Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

I don't really have the words to describe this book. It was wonderful. I have had it on my reading list for years, but I hesitated to read it, because I don't read "Westerns" or "cowboy books." But now I wish I'd read it years ago, if only so I could go back and read it again.

"Epic" is a good word to describe it. "Alive" is another. The characters were all so real. In fact, Gus McCrae may be my new favorite character in literature. The story of Woodrow Call and Augustus McCrae and the Hat Creek Cattle Company, driving their cattle from Texas to Montana is a simple story, but with plenty of room for adventure. Each person they pick up along the way is unique, and all of their stories make for a great read.

It's hard to really summarize the plot. Gus and Call take a band of men on a cattle drive from south Texas north to Montana. That's about it. Lots of stuff happens on the way: people die, babies are born, people fall in happens. With Indians and bandits thrown in. And river crossings, and hangings, and all kinds of Wild West fun. It was like that computer game Oregon Trail in book form, but better.

So this book definitely gets five out of five Whatevers from me. It's actually book three in the Lonesome Dove tetralogy, but I decided to read the books in publication order, rather than chronological order. I have never seen the mini-series, but, after I've had a chance for the book to sink in, I might have to rent it. PLEASE go read this book. It's a chunkster, my copy weighing in at 858 pages, but it is well worth it. Now I can't wait to read the other three books!

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