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Lonesome Dove: A Novel Paperback – June 15, 2010
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Silent Corner" by Dean Koontz
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“If you read only one western novel in your life, read Lonesome Dove.”—USA Today
“Everything about Lonesome Dove feels true . . . These are real people, and they are still larger than life.”—Nicholas Lemann, The New York Times Book Review
“Lonesome Dove is Larry McMurtry’s loftiest novel."—Los Angeles Times
"A marvelous novel . . . moves with joyous energy . . . amply imagined and crisply, lovingly written. I haven't enjoyed a book more this year . . . a joyous epic."--Newsweek
"The finest novel that McMurtry has yet accomplished . . . Lonesome Dove has all the action anyone could possibly imagine . . . [and] both in general and in details, the authority of exact authenticity . . . superb."--Chicago Tribune
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is a masterpiece. It's captivating and, frankly, quite remarkable. It's more than a western. It's more than a novel. It's a wonderfully thought-out story about America in an almost mythical time with so much depth and so many layers that reward readers over and over again. The story, in fact, has so much depth and so many layers, that it would be easy for a reader to miss the one consistent, central theme of the story. Thus the reader must work attentively through it just as the cowboys must, lest they find themselves lost looking for the Powder River in a mighty dust storm. The story is powerful both because it is wonderfully fantastic and because it is frighteningly real. The essence of much of our world can be related or explained by the narrative in an enduring way.
McMurtry does a wonderful time with all of his characters. Main characters, supporting characters, passing throw-away extras -- all of them. He doesn't waste time (yours or his) with any conversation or internal monologue that doesn't give insight through forming or developing that character as the story evolves. You'll see every situation from multiple points of view. You'll be shown honesty and delusion, naivety and wisdom, love and dependence, hate and despair. It can be heart-breaking. At times, I'm certain, it's supposed to be (if you're paying attention). You will both know and be bewildered by these characters, just like the people in your life.
The book is not the typical western. It at no point has the processed and canned feel of a writer following a formula.
So, to those who don't think they'll like it because they didn't like other westerns: Don't worry. It's different. Read it.
And to those who like westerns: Don't worry. This is better than probably any you've read. Read it.
This novel is a wonderful read of simple folks, living in a simpler, but very hard times, in our country's history. The complexity of trying to understand these folks way of thinking ( and at times rather frustrating ) one must remember that our great, great, grand parents lived in a west - that was not gained or tamed. This is not only a Western story of its 1865's+ inhabitants, it is a story of that sprit which lives deep inside of everyone of us, who loves this country.
The most gratifying parts to me is how the author portrayed the environment, which was than.
There is some confusion to this Texas boy, where in the world Lonesome Dove could be located in south Texas. Knowing all of south Texas, it just din't jibe.
One must read 'Centennial' to have a better appreciation of Gus and Call's adventures to Yellowstone.
Sadly, I cannot give it a five star, which it deserves: because; there is no real conclusion. All 5 star novels satisfies when the last page turns.
Sorry for the broken paragraphs and horrible grammar, please don't 'poke' me for it. (read the story).