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On Tue, 29 Aug 2006 12:48:56 -0400, Miguel Naughton
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>In a big thread about summer books, TOS strongly recommended the
>book Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.  I recently finished reading
>this novel, which turned out to be a fairly epic task, as there
>are 850 pages of small print to plow through.  The following
>is my report.
>
>Overall rating: ***1/2 (max of ****)
>
>Early in the book, we are introduced to Augustus McCrae who is
>gray-haired, 40-50 years old, slim, intelligent and talks too much.
>Is it likely that TOS bonded with this character?
>
>In general, for books and movies I put a priority on (a) interesting,
>multi-faceted characters and (b) well crafted plots with some
>unusual twists.  As far as the characters go, this book is an A++.
>Augustus, Deets, Dish, the pigs, etc. really spring to life and grab
>your interest.  OTOH, the plot left me a bit disappointed.
>
>The book is in three basic sections.  In the first 100 pages,
>there is almost no action.  We are simply introduced to the core
>characters living in the Texas border hamlet of Lonesome
>Dove (story takes place around 1870).  This seems like a lot of
>pages to introduce characters, but somehow it works, and is very
>amusing and insightful.
>
>Then everybody leaves Texas to head for Montana.  This lasts for
>about 600 pages.  There's lots of action and a multitude of
>characters.  This was enjoyable too, although I was bothered
>occasionally when there were a few too many coincidences and
>sometimes people seemed to act out of character.  A little
>political correctness crept in from time to time as well.
>
>The last 200 pages wrap things up.  But Mr. McMurtry leaves a
>lot of loose ends.  I won't give away any secrets, but it was
>less than I expected.
>
>I will say that the book has great historical content.  I really felt
>that I learned a great deal about life in the American west in the
>late 1800's.  I was fascinated by the myriad technical details on
>tracking down bad guys, herding cattle, frontier towns, etc.  In
>spite of its flaws, this book was memorable and I would recommend it
>to anyone.  But for me, it's not quite a masterpiece.  Of course,
>the book won a Pulitzer prize, so there's more than a few that
>think highly of it.
>
>Mig
>

Wow, a full book report.   I loved the book.  I agree the first part
is slow, but then when they make the first ride into Mexico to steal back
horse, things begin to happen.  From there on, it is an exciting adventure.
I believe McMurtry did a good job portraying what life was like in the wild 
west. Life was hard, especially for women.  Being a whore often was a 
woman's best option.   A woman, on her own, risked becoming someones
personal property.  

On the frontier, you had to be able to protect yourself at all times.  If
you couldn't indians or bandits did with you what ever they wanted. 

McMurty's descriptions made me feel like I was along for the ride.  
What an exciting ride it was.   If you want to read something that will make
you sound intelligent in a coffee shop, this is not the book for you.  
If you ever wanted to be a cowboy, this book is a close as you can get to 
living the experience.   I walked bowlegged for several weeks after reading
it.  

I didn't think Gus talked to much!

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