Lonesome Dove- Book Review


Lonesome Dove- Larry McMurty

I have always wanted to read a Western. This was my first one, and to date is my favorite one too. It is a long saga, where a good 864 odd pages slip by , entertaining and engrossing at every turn of the page.  In one word, the book is #epic.

The story begins in the late 1870s, in the small town of Lonesome Dove. Augustus “Gus” McCrae and Captain Woodrow F Call, are passing their days idly as owners of the Hat Creek Cattle Company and Livery Emporium when a former comrade called Jake Spoon shows up after being away for more than ten years. A man on the run, Jake tells them of his travels and his breathtaking imagery of Montana inspires Call to take his cattle and men there an set up the first ranch on the frontier.

Lonesome Dove was first conceived as a movie script in 1972 but was shelved owing to actors backing out. Ten years later, McMurty resurrected the script into a full length novel, which became a bestseller and won him a Pulitzer Prize. This movie has been made into a movie, a television mini series and has spawned three more novels in a series, which then led to their corresponding TV series being made. His characters Gus and Call are part of Western legends.

On their journey, they come across more colorful characters with their own amusing tales, dangerous bandits and fight for their survival. They meet new people, cross old faces and places, carry some of them forward along their journey and leave some of them behind. McMurty has painted a picture so vivid and rich in details, his characters breathing life into the story, one has to keep up with their imagination to grapple with the many facets of this riveting story.

His scenes are sometimes action packed and sometimes laid-back, soaked in introspection by the characters. What McMurty draws from the reader is strong emotions, you won’t be able to just trail the pages, and they will pull and involve you into something intense- be it laughter or shock or a terrible form of sadness. I remember one scene where Deets is trying to read and it was mild humor, but made me laugh and choke for a full five minutes. The book offers many such instances of extreme responses and this is what makes it such an adventure to remember!

Read the complete review here.


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