Thursday, January 25, 2007
This book, Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, is one of my personal all-time favorites. I have been pushing it for years, even though some (such as my co-blogger) haven't gotten to it yet because "it's a western". McMurtry set out to subvert the western, to show cowboys as imperfect, rather than a larger than life movie image, and all long the way, he redefined the genre. This is the story of Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call, two middle aged former Texas Rangers, who have a half hearted cattle business in Texas and go on one last cattle drive (along with their colorful employees and the town whore). Along the way they encounter old friends, horse thieves, and more. Gus and Call are two of the best characters in fiction. They are so real, you will feel like you know them, and like someone you know, you will go through the range of emotions with them, happy for them, angry with them, and so on. The supporting characters are also great, particularly Clara, Gus's long lost love, and the rest of the Hat Creek Cattle company. There was a mini-series, a sequel and two prequels. Two warnings: McMurtry can break your heart like no other author, and secondly there are some discrepancies between the prequels and Lonesome Dove about what happens to certain characters. If anyone has read these I'd love to discuss Clara's choices in the comments.