Lonesome Dove is a dusty little Texas town where heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers embody the spirit and defiance of the last wilderness. Larry McMurtry's American epic, set in the late 19th century, tells the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, a drive that represents not only a daring foolhardy adventure, but a part of the American Dream for everyone involved. Lee Horsley, one of TV's most popular leading men and star of the Old West series Paradise, narrates this compelling saga.
Why we think it's Essential: I first listened to Lonesome Dove with some trepidation. Could the likeable star of TV's Matt Houston really handle McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-winning genre-transcending Western? I shouldn't have worried. Lee Horsley inhabits McMurtry's language and characters like a pair of trail-beaten boots, indulging the laid-back roughness of his own Texas roots to bring the tale of Gus McCrae, Woodrow Call, and the Hat Creek Outfit to spirited life. Ed Walloga
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Larry McMurtry wrote this book about twenty-five years ago. It is still amazing. No matter what you think about westerns, this book is so involving that, once you get into it a little ways, you will be so entertained that you will finish the book and never forget it. The book was made into a TV miniseries starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall. The series was way popular. Duvall said that it was the peak of his acting career. I had never heard of Lee Horsley, but he was a narrator with enough talent to do a great job; sometimes a great book gets a less-then-great narrator, and the product is not good. The plot of the book involves two famed Texas Rangers named Captain Woodrow Call and Captain Augustus MacRae. Both of these men are fascinating characters, and they develop throughout the book. They,and a bunch of cowboys whom they recruit, embark on an astounding cattle drive. From the Rio Grande (from the dusty, hot town that gives the book its name) north and west all the way to Montana, they drive 3000 head of cattle over and through many rivers, many threatening weather events (including lightning which literally strikes for hours, and strikes so strong that the eyes turn completely white; and the strikes are so close to the cowboys and to one other key character, a whore named Lorena, who is just as fascinating as the Captains) and other remarkable experiences. Have any of you ever been in a grasshopper cloud? The grasshoppers descend so quickly and in such large numbers that the cowboys and the horses are instantly breathing grasshoppers, beating them off their shirts, and discovering that their only option is to endure the torment for hours, until it is finally over. There is, as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas used to say, nowhere to run to, baby; nowhere to hide. The other unbelievable, and often fatal peril, is Indians. They were not called Native Americans in the late 1800s. The men, the worst of them, were brutal, terrifying killers. They stalked across the plains, and anywhere else they lived, and their lives were so brutal, their hatred for the white man (and one black man in the cast) that they could sneak up on people in utter silence, and then attack with such ferocity that they killed their victims immediately. One particular monster among the Indians is a man named Blue Duck, who is so frightening that you cringe when you hear his name. In addition to the above, he is so cruel and inhuman that I will not describe him further. McMurtry's gift for interweaving plots involving completely separate people is amazing. You get really interested in one group for a while, and then he shifts to another group, and then another. The whore Lorena is one of the best-developed people in the whole book, just as fascinating as Gus and Call. Her story is pitiful and gradually becomes a story of truly extraordinary love. The relationship between Lorena and Gus is so tender that it rings completely true. It is a relationship that easily could exist now, between two people who are truly, madly, deeply in love with each other. The relationship between Gus and Call is also extraordinary, and unique in my experience of books of any age. It is a marriage of sorts, also so tender at times that you understand it deeply in your heart. They literally would die for each other. Very literally. Anyway, this is the longest review I have ever written. Enough about my opinion. I would love to hear yours.
- Richard Delman "I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get."
Best audio book I have ever listened to!
I have a 55 minute each way commute to work every day and have listened to dozens and dozens of audio books. Lonesome Dove is by far the best book I have ever listened to. I found myself sitting in the garage after arriving at home, listening to this tale of a western cattle drive from Texas to Montana and not able to turn the CD player off. I laughed and cried at the characters and events in this 36 hour long epic and was depressed for days when it was all over. I didn't want it to end! I bought the book and watched the DVD but the audio version is by far the best. Be prepared to put aside everything else for awhile because once you start this book you won't be able to shut it off.