- Series: Lonesome Dove
- Mass Market Paperback: 960 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books (December 15, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 067168390X
- ISBN-13: 978-0671683900
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.7 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1,429 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lonesome Dove Mass Market Paperback – December 15, 1988
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Larry McMurtry, in books like The Last Picture Show, has depicted the modern degeneration of the myth of the American West. The subject of Lonesome Dove, cowboys herding cattle on a great trail-drive, seems like the very stuff of that cliched myth, but McMurtry bravely tackles the task of creating meaningful literature out of it. At first the novel seems the kind of anti-mythic, anti-heroic story one might expect: the main protagonists are a drunken and inarticulate pair of former Texas Rangers turned horse rustlers. Yet when the trail begins, the story picks up an energy and a drive that makes heroes of these men. Their mission may be historically insignificant, or pointless--McMurtry is smart enough to address both possibilities--but there is an undoubted valor in their lives. The result is a historically aware, intelligent, romantic novel of the mythic west that won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Weaves a dense web of subplots involving secondary characters and out-of-the-way places, with the idea of using the form of a long old-fashioned realistic novel to create an accurate picture of life on the American frontier. . . . The Great Cowboy Novel. -- New York Times Book Review, Nicholas Lemann
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That said, this is a great Western saga, and may give the best portrayal of characters who lived during the post civil war era in Texas. I will re-read it, which means this is a great book. I highly recommend the audible version. Lee Horseley is superb.
My only problem with this book and all American westerns is the negative light attributed to most Native American Indians during this period.
I highly recommend fans of the epic western also read "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown who deftly tells a story we were never supposed to hear. It's tragic, it's the truth and we owe a debt to tell and retell the story of their lives and their typically beautiful culture, which the American government betrayed time and again.
Of course, the characters portrayed here are complex as all humans are -- I do not mean to purport that there were no sociopaths among the natives.
Despite that huge disparity, I am indebted to this author for taking me on the trip of a lifetime.
Most recent customer reviews
He's characters were so descriptive and interesting.
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.