I hate westerns so much, but my entire family read Lonesome Dove, and I got shamed into reading it! Nice, huh? It's a good thing I did, because this 1986 Pulitzer Prize winner is an absolute masterpiece. McMurtry's storytelling skills are at their peak here, and it is one hell of a book. Take it from this western-hater: you will love this! Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
by Larry McMurtry, the author of Terms of Endearment,
is his long-awaited masterpiece, the major novel at last of the American West as it really was.
A love story, an adventure, an American epic, Lonesome Dove embraces all the West legend and fact, heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers in a novel that recreates the central American experience, the most enduring of our national myths.
Set in the late nineteenth century, Lonesome Dove is the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana and much more. It is a drive that represents for everybody involved not only a daring, even a foolhardy, adventure, but a part of the American Dream the attempt to carve out of the last remaining wilderness a new life.
Augustus McCrae and W. F. Call are former Texas Rangers, partners and friends who have shared hardship and danger together without ever quite understanding (or wanting to understand) each other's deepest emotions. Gus is the romantic, a reluctant rancher who has a way with women and the sense to leave well enough alone. Call is a driven, demanding man, a natural authority figure with no patience for weaknesses, and not many of his own. He is obsessed with the dream of creating his own empire, and with the need to conceal a secret sorrow of his own. The two men could hardly be more different, but both are tough, redoubtable fighters who have learned to count on each other, if nothing else.
Call's dream not only drags Gus along in its wake, but draws in a vast cast of characters:
- Lorena, the whore with the proverbial heart of gold, whom Gus (and almost everyone else) loves, and who survives one of the most terrifying experiences any woman could have...
- Elmira, the restless, reluctant wife of a small-time Arkansas sheriff, who runs away from the security of marriage to become part of the great Western adventure...
- Blue Duck, the sinister Indian renegade, one of the most frightening villains in American fiction, whose steely capacity for cruelty affects the lives of everyone in the book...
- Newt, the young cowboy for whom the long and dangerous journey from Texas to Montana is in fact a search for his own identity...
- Jake, the dashing, womanizing exRanger, a comrade-in-arms of Gus and Call, whose weakness leads him to an unexpected fate...
- July Johnson, husband of Elmira, whose love for her draws him out of his secure life into the wilderness, and turns him into a kind of hero...
sweeps from the Rio Grande (where Gus and Call acquire the cattle for their long drive by raiding the Mexicans) to the Montana highlands (where they find themselves besieged by the last, defiant remnants of an older West).
It is an epic of love, heroism, loyalty, honor, and betrayal faultlessly written, unfailingly dramatic. Lonesome Dove is the novel about the West that American literature and the American reader has long been waiting for.
Gary W. Gallagherauthor of Lee and His Generals in War and MemoryRobert Knox Sneden bequeathed a rich store in pictorial and narrative material to students of the Civil War. His drawings and paintings depict many places for which we have no other pictorial representations. This highly unusual account, which is enhanced by the editors' excellent work, quickly should take its place among the invaluable published primary sources on the conflict.
James I. Robertson, Jr.author of Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend"Spectacular," "gripping," "unprecedented," and "unique in every sense," are overused phrases in describing a new book. Yet each applies here. Robert Sneden's diary-memoir of service in the 40th New York is extraordinary in itself. His scores of watercolors of scenes in the field have no equal in Civil War art.
T. K. WhippleStudy Out the LandAll America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and out past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.
William C. Davisauthor of Lincoln's Men: How President Lincoln Became Father to an Army and a NationA prize find. Unusually full and dramatic, Sneden's Eye of the Storm is one of the most fulsome and significant prison memoirs to come out of the war. The wonderful drawings and maps only further gild an already golden human and historical document.
William Marvelauthor of Andersonville: The Last DepotRobert Sneden's detailed eyewitness sketches of Confederate prisons -- and Andersonville in particular -- offer unique glimpses of scenes that were, for the most part, never recorded by any camera or any better artist.
Jeffrey D. Wertauthor of A Brotherhood of ValorRobert Knox Sneden saw too much of the Civil War, from the slaughter of battlefields to the horrors of Andersonville. But Sneden was an astute observer, who left behind a wonderful legacy in words, drawings, and maps. Eye of the Storm is a splendid book.
About the Author
Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lives in Archer City, Texas.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER ONE To the Front!
CHAPTER TWO Under Fire
CHAPTER THREE Confusion and Darkness: The Seven Days
CHAPTER FOUR Enough of Terrible Fighting
CHAPTER FIVE Captured
CHAPTER SIX "On to Richmond!"
CHAPTER SEVEN Prison Train to Andersonville
CHAPTER EIGHT This Hell on Earth
CHAPTER NINE Freedom
Note on Sources