Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Review -- Lonesome Dove

Lonesome Dove
BookLonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

My rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

Book source:  Personal copy

Summary from the publisherA love story and an epic of the frontier, Lonesome Dove is the grandest novel ever written about the last, defiant wilderness of America. Richly authentic, beautifully written, Lonesome Dove is a book to make readers laugh, weep, dream and remember.

It’s almost impossible to review a book I’ve spent 9 weeks analyzing, exploring, and dissecting every scene, character and locale.

So, I will keep it brief: I loved it! It took me nearly 300 pages (all of Part 1) to find my grove with this book. The Hat Creek gang spent more hours getting out of Texas than they did at any other location. I lost patience with all of them. Plus, the ongoing talk of “sporting” women (code name for whores) was burdensome and tiring. Without our ongoing read along – I would have easily given up on this book. But once Part II began with the introduction of an entirely new set of characters, the whole novel exploded with energy, humor, drama, and tragedy.

McMurtry’s characters were some of the most memorable I’ve read in a long time. I will go to my grave with a crush on Gus McCrae. In addition to his “human” characters – McMurtry is brilliant in making the horses (Hell Bitch, in particular), pigs and cattle as integral to the story as the cowboys and Indians.

The only reason I didn’t rate this book a 5 star was, not only did I find it arduous in the beginning, but I thought the ending was rushed. The cowboys took nearly 800 pages to make their cross-country trek, but when one of them had to return, it only took 100 pages. A little too expedited and neatly tied up for me.

But it was a grand, wonderful novel, full of amazing dialogue, distinctively written characters, and a scope beyond anything I’ve ever read before.

Up next: The miniseries!! I have it on hold at the library – can’t wait for it to arrive.

Check out the trailer – just the few scenes that are represented seem true to the novel.


Unknown said...

I loved this book too in the end, but like for you, for me it dragged in the beginning also and I almost gave up on it. The ending was a bit rushed, almost as if Call wasn't all that important after all. But Lorena's grief made me weep, when she was standing day and night by Gus's coffin it was an epitome of grief.

Amused said...

I'm so glad you took this book journey with me!

Desperately Seeking Gina said...

Hi Melissa! I enjoyed meeting with you on Saturday at the AWB meet-up. I'm looking through your book lists for my next good read.