What impresses me most about this book is that the fates of the characters are neither cornily predictable nor deliberately surprising. The book's great length allows life to happen to them as it happens to all of us. We have the leisure to observe them carefully, and we are gl The account of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. We have the leisure to observe them carefully, and we are glad that we have come along for the "drive.
View all 20 comments. Shelves: , favorites , own , western , classic. Are you looking for the most Western book ever? If so, Lonesome Dove better be in your search! This was a fantastic epic journey! I am glad I took this one slowly over the course of several months so that I could savor it. That must have been a chore! Every chapter was a story in itself, every page added to the characters, atmosphere, drama, etc. No filler. No boring parts.
Everything Are you looking for the most Western book ever? Everything in Lonesome Dove is there for a reason and helps to make this one of the best Westerns ever. The Story — The American West was not clean. The American West was not forgiving. This book does not pull any punches when it comes to setting the mood for what life was really like as the American West was settled. Cowboys, bandits, whore houses, fur trappers, buffalo hunters, Native Americans, etc. Those things did happen, so when telling stories about them, it is easy to do it wrong and make a book uncomfortable to read.
I did not feel that was the case here even when things were at their most shocking in this story. The Characters — So many wonderful and interesting characters! I love that McMurtry took the time to flesh all of them out and make sure that even some of the minor characters have more heart and soul than some of the main characters in other books.
And, part of what is great about this is how real the characters are; they are not written so we think all the good guys are perfect or all the bad guys are bad. You soon realize that anything is possible for any character and nothing feels forced to make a point. The movement of all the lives together is very organic. Needless to say, a very satisfying character study.
The Atmosphere — You want to feel like you are in the Old West. Read this book. Summary — I am sure by now you can tell this book blew me away. I would highly recommend it, but it may not be for everyone. If you are not a fan of Epics, it is probably not for you. If you have a hard time with real, raw, and often not pretty scenes in books, this also may not be for you not quite as bad as Cormac McCarthy in Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West , but still pretty intense!
If you are fans of books like Gone with the Wind by Mitchell or Centennial by Michener and you have not read this book, you must! You really, really, really must read this book! View all 89 comments. This is a book I first read twenty-five years ago. The heart does not translate well to the page. Maybe the most difficult thing in discussing Lonesome Dove is conveying how a novel about a cattle drive — the subject of countless B-westerns — can mean so much.
This is not just an instance of an author taking genre material and doing it really well. If that makes any sense. On one level, this is a familiar novel. All the touchstones of a cowboy western are present. There are nighttime raids into Mexico, and Indian fights, and outlaw gangs. On the trail, the men of the Hat Creek Cattle Company have to contend with ornery cattle, wild rivers, and sudden storms, not to mention a fearsome desperado named Blue Duck.
All that, however, is only incident to the central storyline: the platonic love story of two men. It is their co-dependent some would argue destructive relationship that drives the plot and gives Lonesome Dove its sometimes staggering power. It is worth noting that McMurtry adapted the screenplay for Brokeback Mountain , a less platonic love story between two cowboys. When the novel opens, they are running a middling cattle company in the border town of Lonesome Dove, Texas.
We begin with Gus McCrae, making biscuits for breakfast: It was tribute enough to sunup that it could make even chaparral bushes look beautiful, Augustus thought, and he watched the process happily, knowing it would only last a few minutes. The sun spread reddish-gold light through the shining bushes, among which a few goats wandered, bleating.
Even when the sun rose above the low bluffs to the south, a layer of light lingered for a bit at the level of the chaparral, as if independent of its source. Then the sun lifted clear, like an immense coin. The dew quickly died, and the light that filled the bushes like red dust dispersed, leaving clear, slightly bluish air. Which is an utterly classical way to open a novel. This is Jake Spoon, a garrulous, fun-loving man who likes to drink, gamble, and make love. In tone, Lonesome Dove is elegiacal.
It is set in the late s, sometime after the death of Custer, but before the final slaughter of Wounded Knee. The west is still wild, but the writing is on the wall. Civilization will out. An end of an era is coming. Augustus and Woodrow recognize this. They are aging themselves, and much of the time, McMurtry is taking his story in two directions. While his characters physically move towards Montana, they are also traveling back in time, to the choices they made as younger versions of themselves.
Lonesome Dove is driven as much by character as plot. The plot itself is wide-ranging, with several disconnected storylines gradually merging into climatic moments. Woodrow Call is the emotionally constipated leader, a hard, rigid man with a strict code of honor, who hates rude behavior and cannot tolerate weakness — especially his own. The Hat Creek Cattle crew is also joined by a former piano player, a couple of stray Irishmen, and some intrepid pigs. This is a masculine world, but there are a couple major female roles.
The first belongs to Lorena, a prostitute in Lonesome Dove who accompanies the cattle drive to Montana. At first blush, she seems a tired type, the whore with a heart of gold. She does not always have control of events, yet she maintains her agency. She knows what she wants and does not want and acts accordingly. She is a character worthy of Gus in every way, and is one of the few people who can steal a scene back from him. She is blunt and brash and caught in the tangled webs of the past, like everyone else.
Her native sense makes her a bit of a Greek chorus, commenting on Gus and Woodrow and the consequences of their relationship. The amazing thing about all these characters, even the walk-ons, is that they feel real.
They have depth. They do not always make the right choices. They do not always do the right things. They can be stubborn. They can be prickly. They are not always likeable. Frequently, they can be downright frustrating. There are exceptions. Some of the characters are absurdities, because McMurtry has a bit of an eye for oddballs. Towering over them all is Augustus McCrae. He is, I am confident in saying, one of the best characters in the history of American letters.
He is a raconteur, the man who always has something to say about everything. He is both hard-bitten and starry-eyed; a pragmatist and a romantic. And he is filled with wisdom. The healthy way is to learn to like the everyday things, like soft beds and buttermilk—and feisty gentlemen. None of us is such fine judges of what to do. A man that likes to rent pigs won't be stopped. Nevertheless, they have real affection for each other, even though, as Clara notes, they might have been better off missing each other completely.
Lonesome Dove perfectly balances its tone. It is, at times, a realistic western with a mythical overlay. In other moments, though, it is pure myth, proudly brimming with archetypal tropes. The world of Lonesome Dove can be violent and grim and dark.
It can be nostalgic. It can be funny and sly. It can be farcical. It can be plaintive and mournful. There is a hint or two of magical realism. As with many of the great epics, it refuses to be pegged as one thing; instead, it is all these things, like the world is all these things.
My paperback version is nearly pages long, and with that kind of heft, you might expect McMurtry to say something profound about the complex arc of our national history. Instead, he centers his insights on people.
Specifically, we are here to learn how to live from Augustus McCrae. View all 21 comments. This is one of my favoritest books ever. It has the bonus of not only being an incredible book but also having an excellent companion piece in the television mini-series based on it that is one of the great all-time fusions of print and film.
It only managed to take best director and a few other technical prizes. Worse yet, none of the actors nominated won. Hey, Emmy voters of ! Why do I say the story is perfect? Start with the characters. Gus also delights in giving Call grief about young Newt, a boy they took in after the death of his mother. Their dull routine is broken when their old friend and fellow ex-Ranger Jake Spoon shows up. Jake, who is another candidate to be Newt's dad, is looking for a hiding place after accidentally shooting a man in Arkansas, and he fears that the sheriff, July Johnson, will be after him.
He wants to be the first to drive a herd to the Montana territory and start a ranch there. Call soon has started hiring men and stealing Mexican cattle for the drive. Gus says that Call is going to get them all killed just to have another adventure in a wild frontier, but he goes along to see his old sweetheart Clara who is living in Nebraska.
This book has everything that anyone could want in a story. And all of this is set during those last moments when America was still half-wild and anyone with the gumption to do so could throw together a herd of cattle and go out into the wilderness to make history or lose their scalp. View all 56 comments. Mar 26, Swaroop rated it it was amazing Shelves: favourites. A masterpiece! I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.
Lonesome Dove is a brilliant and epic journey of adventure, love, friendship, loyalty, loss and resilience that everyone should go through! A memorable experience you will never forget. Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call who retire as captains from the Rangers and then, in the town of Lonesome Dove, start their own outfit called Hat Creek Cattle Company, along with a few of their friends and also two pigs. This journey forms the basis of the story, however, there is much more in the core and depths of this incredibly well-written epic saga.
This story tells us that the world is so small, we will all cross paths and are connected in some way or the other. It is about standing up for yourself and also for what is the right thing to do. The most important part is about protecting our people and those who believe and have trust in us, irrespective of their race and background. You know more than you say and I say more than I know.
That means we're a perfect match, as long as we don't hang around one another more than an hour at a stretch. Sedgwick said. The moving waters are ever a beautiful sight. The bones were piled so high, it seemed to him Aus Frank must have a ladder to use in his piling, though he saw no sign of one. Down the river a quarter of a mile there was another pyramid, just as large. But the life is lost for good.
I am happy, but life is sad. The sky is your wife. View all 67 comments. Feb 17, Paul Bryant rated it it was amazing Shelves: modern-western , novels. He never trips or stumbles. As you know this is the enormous story of a big old cattle drive from Texas to Montana. Bits get added on here and there but the main idea is to get these thousands of cows across miles of dangerous ter Revived review RIP Larry McMurtry 3 June - 25 March He described Lonesome Dove as a "pretty good book".
Bits get added on here and there but the main idea is to get these thousands of cows across miles of dangerous territory, through sandstorms, blizzards, bandits, droughts, through Indian nations, across rivers, via grizzly bears and hardly a single town in sight the whole way. If they needed lunch they shot it. There are a couple of things that might set modern readers on edge a bit. Nearly all the female characters are or were whores their term.
Gus shot a few. There is an awful lot of loping in this book. Horses never canter or gallop or trot, they lope. Loping is also done by coyotes, wolves and men. There is one of the greatest ninja warrior manic dream pixie girls, a wild child called Janey. You might not think, but it does. I got tired of listening. What do you say? He knows the cowboys would pull the tails. A little later the Company of the Ring is formed nine members.
In Lonesome Dove the two ex-Rangers put together a Company themselves for their epic task - seven members. All either good or great. Then Clint Eastwood rescued the whole genre. Then Hollywood and tv mostly got tired of the Western. But now these modern writers have kicked the whole thing back into life. View all 28 comments.
This was such a surprisingly wonderful read, well beyond the traditional stereotypes of westerns with realistic, lovable and hateful characters and an incredible scenario. I am not sure how to present my review of this page masterpiece. Perhaps we start with the town of Lonesome Dove itself. It is a small settlement next to the Mexican border.
There is the Hat Creek crew with their horses a collection of which is a remuda and cattle. In charge of the crew are Captain Woodrow Call and Cap This was such a surprisingly wonderful read, well beyond the traditional stereotypes of westerns with realistic, lovable and hateful characters and an incredible scenario.
They are longtime friends and former Texas Rangers one whose squad was also the somewhat dim hand Pea Eye Parker and the Mexican cook Bolivar. There is a younger man Newt that was adopted by the crew after his mother, a local prostitute named Maggie passed away I believe her story is told in Comanche Moon. There are a few other ranches around and the downtown is just a handful of shops and the local saloon, the Dry Bean which is also the local whorehouse both owned and run by Frenchman Xavier Wanz.
In the whorehouse, Lorena Wood is a rather silent prostitute living at the Dry Bean with a sad, long backstory that landed her in Lonesome Dove. Augustus is one of her kinder and more generous customers. Lippy, who has a droopy lip and a hole in his stomach, plays the "pian-er" and serves as comic relief in the bar. Into this picture, Dishwater Boggett, a local cowhand, rides in and falls head over heels with Lorena, who barely notices his existence.
But the entire plot is set into inexorable motion with the arrival of former Ranger and colleage of Call and Gus, Jake Spoon - gambler, lady's man, and alcoholic. Naturally, Lorena immediately falls head over heels in love with him, giving up on the "sporting life.
The idea being to "open" and "settle" the land there with a few thousand head of cattle these will be stolen from Mexico by the crew. This idea, initially panned by Gus, is, for somewhat inexplicable reasons at first, picked up by Call and becomes an obsession. He decides to make the drive and thus the story begins in earnest.
Since the rest of the book is the trek from Texas to Montana, we need to add to this picture a few other important characters: - July Johnson - a sheriff in Fort Smith, Arkansas whose brother was mistakenly killed by Jake Spoon, thus explaining his presence, somewhat clandestine, in Texas. He is married to Elmira who is unbeknownst to him a former prostitute still in love with her last pimp, Dee Boot.
He has a deputee Roscoe Brown and a son named Joe. At the beginning of Part 2 Part 1 being dedicated to the organization and start of the cattle drive , July and Joe set out to capture Jake Spoon and bring him to justice and Roscoe is tasked with "watching" Elmira who takes off on a whiskey boat to find her beau, Dee.
She has two daughers, Sally and Betsey and a dying husband, Bill. She is strong-willed, quick-tongued and excellent with horses. He kills and rapes with no remorse and is a formidable antagonist for Gus and his capture of Lorena is a key pivot in the plot. The thing that strikes the reader is how the book avoids stereotypes. Despite having played a major role in destroying the place of Indians in the West and reducing the survivors to either crime or starvation as we see repeatedly in the book , Gus realizes this and questions which side was truly in their rights, who really belonged on the land and sees the mechanics of how the scheme worked.
Here is Gus about settling the West: "Why, women and children and settlers are just cannon fodder for lawyers and bankers," Augustus said. After the Indians wipe out enough of them, you get your public outcry, and we go chouse the Indians out of the way.
If they keep coming back then the Army takes over and chouses them worse. Finally the Army will manage the whip 'em down to where they can be squeezed onto some reservation, so the lawyers and bankers can come in and get civilisation started. Every bank in Texas ought to pay us a commission for the work we done. If we hadn't done it, all the bankers would still be back in Georgia, living on poke salad and turnip greens.
Just look at it from a nature standpoint. If you've got enough snakes around the place, you won't be overrun with rats and varmints. The way I see it, the Indians and the bandits have the same job to do. Let them be and you won't constantly be having to ride around these dern settlements.
I think we spent our best years fighting on the wrong side. He even lost the sense that he was a cowboy, the strongest sense he had to work with. He was just a fellow with a glass in his hand, who life had suddenly turned to mud. During the drive, they are hit by misfortunes of Biblical proportions: one is killed after stepping in a nest of snakes in a river, another having been struck by lightning, the crew is hit with sandstorms, locust storms, and hail storms.
At one point, the surly Bolivar quits the company and they hire Po Campo later on to replace him. This is a good moment to point out the many moments of humor in the book - the rivalry between Gus and Po as the team's primary sources of entertainment was a great on-going joke. Po Campo is a Mexican character who walks beside the wagon all the way north being the closest to nature of all of them. In the narrative, the drive continues, the destinies of Roscoe and Joe and Elmira play out against a background of the drive making it across to Montana with wonderful descriptions the great west, technical explanations of the various aspects of cattle drives, and of course just great storytelling.
I hope this review encouraged you to pick up and read this classic if you never had, or to reread it if you have. I was moved by the depth of the characters, the refusal of McMurtry to water down the violence or succumb to empty stereotypes or a Hollywood ending.
While being faithful to aspects of the classic western, McMurtry surpassed the genre to create a real masterpiece of American literature that is enduring and beautiful. I am watching the TV series again with my kids 10 and 13 and we all nearly cried at the end of the first episode. Just wish we had seen the rancher that Gus had that hilarious exchange about renting pigs with. Definitely worth seeking out the TV show. One of the rare adaptations to the small screen that came close to the perfection of the book.
This first episode ends with the cattle drive over the Nueces River and the first tragedy of many along the route. The second episode deals a lot with Blue Duck, Gus and Lorrie. I think they could have cast someone a bit more Heath Ledger-ish as Blue Duck as well as for Monkey John and Ermoke because the characters in the book were far more wicked and well-drawn. Episode two draws to a close as Gus comfort Lorrie. We also finally meet Clara in Ogalalla. The last episode deals with, well, the end of the book and is full of beauty in Montana as well as the death of some important characters for whom my entire family was in tears.
It did not vary much from the book other than skipping the epic bull-grizzly fight and giving a slightly different final scene. Overall, it was an extraordinary TV show and was nearly a perfect reflection of the book. Duvall and Lee Jones are absolutely splendid and there are more great lines here than in the last 7 Star Wars movies combined.
View all 34 comments. Jun 17, Elyse Walters rated it it was amazing. Pulitzer Prize winner: It turned out to be so darn good I was crushed when it was over. I recently learned another season will be returning. I just finished the first Pulitzer Prize winner: I just finished the first two seasons. I am thankful for the time spent inside this masterpiece. I can now understand why this book left a mark on the world!
Special thanks to Lloyd, Alli, and Cheri View all 79 comments. Sep 07, Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it Shelves: adventure , fiction , epic , united-states , pulitzer-prize , 20th-century , historical , classics , literature , love-strories. Movies adapted from McMurtry's works earned 34 Oscar nominations 13 wins. His Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Lonesome Dove, was adapted into a television miniseries that earned 18 Emmy Award nominations seven wins.
The subsequent three novels in his Lonesome Dove series were adapted as three more miniseries, earning eight more Emmy nominations. View 1 comment. Apr 01, Julie G rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorite-books , book-club , the-long-walk , big-sky-montana , you-ll-need-a-hankie , westward-ho , pulitzer-prize-for-fiction-winner , worthy-of-another-read , i-ll-never-be-the-same , don-t-mess-with-texas.
Looking for the Great American Novel? It's right here. Read this book before you die. It's as simple as that. View all 49 comments. Shelves: prize-winners , top , lets-get-real , killer-prose , i-said , to-the-island. Hands Down my Favourite Book in First of all the physical; the book I see looking up at me from my coffee table. It looks worn, well thumbed, well read, pages and cover alike, beginning to curl up, and soiled by use.
Well that and all the casual I take books with me acquaintances, to the one, they all had to pick it up, look it over. It may look well rode, but it still feels soft, warm and pliant in my hand. I long to go back……. When Augustus came out on the porch the blue pigs were eating a rattlesnake — not a very big one.
It had probably just been crawling around looking for shade when it ran into the pigs. They were having a fine tug-of-war with it, and its rattling days were over. The sow had it by the neck and the shoat by the tail. Pigs on the porch just made things hotter and things were already hot enough. He stepped down into the dusty yard and walked around to the springhouse to get his jug. The sun was still high, sulled in the sky like a mule, but Augustus had a keen eye for sun, and to his eye the long light from the west had taken on an encouraging slant.
And so it begins. I have read a number of different reviews; many of which discuss how long it took for them to get invested in the story. It has been quite a journey. Make no mistake; I spent time with all of the Hat Creek Cattle Company, not just the ex-rangers, as they drove their herd out of Texas and across the Great Plains, bound for Montana. I pined with Dish, listened to the Irish sing, and the remuda nicker and whinny. I ate dust with Newt on the heels of the herd and scouted for water and crossings with Deets.
I was there for the water moccasins, the grizzlies and the cloud of grasshoppers, not to mention Blue Duck, one of the most frightening, sinister men ever ; he made the hair on the back of my neck, my arms and everywhere else stand, stock still at attention. I am just skimming the surface here, there are others with tales to tell, like July Johnson, the painfully shy sheriff from Arkansas, searching for his wife and Clara, the dark haired beauty with the scorching tongue in Nebraska, who may just sear you with her words.
But back at the fire I would curl up and listen to Gus talk, reassured by his very presence, as we have a drink, play a hand or two and prepare to bed down. Amid all the words, in all the books, on all of the pages I have ever travelled, never before have I met a man so damn finely crafted, so carefully rendered, so agonizingly authentic as Augustus McCrae.
It is as though I know him for real. I enjoy his company and even now, miss his conversation. Yes, I want to go back……….. I god, folks, seriously, what is happening here? I do not read westerns. Fact is, were I not a member of this wonderful on line community of book lovers, chances are pretty good that I would never have read this book. Do not make that mistake and yes, I Thank You one and all!
I approached Lonesome Dove with some trepidation. Investing a few weeks could have been risky The plot is full of incident and high excitement, the human stories are emotionally gripping and there is a lovely, wry humour throughout. The book is also surprisingly brutal in places. Life is often I approached Lonesome Dove with some trepidation. Most of the book concerns a cattle drive, a great, messy, lumbering affair that acts as a backdrop to the lives and loves of the characters.
As the outfit navigate their way across thousands of inhospitable miles without gps or weather forecasts, they are under constant threat from Indians, bandits and ill health - doctors are extremely rare. There are many white knuckle adventures along the way and survival is random and unpredictable.
The savage, untamed landscape also drives much of the story, as the ramshackle group traverse vast prairies, deserts and mesquite covered scrubland - through dust storms, droughts, monsoon like rain, snow and plagues of crickets. What most lingers in the memory though, are the people and their stories, the every day dramas and dreams of the Hat Creek outfit. Their strengths and failings, wisdom and fears, become important to the reader.
Like old friends I felt real affection for them An illusion or cliche certainly, but as the last lurid sunset colours the prairie and I close the book for the last time, I can definitely still hear their voices. Lonesome Dove is an immense and wonderfully sustained piece of writing View all 92 comments. Oct 25, Julie is on vacation- Happy Easter! A little background- I do not read westerns- with the occasional exception of western historical romances here and there over the years.
When it comes to movies or television shows- again, that would be a big, fat, no- except for the movie Tombstone. However, after reading a nonfictional book about Dodge City, I thought I might finally be ready to try a fictional western. Overwhelmingly, my Goodreads friends recommended I read this book- and one wonderful friend gave me a special nudge to get started on it sooner, rather than later- and I really, really appreciated that!! With the book weighing in at over nine-hundred pages, I thought I should wait for a time when I could read large portions of the book at a time and really digest it, because the praise heaped on this novel indicated it would demand my undivided attention.
As it turns out, life thew my family a few serious curveballs this past summer and I found myself struggling to keep up with everything, so I took a little sabbatical from social media, including Goodreads, and dove headlong into this unforgettable saga. But I will say, these characters, the landscape and scenery, and dialogue held me in thrall. I eventually became numb to it, though. The ending threw me a little at first, too. I rolled it around in my head for a while trying to make up my mind about it.
It is also one of the reasons why, after having finished the book months ago, I am just now attempting to verbalize my feelings- going back over everything that led to this crossroads of life for Call- and wondering if I was taking from the novel all that was intended. But, when you get right down to the nitty gritty, this novel has many of the elements I love in a good long saga that spans over a long period of time.
I love how the story takes readers on an adventure, giving the characters true tests of courage, and letting them develop in a way we don't see much of, these days. Naturally, these characters will endure hardships and tragedy along the way- and the reader is right there in the thick of it, experiencing every emotion up close and personal. Although I have read my fair share of long sagas, I have never experienced a book quite like this one.
The writing is rich and vibrant, but with a raw grit to it, that occasionally caused me to pause for time, but despite the pain, and anger, and sadness- there are moments of lightness, humor and laughter, and a deep poignancy makes this a novel that sticks with you for the long haul.
I will never, ever forget these characters, or the incredible storytelling in this novel! View all 60 comments. My first time reading a Pulitzer winner and it is truly an epic story in every sense. A book that left me happy, sad, angry, and teary at times. Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call are two retired rangers who run a cattle company in a small town called Lonesome Dove.
Whereas Augustus is very talkative Call is the opposite, talking only when it is necessary. An odd pair to be friends. Everything is going fine and suddenly out of nowhere an old friend, Jake Spoon, makes an appearance out of nowhere. Jake Spoon by mistake has murdered a doctor in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and is now wanted for same. How green it is and there is no one to claim it. Call gets all anxious to be to first to claim it and soon he starts his journey from Texas to Montana with some cattle.
I absolutely love the characters in the book. McMurtry has done a wonderful job in carving them. He has paid an equal attention to primary and secondary characters telling us about their backgrounds and how it effects their present. I laughed with them, I cried with them, felt their pain, indecisiveness, sometimes I hated them for their foolishness but in the end I loved them all.
Augustus McCrae, a non-stop talker, someone who can argue on a subject for countless hours. Fellow rangers worship him, though not for his talkativeness, but for he is a good man. I came to love his truthfulness and boldness. He is blunt but also helpful. Someone who keep his promises and has a good heart.
So a request to everyone who has this one on their tbr, please read it asap and if you don't have it on your tbr even then go ahead and read it for this is an awesome read. View all 13 comments. My introduction to the fiction of Larry McMurtry is Lonesome Dove , consistently ranked as one of the best westerns whether the conversation is print or television. Published the year of the Texas Sesquicentennial in and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction the following year, the magnum opus is a magnificent exploration of male friendship, with a dozen supporting characters of both genders who McMurtry could've dedicated a novella to and often attempts to over pages.
The bantering My introduction to the fiction of Larry McMurtry is Lonesome Dove , consistently ranked as one of the best westerns whether the conversation is print or television. The bantering becomes a beast of its own and the story padding crosses over into self-indulgence, but there's no question that there's a masterful novel in here.
Somewhere along the border of Texas and Mexico in the late s lies the town of Lonesome Dove, which consists of little more than a dry saloon and a livery stable. A two-time widower and a bachelor, respectively, the men lead Joshua Deets a black scout from their rangering days , Peaeye Parker an ex-ranger who is loyal but none too bright , Newt Dobbs the seventeen year old progeny of a prostitute and in all likelihood, Call and Bolivar an ill-tempered cook who enjoys clanging the dinner bell with a crowbar.
Having dedicated their prime to eliminating the threat of Comanche Indians or Mexican bandits to Texas, Gus and Call have spent nine years operating the Hat Creek Cattle Company, stabling horses, stealing fresh ones south of the border for sale and little else. When he's not drinking whiskey on the porch or jawing, Augustus visits the Dry Bean for a card game or a poke with the town's sporting lady, a cool blonde named Lorena Wood who dreams of traveling to San Francisco, but needs a dependable man to get her there.
Call, whose favorite pastime is sitting at the river crossing after dinner hoping he might catch a horse thief, hungers for a challenge. Call was not a man to daydream--that was Gus's department--but then it wasn't really daydreaming he did, alone on the little bluff at night. It was just thinking back to the years when a man who presumed to stake out a Comanche trail would do well to keep his rifle cocked.
Yet the fact that he had taken to thinking back annoyed him, too: he didn't want to start working over his memories, like an old man. Sometimes he would force himself to get up and walk two or three more miles up the river and back, just to get the memories out of his head. Not until he felt alert again--felt that he could still captain if the need arose--would he return to Lonesome Dove.
The next morning, Deets returns from San Antonio with Jake Spoon, a comrade from their rangering days whose love for ladies and aversion to work has led him to a career as a gambler. Jake had overstayed his welcome in Fort Smith, Arkansas when an argument with a mule skinner led to the accidental shooting of the town dentist, brother to the sheriff. Jake beats it to Lonesome Dove for the protection of his old friends. Lorena falls under the spell of the rogue, wounding the heart of a top cowhand named Dish Boggett who's in love with her, while Call is seduced by Jake's tales of pristine territory he's scouted in Montana, wide open to a ranching operation.
Receiving an order for forty horses from a cattleman driving his herd to Nebraska, the men cross into Mexico, where it's Call's mission to steal one hundred horses, buy some cattle and drive them to Montana to make their own fortune. Their stolen ponies collide with a herd driven south by horse thieves, multiplying their holdings. Call begins hiring hands and convinces Gus--who realizes there won't be anyone left to talk to but the pigs--to come along on the journey.
Jake prefers a card game to work or to keeping his promise to take Lorena to San Francisco, but Gus convinces him to accompany her and them as far as Denver, knowing it would satisfy Lorena, entertain himself and infuriate Call. Dangers on the trail include sand storms, stampedes, lightning strikes, nests of water moccasins in a swollen river and a barbarous Comanchero named Blue Duck, who abducts Lorena while Jake is off gambling.
Rescued by Gus, her recovery is complicated by the discovery that he intends to reunite with an old flame in Nebraska named Clara Allen, the love he never got over. His hapless deputy Roscoe Brown goes after them once his boss's wife Elmira Boot Johnson promptly vanishes, headed for Nebraska with buffalo hunters to find her first husband. The whiskey boat stank, and the men on it stank, but Elmira was not sorry she had taken the passage.
She had a tiny little cubbyhole among the whiskey casks, with a few planks and some buffalo skins thrown over it to keep the rain out, but she spent most of her time sitting at the rear of the boat, watching the endless flow of brown water. Some days were so hot that the air above the water shimmered and the shore become indistinct; others days a chill rain blew and she wrapped herself in one of the buffalo robes and kept fairly dry.
The rain was welcome, for it discouraged the fleas. They made her sleep uneasy, but it was a small price to pay for escaping from Fort Smith. She had lived where there were fleas before, and worse things than fleas. McMurtry's indulgences with epic storytelling and the tendency of his minor characters to behave like idiots--their misplaced devotion leading them on foolhardy quests in pursuit of lovers who want nothing more of them--seem to go hand in hand. I could have done without the July Johnson and Elmira Boot subplots.
McMurtry's banter as instigated by Gus is often amusing, sometimes profound, but there's too much of it. The overkill is balanced by the tremendous appeal of Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call, the archetypal visionary and practical man.
Their company is stocked with archetypes I recognized, co-workers who were far from Texas Rangers or even cowboys but exhibited many of the same qualities as Deets, Pea or Jake Spoon. McMurtry's facility with dialogue, character and description all brought to bear on Lonesome Dove. In addition to his terrific banter-- where men debate whether it is pigs or horses who are smarter or work through the great mysteries of women or death--I liked how devoted McMurtry was to exploring the relationship between two men.
Like a marriage, Gus and Call love each other, but are getting fed up. Francis Clay Mosby : It is, and I payed handsomely for the privilege. Sign In. Episode guide. The series revolved around the life and times of Newt Call as he set out to make his way in the world. Newt participated in some of the major events of the Western era while encountering som Read all The series revolved around the life and times of Newt Call as he set out to make his way in the world.
Newt participated in some of the major events of the Western era while encountering some of the frontier's legendary figures. Creator Brian Suskind. Top credits Creator Brian Suskind. See more at IMDbPro. Episodes Browse episodes. Top Top-rated.
Photos Top cast Edit. Eric McCormack Col. Francis Clay Mosby as Col. Francis Clay Mosby. Sam Vincent Dr. Cleese as Dr. Georgie Collins Mrs. Hackett as Mrs. Jack Elam Curtis as Curtis. Brian Suskind. More like this. Storyline Edit. Add content advisory.
Hidden categories: Pages using infobox television with unnecessary name parameter. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Add links. Drama Western. September 26, — May 16, September 26, May 29, September 21, May 16, October 3, October 10, October 17, October 24, October 31, November 7, November 14, November 21, November 28, January 30, February 6, February 13, February 20, February 27, April 24, May 1, May 8, May 15, May 22, September 28, October 5, October 19, November 9, November 16, Francis Clay Mosby.
Sam Vincent Dr. Cleese as Dr. Georgie Collins Mrs. Hackett as Mrs. Jack Elam Curtis as Curtis. Brian Suskind. More like this. Storyline Edit. Add content advisory. Did you know Edit. Quotes Josiah Peale : I could have sworn that was privileged information. User reviews 4 Review. Top review. Better than "The Outlaw Years". I thought it was a great show and was sorry to see it end.
It was much better than the later "Outlaw Years" episodes. They were just more enjoyable and was very well acted. Watch both and see what you think, and although many will disagree with me, I think that "The Series" surpassed "The Outlaw Years" by a long shot.
Rose Oct 23, Details Edit. Release date September 26, United States. Canada United States. Larry McMurtry's Tales of the Plains. Alberta, Canada. Technical specs Edit. Runtime 42 minutes. Related news.
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Lonesome Dove is an American epic Western adventure television miniseries directed by Simon Wincer. It is a four-part adaptation of the novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry and is the first installment in the Lonesome Dove series. The. Lonesome Dove: The Series The series revolved around the life and times of Newt Call as he set out to make his way in the world. Newt participated in some of. Lonesome Dove is an American epic Western adventure television miniseries directed by Simon Wincer. It is a four-part adaptation of the novel of the.