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Reviews of Lonesome Dove (1985)

Review by StefanY (2007-08-24)
This review most probably won't do justice to this novel, but it'll have to do. After all of the discussion and excitement of starting a dedicated Western sub-fora, I thought that I'd expand my horizons and open myself up to the genre. Previous to this, the only thing that I've read that I'd consider a western is Dances With Wolves. Being a movie/DVD buff, I do have quite a bit of knowledge of the genre as I am a fan of western films, but for some reason, I have never been pulled into reading them.

Lonesome Dove was a natural choice for me. Having loved the mini-series, I picked up the book at a book sale some time ago in anticipation of finding the time to read it one day. This is a fairly large novel, over 900 pages, and somehow it got set aside and I didn't get around to it until now.

Once I started the book, I was very quickly immersed into the rich tapestry woven by Mr. McMurtry. The detail and characters are so vivid that they seem to come alive on the page and the storyline flows around in such a way that it becomes very hard to put down. Every character in the book, even minor ones, are fleshed out in such a way that they seem real and memorable.

There are some slow spots here and there in the story, a cattle drive can only contain so much excitement, but whenever things slow a bit, McMurtry takes you to one of the other intertwining storylines and the pace picks up again. I found that you can never dismiss any of the characters that are introduced along the way, as any of them could turn up later in the story and have a large impact on future events.

Lonesome Dove is a grand, sweeping adventure that really brings the Old West to life in a rich and colorful way. I highly recommend it and will continue on my own journey through the rest of the series.

I want to thank those of you who pushed for a Western sub-fora. You have opened my eyes to a genre that I was aware of, but didn't really put much consideration to.

Review by Beaver (2003-05-14)
Lonesome Dove is a Pulitzer prize winning western novel by the author of Terms of Endearment and The Last Picture Show. The characters are very well-written and well fleshed out. Gus McCrae, in particular, is a hilarious, memorable character. The story was very good, even though it was pretty depressing and the ending had no real sense of closure. I guess that makes it realistic though. Life is sometimes depressing and usually never has closure (my deep thought for the day). 9/10

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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