Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Review: Comanche Moon by Larry McMurtry

Well, I've finally reached the end, and what a sweet ride it's been! I've really loved all of the novels in Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove tetralogy. I read them in publication order, which made Comanche Moon, second in chronological order, number four. This novel took me longer to finish than any of the others, but not because it wasn't as good. It was truly as awesome as the other three. But, for some reason, I couldn't get into the mood to read for most of the last couple of months. When I DID sit down to read it, the book captured my attention, and, as with the others, I couldn't put it down.

***Mild spoilers ahead!!!***

Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call are back, with further adventures as Texas Rangers holding down the frontier on the cusp of the Civil War. This book also introduces Captain Inish Scull and his lust-crazed wife, Inez, who were two of my favorite characters. We get to see some of the as yet missing part of Call's life - his relationship with the whore Maggie and the birth of their son, Newt. Making a reappearance in this book are the Indians Kicking Wolf and Buffalo Hump, as well as Buffalo Hump's son, Blue Duck, who later becomes one of the most ruthless outlaws in Texas. The action oscillates between the Native Americans, dealing with the end of their era as free peoples, with the encroachment of the white settlers, the extinction of the buffalo, and the movement of the Indians onto reservations, following the Civil War. It follows Scull, who is captured by the Black Vaquero in Mexico...can he escape? How? It traces Call and McCrae's years as Rangers, each man rising to the rank of captain.

Once again, McMurtry's characters carry the story. I've loved the character of Gus McCrae since I first came across him in Lonesome Dove, and he is the same old Gus in this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to visit with him again, although I was dreading the end of the novel, because there were no more. However, there's nothing to prevent me from going back and reading these again whenever I feel like it! I give this installment four out of five Whatevers, since it didn't hold my attention like the others. But it's absolutely worth the read, especially if you've read any of the other books!

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