“Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry ★★★★★

Lonesome Dove sign

Lonesome Dove is the third book in the series of the same name by Larry McMurtry.  I have read this multiple times, both the hard copy and the audio version narrated by Lee Horsley (excellent).

Fantastic literary western about a small group of townspeople from a dusty little nothing of a town called Lonesome Dove, Texas, shortly after the American Civil War.  The story centers around two friends, Gus McCrae and Captain Woodrow Call, who served as Texas Rangers for nearly 30 years and are now taking their little band of cowboys on a last hurrah of an adventure by moving a herd of over 3000 cattle and horses from Mexico to Montana where they hope to be the first to start a ranching business.

Lonesome Dove vista

They end up with a ragtag group, which includes former Rangers, a few dimwitted cowboys, new Irish immigrants, inexperienced boys, and even the beautiful town whore, who has a dream of making her way to San Francisco.  If they can survive injuries, weather, bear attacks and Indian raids, they may find the best grazing land in the unsettled north.

“Call, you’ve got too much of the prophet in ya. Always trying to lead us into the desert.” –Augustus McCrae

I cannot give higher praise for McMurtry’s ability to invent a well-developed cast of characters and an entertaining and sentimental read.  It is full of hilarious one-liners and witticisms, and the constant bickering between Gus and Call is classic.  They are like an old married couple.  They fight constantly but wouldn’t know what to do without each other.  Other than Gus practically yelling everything he says, which would drive a person nuts, he is the most amazing character.  He hides a kind and sensitive thoughtfulness behind a devil-may-care attitude.  His bravery is unmatched, as well as his sense of humor.

“You probably drink too much. If you hand me that bottle, I’ll reduce your temptations.” –Augustus McCrae

This is a novel that should be on everyone’s must-read list. Terrific piece of work!

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

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