"When Augustus came out on the porch the blue pigs were eating a
rattlesnake --- not a very big one. It had probably just
been crawling around looking for shade when it ran into the
pigs. They were having a fine tug-of-war with it, and
its rattling days were over. The sow had it by the neck,
and the shoat had the tail."
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is for lovers of Westerns and
also for readers of contemporary fiction who believe they could
never really enjoy a Western. Who, after all, could
resist a tale that begins with pigs eating a rattlesnake?
With LONESOME DOVE --- the sprawling saga which spawned an
excellent television miniseries, two prequels, and a sequel ---
Larry McMurtry proves that a true storyteller is not bound by
genre, geography, or time period.
This is the unforgettable story of Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call, two
former Texas Rangers who are now partners in the Hat Creek Cattle
Company and Livery Emporium near Lonesome Dove,
Texas. Their quiet days of semi-retirement are over when
they're enlisted to drive a massive herd of cattle from Texas to
Montana; their adventure is just beginning.
Larry McMurtry is a rare writer in that he paints the American West
as it really was --- dirty, unruly, untamed, cruel, life
threatening, and sometimes mind-numbingly bleak --- without losing
his sense of the absurd. In LONESOME DOVE he manages to
tell a love story without romanticizing and presents us with the
gift of an adventure story that is epic in scale without being so
overwhelming that it strains credulity.
Lorena, the whore whom Gus loves; Clara, the love of his life who
now lives with her family in lonely Montana; Elmira, the runaway
wife of July Johnson, Arkansas sheriff and small-time hero; Newt,
the young son of a whore who once loved Call; Bolivar, erstwhile
bandit and argumentative cook; Pea Eye and Deets, eccentric
partners at the Hat Creek Cattle Company . . . these are just a few
of the seemingly endless cast of characters to be found in LONESOME
DOVE. Unique, heroic, larger than life and perfect in
the quirky details, all these characters will resound in your
memory long after you've reluctantly closed this 900-plus page
Reviewed by Jami Edwards on January 22, 2011