Review

Dead Man's Walk

by Larry McMurtry



"Matilda Jane Roberts was naked as the air.  Known
throughout south Texas as the Great Western, she came walking up
from the muddy Rio Grande holding a big snapping turtle by the
tail.  Matilda was almost as large as the skinny little
Mexican mustang Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call were trying to
saddle-break.  Call had the mare by the ears, waiting for
Gus to pitch the saddle on her narrow back, but the pitch was slow
in coming.  When Call glanced toward the river and saw
the Great Western in all her plump nakedness, he knew why: young
Gus McCrae was by nature distractable; the sight of a naked,
two-hundred-pound whore carrying a full-grown snapping turtle had
captured his complete attention, and that of the rest of the Ranger
troop as well."

The momentum begun with a snapping turtle and a naked whore never
loses its force throughout this rollicking prequel to LONESOME
DOVE.

DEAD MAN'S WALK fleshes out Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call, their
friendship, and their first adventures with the Texas Rangers, a
motley group of men led by the unpredictable and egotistical
Colonel Cobb.  On a fool's errand to steal the gold and
silver of Mexico, the Texas Rangers fight heat, cold, hunger, fire,
a tornado, and rattlesnakes.  Their travels are made even
more difficult --- and their numbers are slowly dwindled --- by the
deadly cunning of the warring Comanches, led by a war chief
appropriately named Buffalo Hump.  As if that were not
enough, Gus and Call, along with the other Rangers, soon meet up
with an Apache horse thief, the Mexican army, and an angry grizzly
bear.  To make bad matters even worse, Gus is distracted
by thoughts of the uncooperative love of his life, Clara.

Larry McMurtry is at his very best with this adventure
tale.  A prequel to the beloved LONESOME DOVE was a risky
undertaking that he handles here with aplomb.  

Reviewed by Jami Edwards on January 21, 2011

Dead Man's Walk
by Larry McMurtry

  • Publication Date: June 1, 1996
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket
  • ISBN-10: 0671001167
  • ISBN-13: 9780671001162