Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Lonesome Dove

Lonesome DoveLonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To think of Hollywood westerns is to set oneself up for wrong expectations in this book. Hollywood or the movies for one is a visual medium and books are never made into movies as they are written.

I fell into that expectation at the beginning of the book almost always expecting gunfights every few pages. After finishing a few chapters I thought writing gunfights every so often will ultimately be boring. The scene was best if it was watched with its quick draw and the gunfighters just flipping their guns into their holster.

Then we go into the genius of the book of moving to and from the concept of boring to epic. My only complaint of the author is that he uses euphemisms for anything sexual even rape. I had to read that paragraph twice at that rape section to understand and feel pity for the character. It was a weird choice to use indirect words when overall the author has been so vivid in describing the life in the old west.

Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call are former Texas Rangers. They once lived a life of battle cleaning up Texas from Indians and Mexicans and are now into business unfortunately a dead beat town that didn’t have much of a market.

Old rangers taking it in slow. I am amazed how the author would be so able to describe a boring life one that would make one drink even when the sun is up and yet still make it so attractive. When the lead characters then had to travel thousands of miles for more fertile ground, a pioneering opportunity to have a cattle business where no one ever thought to bring cattle; there came some action. Travel was always action compared to sitting down.

But travel at that time was hard as it was mundane. You had to ride endless wilderness with not much entertainment and safety. Yet it was fun to read as if you want to feel the hardness of the cowboys who can take on the open earth, ride anywhere, and eat anywhere, because at this modern age you couldn’t.

Forget the gunfights. Lonesome Dove will make you feel how it is in the west. Potentially as boring as your life and maybe as epic too, if you care to move as McCrae and Call did.

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