summer! I loved both of them. There is one really shocking scene (I won’t say what) in the book. In the mini-series, it was a cliff-hanger at the end of an episode. It was soooo dramatic and well done! I will never get that image, when they froze the scene, out of my mind! I plan to read more of the books in the series eventually.


message 23: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (last edited Apr 04, 2019 10:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Feel free to join in any of the conversation over the next few months Pam! Im trying to think of that moment but I can actually picture a couple of those...hmmm.


message 24: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Gus and Call's tussle over the Hat Creek sign gives you a good idea what the two men are about.
The Motto!!! lol


Blueberry (blueberry1) | 890 comments Attesting to the continued popular of Lonesome Dove; I have four library systems on my tablet's Overdrive and still had to put it on hold. It wasn't available at a one of them.


message 26: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Oh Blueberry that is so sad.

I am enjoying getting to know Augustus again, I adore his character. Charming (for real) and loves to talk and talk!


message 27: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Call has been hiring hands and some of them from local farm families so are quite young and each seems to have their own issues about the process of becoming a hand.

Lonesome Dove is really in second part a coming of age story of Newt Dobbs who has no real idea who his father is. Newt hopes it's Jake or even Gus, but was told it was a man with the last name of Dobbs (but not true). He struggles with this daily.


message 28: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
The route from Texas to Montana is a very long journey which the characters are covering such a vast area and it is an inconvenience at best and danger at worst.


Blueberry (blueberry1) | 890 comments Who all is reading Lonesome Dove? My hold just came in so I will start it right after I finish Jamaica Inn.


message 30: by Brian (last edited Apr 12, 2019 03:28PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 4430 comments Blueberry wrote: "Who all is reading Lonesome Dove? My hold just came in so I will start it right after I finish Jamaica Inn."

I'm pretty much booked up for April and May so I was planning to read Lonesome Dove, along with Fathers and Sons, in June.


message 31: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Rosemarie will be later in the 3 months as well.


message 32: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
I cannot imagine that way of life, the every day struggles of just trying to exist.
Love most of the characters (Gus and Newt). A few irate me, for what I feel like is stupidity and selfishness.
Starting the III part.


Blueberry (blueberry1) | 890 comments http://www.criminalelement.com/revisi...

I liked this article though some of the info wasn't new.


message 34: by Tracey (last edited May 03, 2019 03:22AM) (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) | 1371 comments I will be reading it but there is only 1 copy at my library and I am 5th in line for it. As Captain Oates said, I may be some time.


message 35: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
It is pretty popular and hard to find a copy.

Im lucky Ive owned my copy since release.


message 36: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Im sorry to say I have not read anything in the last couple weeks except Directives from the Secretary of State!

I hope to get back to Gus and Call here shortly.


Brian Reynolds | 4430 comments I just started the book and, though I never watched the miniseries, I was aware it was Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones as Gus and Call. After the opening chapter, I was picturing Jones as the tall, lanky Gus and Duvall as the shorter Call since Jones is 6' and Duvall is 5'9." But when I checked on IMDb, I saw the casting was the reverse. It obviously worked well, as I'll find out as the characters develop, so I'll just try not to visualize the height differences.


message 38: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Actually Brian, it originally was suppose to be that way but after Robert Duvall read the book, he wanted to play Gus, and the roles were switched.


message 39: by Brian (last edited May 16, 2019 08:19PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 4430 comments Lesle wrote: "Actually Brian, it originally was suppose to be that way but after Robert Duvall read the book, he wanted to play Gus, and the roles were switched."

It makes sense that Duvall could choose since he was the bigger star at the time. Thanks for the info, Lesle


message 40: by Brian (last edited May 21, 2019 11:45AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 4430 comments FINISHED CHAPTER 17

Lesle wrote: "...I have loved this book and movie from the release. (Movie: I am a huge Robert Duvall fan. Duvall turned down the role of Woodrow Call so h..."

I see you had pointed to the casting move very early in this thread. However, after 185 pages, I still find myself sometimes picturing Duvall as Call and Jones as Gus and have to correct myself.

I am enjoying the book thus far. I enjoy many of the character descriptions and terms used. I finished a scene concerning a sexual act that could have been done erotically but not with McMurtry using such terms as "poke" and "carrot." Makes me smile instead.


message 41: by Blueberry (last edited May 22, 2019 09:06AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Blueberry (blueberry1) | 890 comments I thought all of his characters were so wonderfully drawn and filled in, not just the main ones.


message 42: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
His characters draw a great picture of their personalities and are complete.

The first time I ran across "poke" and "carrot" I could have died, wow what a way to explain the sex, but than, could you see Gus saying it any other way?

Gus often makes me snicker!


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Lesle wrote: "Call has been hiring hands and some of them from local farm families so are quite young and each seems to have their own issues about the process of becoming a hand.

Lonesome Dove is really in sec..."


Lesle, I liked that aspect of the book too. It's a tough job for such young men - or old ones for that matter. It was cool to see them gain confidence along the way, and it was heartbreaking when some didn't make it.

It was funny to recognize behaviors and egos that you'd see in any other workplace. Everyone wants a little recognition, and some get annoyed when someone else gets more of it than they do. One guy felt that a task was beneath him if it required him to get off his horse.

Newt's story was one of my favorites in this book. After I read the book I watched the miniseries, and I thought Ricky Shroeder did at great job. The relationship between Newt and Call was very interesting to watch (and you really had to watch Newt's face).


message 44: by NancyJ (last edited May 22, 2019 11:58PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) Lesle wrote: "Claire, I appreciate your opinion, it is probably an American thing as it is in most all list and it is also in our category of 30 years or older for FWC (Frontier Western Adventure Classics).

It..."


I read this last summer along with The Great American Read group, and I really loved it. The GAR group reads a big book each quarter, and this was the first and perhaps most popular. The group is now one year old, and we're still discussing the books on the list. (The current books include And Then There Were None, and Count of Monte Cristo.) I agree with your note that the list isn't limited to books BY Americans, rather it was the result of a huge survey asking people to list their favorite books.

I tried to watch the Lonesome Dove miniseries years ago when it first came out, but I could never get into it. The book was much more interesting to me (as usual) because it gave more of the character's stories and thoughts. As soon as I finished reading the book, I started watching the miniseries, which was so much better because I read the book.

I really liked the bit in the book about the Latin phrase on the sign.

The GAR group read both Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn recently, so I look forward to joining the discussions here.


message 45: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
NancyJ I totally agree. Book first than Mini Series. The books depth is hard to explain and I think you hit it pretty well.

I hope others at some point read this story about the complexity of how America was. Such a hard struggle for them to set their foot down and have the life they wanted and desired.


message 46: by Brian (last edited May 26, 2019 02:20PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 4430 comments FINISHED CHAPTER 39

I've enjoyed the introduction of the side plot characters of July, Joe, Elmira and Roscoe. It's nice to have an occasional scene change and Roscoe's tale adds a bit of humor, especially when the cattle drive gets serious.
I liked the vignette of Roscoe and Louisa Brooks* where Louisa says:

"... we oughta get married. What I like about you is you're quiet...also, you're skinny. If you don't last, you'll be easy to bury. I've buried enough husbands to take such things into account."

Louisa's a good practical woman.

*almost the same as actress Louise Brooks, inspiration for Liza Minelli's Sally Bowles and the novel The Invention of Morel


Blueberry (blueberry1) | 890 comments Brian wrote: "FINISHED CHAPTER 39

I've enjoyed the introduction of the side plot characters of July, Joe, Elmira and Roscoe. It's nice to have an occasional scene change and Roscoe's tale adds a bit of humor, e..."


Ha, love it 😆


message 48: by Brian (last edited May 29, 2019 05:33PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 4430 comments FINISHED CHAPTER 66 (about 60% of book) ***SPOILERS***

Wow, the tale sure has taken a dark, but realistic, turn with the loss of several characters. While there are many causes of death at the time, place and activity of the book's setting, it is still a bit surprising at times. In this case, snakebites, hail and Indian outlaw.
Perhaps it is best for the story as, besides adding realistic drama and intensifying the evilness of the prime bad guy, there were almost too many different characters and storylines. But I will miss many of the characters, including the advantageously thin Roscoe, but especially Janie. I was curious about the scene if she would ever meet up with the cattle drive and Call.
Now, the story moves on toward Ogallah, Nebraska, a town I once spent the night in, before I went on and visited the Willa Cather sites in Red Cloud, Nebraska.


Brian Reynolds | 4430 comments FINISHED PART II, CHAPTER 74 (2/3 of book) *SPOILERS*

The hangings are a fitting and inevitable end to a part filled with death. If it seems a bit unfair, even today most states have felony murder where accomplices can be held liable for a killing that another committed during a felony, though they can't be subject to capital punishment for it. What is fair may depend on the time, place and setting. This here is frontier justice.

I've enjoyed the book so far and the only real surprise is how much Gus is the central character and Call a supporting one. It seems like as much or more of the story is seen through Lorie, Newt and others as with Call. No wonder Duvall preferred to play Gus. Besides being a more interesting challenge for him as an actor, Gus is the true lead.


message 50: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7539 comments Mod
Chapter 85
Newt ends up in a mess with some soldiers and Dish over horses in front of Gus and Call. Call actually feels an anger he hasn’t felt in many years and charges headlong into the middle of it all.
Worried like any father would when his son was in trouble. He doesn’t recognize that’s what causes the anger, but there’s no doubt that’s the reason.


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