MARCH GROUP READ - Lonesome Dove

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MARCH GROUP READ - Lonesome Dove

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feb. 19, 2019, 11:36pm

Welcome to this impromptu group read of Lonesome Dove for the month of March.

I added this book to my TBR at the beginning of the year and after some conversation on my personal thread it appeared that many of us Club Readers have interest in this book. Some have owned the book for years while some don't own it but have been interested in reading it for years. So I thought I'd create this thread for those of us who would like to finally tackle this famous tome.

And who knows, if we all end up reading and loving the book, maybe we can try tackling the entire tetralogy!

How about we start off the thread with participating members telling us how long the book has been on your TBR pile.

feb. 20, 2019, 8:07am

I don't own Lonesome Dove, but it's been on my mental TBR list for about 5 years since I started noticing LT reviews about it.

I was hoping to get Lonesome Dove from my library as a kindle book, but both of the online libraries I have access to have a significant wait list. I find that interesting since it's an older book and I don't find that usually those have waits at all. So the book is still popular! There are 24 holds for the 5 copies of this book at my local library!

Anyway, I've requested a print copy. I always over-commit myself with group reads, so I'm not sure I'll get to this in March, but we'll see!

feb. 20, 2019, 9:35am

I didn't even know it was a book until December. My local library doesn't have a copy in any format so I might see if I can find a second-hand copy.

feb. 20, 2019, 10:11am

>2 japaul22:

I'm terrible at committing to group reads as well but this time I have the advantage of purposefully scheduling the book in March because I finally want to read the book NOW after having been recommended the book for 20 years by my mother. I feel like the book is having a resurgence lately which might explain the waiting list.

>3 rhian_of_oz:

Oh wow! But if it makes you feel better, despite knowing of the book for ages, I never knew it was a tetralogy until I purchased my copy (the 25th anniversary edition) from Amazon and then Amazon placed the three other books in my recommendations tab! And I just reread the blurb on my copy and just learned that Lonesome Dove is actually the third book of the tetralogy! But considering most people only read this book I'm sure it stands just fine on its own.

Editat: feb. 20, 2019, 10:17am

>4 lilisin: I was worried for a second that I would have to read two other books *before* Lonesome Dove but I've decided to read in publication order rather than chronological ;-).

feb. 20, 2019, 5:06pm

I do not own a copy, but it has been on my TBR/wishlist for over two years at this point (first heard about it on Anne Bogel's What Should I Read Next? podcast, and then it keeps coming to my awareness every few months or so). I've looked into the audio version on Audible, and a group read might be what I need to pull the trigger there. In print, the book is rather intimidating.

feb. 20, 2019, 8:57pm

I do not own a copy, but I’ve read it, and you are in for a treat.

feb. 21, 2019, 9:26am

I was delighted to finally, after several years of keeping an eye out, to find this in my favorite used bookstore in July 2014. I do want to read it, but March is already overscheduled for me.

feb. 21, 2019, 10:26am

>4 lilisin: LT lists Lonesome Dove as first in the series.?

feb. 21, 2019, 10:38am

Hmm, tempting. My library has the ebook available for checkout right now. But my hold on Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom just came in, and that sucker is more than 900 pages. I may have to save Lonesome Dove for another time. Although I do have six hours in the air Sunday and Monday, plus the interminable airport time, so maybe I'll whiz through the Douglass book.

Editat: feb. 21, 2019, 10:42am

>9 NanaCC:

That would be the order of publication.

But the books in chronological order are as following:

Dead Man’s Walk - 1995
Comanche Moon - 1997
Lonesome Dove - 1985
Streets of Laredo - 1993

>10 lisapeet:

Hope you can join us! We're still in February after all.

feb. 21, 2019, 1:52pm

I’m planning on joining. It’s been on my mental wishlist since I read an article in the Houston Chronicle (back when I got it) on ten books on Texas to read. That was maybe 2008? 2005? So, say 11+ years. But I need to hunt down an actual copy. Probably I wouldn’t begin March 1, but later in the month. Not sure though. And I’m open to other dates.

feb. 22, 2019, 1:43pm

My copy is due to arrive right around March 1.

feb. 22, 2019, 4:55pm

Not sure if I'm up for a group read, even though the thing has been languishing on my TBR shelves for too long, but I will be with you in spirit, and it's nice to think that whenever I finally do get around to it, I will be able to come back here and see what people had to say about it.

feb. 25, 2019, 8:00pm

First sentence of the book:
When Augustus came out on the porch the blue pigs were eating a rattlesnake -- not a very big one.

Feeling satisfied at having read 5 books in February, I decided to start reading Lonesome Dove last night. I've only read maybe 10 pages since I started reading it too late before having to get to bed but after only 10 pages I feel like I've been in this world forever -- in that it is so well described that you are instantly transported. Only 10 pages and I've been loving every moment of it. This is going to be a great read.

FYI for those picking up the 25th anniversary version of the book, the 2 page preface gives away the entire story so I suggest not reading it if you don't want to be spoiled. Too late for me.

feb. 26, 2019, 9:48am

Are there rules for a group read? Other than reading the same book that is ;-).

feb. 26, 2019, 10:05am

>15 lilisin: I'm not sure what version I will be picking up, but my general practice is not to read preface/introduction material (unless written by the author of the work, and even then) until after reading the work for precisely that reason. Thanks for the warning.

feb. 26, 2019, 1:15pm

>16 rhian_of_oz: I don’t think we’re so organized as to have rules. Not usually. Just read, post (hide or flag spoilers) and discuss.

feb. 26, 2019, 2:11pm

Glad to know to skip the introduction! I usually do because I've been burned too many times with spoiler-filled intros.

I picked my book up from the library today. Out of curiosity I looked on amazon to see how much the kindle version is since it's such a big book to cart around. I was really interested to see that it has a full 5 star rating with 1466 customers having rated the book. It's unusual to see glowing agreement from so many readers.

>16 rhian_of_oz: the only thing I appreciate in these group reads is when people give a heads up about which chapter they'll be commenting on or how far they've read before posting comments. Helps avoid spoilers!

feb. 26, 2019, 8:19pm

>17 shadrach_anki: FYI, in my copy of Lonesome Dove it is the author's introduction that gives away a major plot point.

feb. 27, 2019, 8:08am

>19 japaul22: The five star rating doesn’t surprise me quite as much, Jennifer, even though it is very unusual. The book is wonderful, and I think there is something for everyone. I’ll be following everyone’s comments, even though I won’t be reading it with you. When I finished reading it several years ago, it pushed me to pick up the audio version of his series, The Berrybender Narratives, which was narrated by Alfred Molina. It was also very good. Not Lonesome Dove good, but good. ;-)

feb. 27, 2019, 10:43am

>20 ELiz_M: I did notice that the thumbnail image for the cover of the 25th anniversary edition said "new preface from author" or something to that effect. I will hold off on reading that until after I read the book!

I got the Audible audio version yesterday, and once I finish listening to Sense and Sensibility it will be the next book I listen to. I don't think the audiobook has the preface included; it has been my experience that additional content like that typically is not a part of the audio production.

feb. 27, 2019, 3:17pm

Oh man, this makes me want to read it. Maybe after I'm done with Frederick Douglass and the book I have to review and the last book of short stories I want to finish before The Story Prize award event. When did I turn into someone with such a reading schedule? Not that I'm complaining, but it's funny.

feb. 28, 2019, 3:33am

Every character has such a thorough backstory that it's hard to believe that the prequels came after writing Lonsome Dove. It's really fascinating. And the humor in the story is excellent. I don't think I've read humor so cleverly written and so naturally written in a long time.

Not a spoiler but for chapter 8 (page 91 in 25th anniversary edition), you can go to this site to read about the latin motto on this page.

feb. 28, 2019, 11:36am

I just started listening to the book on my morning commute; I am currently in chapter 3. Lee Horsley does the narration for the copy I have, and I am really enjoying it so far. I'm glad I have access to a print copy as well, since being able to look things up for spelling and better comprehension is incredibly useful.

Editat: març 3, 2019, 8:44am

I knew it would be a bad idea to join this group... At least a bad idea for my resolution to cut down on the buying of books...
Lonesome dove has been in my list of "ideas to be read", and I have never participated in a group read because my reading wanderings don't match a commitment to a group read. So this impromptu and one-shot group read appealed to me the second I saw it...
I tried to resist, but had to surrender on 1st of March exactly. I bought a copy of the book Friday evening and started it straight away. So I hope you will not mind me joining you for this group read...

My copy is a paperback, from the excellent Gallmeiester publisher, who are specialised on books from the US, and mainly nature writing and westerns. It is the first time I buy a paperback from them, as I read few westerns, but it is a very nice book, with a soft cover and the colours of the cover work seem to be in line with the content of the book.

My book is titled Lonesome Dove : Episode 1. There is a Lonesome Dove : Episode 2, but I can't decide if the French publisher decided to split the book into two, or if the Episode 2 is one of the other books in the series and they got lazy with translating the title. My book has 52 chapters. What about yours?

Edited to add the picture of the cover

març 3, 2019, 8:09am

>26 raton-liseur:

Glad to have you join us! Now can say that joining this group read was a good idea because it took a book of your fantasy wishlist and made it reality and making dreams turn into reality is what life is about, is it not! :)

I agree with you about group reads. I have such a meandering way of choosing the next books I read so I have trouble following the schedule of group reads so as I mentioned before it's seriously to my advantage to be the creator of this impromptu read. And it's exciting to be surrounded by such like-minded individuals!

To answer your question Lonesome Dove has 102 chapters in it so it looks like you'll also need to buy Episode 2 to have the complete work in your hands.

març 3, 2019, 8:35am

>27 lilisin: It's a nice way of putting it, I'll remind this to myself the (unlikely) day I feel guilty to buy a new book!

102 chapters!!! More than 1000 pages (French is always longer than English, I think it's 800-ish pages for you) to read! I might have committed to more than I can chew. It ought to be a good book!!!

Editat: març 5, 2019, 4:05am

I didn't get to read over the weekend as I was busy with lots of fun things but I'm now on part 2, chapter 35. It's such a smooth story it's easy to turn the page and read on. I'm really enjoying the ride. As a bonus, I'm also from Texas so I can easily see the landscape in my mind.

In fact, here are a few pictures I took over the holidays. These pictures are about 30 minutes outside of Austin, Texas (a city mentioned in the book but not visited, at least, not so far) which is a lot greener and is considered the "hill country" of Texas so will be somewhat different from what our cowboys are trekking but I thought it'd be nice to post some Texas pictures so some readers here can get a general visual idea.

Also, as another idea of what our cowboys are going through, these pictures were taken on December 24th, and it was 80 degrees Farenheit that day. Our weather is a bit scatterbrained over the winter where it can go from 80 to 32 in one day and back up; and then the summers are at 100 degrees plus, easily.

Editat: març 5, 2019, 10:53am

I wasn't able to source a second-hand copy so my local library has put in a request on my behalf to the state library. Which means I'm going to have a bit of catching up to do as the earliest I'm likely to be able to start is next Wednesday!

>29 lilisin: Thanks for sharing your photos.

març 5, 2019, 11:17am

>29 lilisin: So dry... I always find it difficult to picture a life in this environment.

>30 rhian_of_oz: I am a slow reader. Only on chapter 7, so you'll catch up quickly, at least with some of us (_me_).

març 5, 2019, 3:09pm

>29 lilisin: Thanks for sharing those pictures! While the descriptions in the book are pretty darn amazing at helping me paint a mental picture, photographs are very useful. Beautiful country, but very different from what I am used to.

In terms of reading, I am only just at the start of chapter 10. Lately my weekends have been very light on the reading time (this past one was no exception), and my normal routine has been somewhat disrupted this week on top of it all. I find this frustrating, because I want to read more!

Editat: març 6, 2019, 4:28am

>24 lilisin: Thanks lilisin for the link to a translation of the latin phrase. I had understood the alusion to grapes, but could not understand further. Interesting to reflect on this.

Caution note: minor spoilers on chapter 8.

I just finished chapter 8, and I must admit that chapters 7 and 8 are really good, I really enjoyed them and it was difficult to put the book down as I wish to know more about the characters.
On chapters 7 and 8, you are around 100 pages in the book (at least in my 1000-page edition), hence you start to have a good grip of the characters, and you can start focussing more on the interactions between them.
I loved following the Captain's thoughts when pondering over the possibility to go to Montana.
And I really enjoyed all the trouble about putting up a sign at the entrance of the ranch. McMurtry does a great job in saying a lot about the characters through this small event.

And I could not help laughing when two horseriders stop to read the signboard, the two first ones after months and Dish's comment is:
C'est sûrement des professeurs (...). En tout cas, ils aiment la lecture. (Chapitre 8, p.115 in Gallmeiester paperback edition)

What does it mean about us?

Editat: març 8, 2019, 3:22am

>33 raton-liseur:

Yes I loved the bit with the two cowboys reading the sign. I can't stop mentioning how fantastic the humor is in this book.

A non spoiler but fairly along in the book in chapter 42, page 330 (25th anniversary edition) a fantastic joke came up.

The moon was high and a couple of stray goats nosed around the walls of the old Alamo, hoping to find a blade of grass. When they had first come to Texas in the Forties people had talked of nothing but Travis and his gallant losing battle, but the battle had mostly been forgotten and the building neglected.

"Well, Call, I guess they forgot us, like they forgot the Alamo," Augustus said.

As a Texan, any Texan knows that we must always "Remember the Alamo!" Even many non-Texan Americans will know this saying so I found it hilarious to find two Texans having this discussion about people having forgotten it.

I really think this book is going to be my favorite book of 2019. It might even become my favorite book of 2018 and 2020 at this point; I'm just really entranced. I think about the book all day while at work wondering when I can pick it up again next. I can only read 30 to 40 pages at a time but doing that a few times a day and I found myself crossing the half-way point easily.

I'm now currently on chapter 59 and wow, it's starting to get brutal! I can't wait till people catch up a bit!

març 9, 2019, 3:12pm

Glad you’re all enjoying. I have a copy and will likely start tonight. And yeah, “what Alamo” is not a common phrase around here (here being Houston, in, I imagine, a different part of Tx from the novel)

març 12, 2019, 4:01am

I've reached part 3, chapter 78 and am entering the home stretch now. Just a standard novel's length of 250 pages left to go. Although the book is obviously long I'm surprised it's taking me two weeks to read the book. I kind of expected to be finished by now.

març 12, 2019, 8:32am

I've started and it does suck you right in! Really great characters and I already care deeply about what will happen to them.

març 12, 2019, 6:08pm

I’ve barely begun. On page 25. But I’m on vacation and reading time is unpredictable. Oh well. Will catch up later. It’s been an entertaining 25 pages.

març 12, 2019, 6:13pm

By the way - my backpack was pulled in security for manual inspection because they couldn’t figure what this big brick-shaped thing was.

març 12, 2019, 7:47pm

>39 dchaikin:


I've actually been managing to bring my book to work every day. It's been great to get 30 pages in during lunch, and then 50-60 pages at night before bed. It's certainly a committment to bring but it's most definitely worth it!

març 13, 2019, 7:10am

>34 lilisin: I've already heard this sentence, "Remember the Alamo!3, but probably would not have noticed the joke. Thanks for making my reading even more enjoyable lilisin!

març 13, 2019, 7:18am

>39 dchaikin: Nice story! Who knows what's a book in those days, even more a book of more that 150 pages!
It reminded me this nice children's book, It's a book by Lane Smith. Is it for e-mailing? No it's a book. What is the password, No it's a book.

Sorry for this digression, we are far from Texas or Montana...

març 13, 2019, 7:26am

Coming back to the book, I am half way through the first volume (the book being divided into two in the French edition). I'm still in Texas, by hoping to leave in a couple of days if everything goes well.

I am quite amazed at how McMurtry manages to include in his book all threads of the US own mythology. Not sure how to explain this in English, but seing the two pionners' fields, then a couple of Irish coming by made me feel that this book is kind of a history book condensed in a few pages. I love that!

març 13, 2019, 9:17am

>39 dchaikin: This made me laugh, Dan. I’ve moved to Kindle for any big book, mainly for convenience and comfort. When I read Lonesome Dove, I read the paperback version, but never noticed how heavy it was. It was so good it just took me away.

març 13, 2019, 10:02am

Yes! We've hit the road. End of part one, I'll keep the beginning of part two for tonight.

Editat: març 13, 2019, 10:04am

>43 raton-liseur: There’s actually a lot history in the few pages I’ve read, this despite my not really knowing where they are or what year it is. Enjoying the nature of the grudging respect between the men.

For some perspective on the recently conquered Comanches (it’s long, sorry):

març 13, 2019, 10:11am

>46 dchaikin: Thanks for the link. I'll have a closer look, it seems really interesting, and will really inform my reading.
According to wikipedia, the story is set in the second half of the 1870's, I'll have to figure out what this means in terms of US history.

març 13, 2019, 10:25am

>39 dchaikin: Ah, the potential perils of reading large books! This made me laugh, and also wonder what security would think of my backpack, since I almost always have multiple books on me (even without taking into account my Kindle and tablet).

I am just at the start of chapter 43 at this point. I've done a little reading in my paper copy, but mostly I've been listening to the audiobook. It's fascinating to see all the different threads that are being pulled together, and the history that is woven into the whole thing. Plus the sense of time and place.

I find myself wondering if the TV mini-series that came out in 1986 can hold up to the book. I might track it down after I've finished reading, just to see.

març 14, 2019, 11:21am

So I just finished the book and I'm in a daze. Excellent, excellent. Of course I'm not going to post any spoilers or even thoughts until others catch up but I sure hope you guys catch up soon.

I went back and read the preface and it turns out I had misread it and hadn't been spoiled on the plot as I had forgotten the details, except for one and that one was incorrect anyway.

However, the preface spoils the sequel so it seems I can't win. Thus, warning that if you finish this book and you're like me and now want to read the rest of the books, I still don't recommend reading the preface to the 25th anniversary edition.

març 14, 2019, 2:20pm

I’m only 50 pages in (4 chapters I think) but admiring the apparent complexity of Gus, who seems to know everything but can’t help playing around.

The intro by Larry McMurty includes a major spoilers (although I don’t mind so much) but it’s also a great setting for the book - or at least for Gus and Call. If anyone doesn’t have it, I might post a bit (sans spoilers).

març 15, 2019, 1:22am

>24 lilisin: Finally at the Latin quote. Google translate notes that individually “uva” “uvam” and “varia fit” all mean grape, which I suppose is maybe why it’s in a book on a Latin grammar. Entertaining anyway. Thanks for the link, lilisin.

març 15, 2019, 1:32am

“Nobody in their right mind would want to rent a pig. What would you do with a pig once you rented it?”
“Why, Women and children and settlers are just cannon fodder for lawyers and bankers.”

I keep finding myself noting quotes (and talking myself out of writing others down). It’s just that kind of book. But they all seem to only work in context.

Editat: març 15, 2019, 3:03am

>52 dchaikin: You're at a really nice part of the book. I understand your urge to note quotes, I got the same feeling, especially in this signboard episode. Enjoy!

Editat: març 15, 2019, 7:27pm

>53 raton-liseur: I’m enjoying it a lot. The atmosphere is rich and the plot—which hasn’t happened yet—isn’t missed.

I keep thinking about the Texas Ranger massacres, where these Rangers would go to border communities and kill Mexican-Americans, execution style. But I don’t know enough about the history to know when that happened, or how pervasive this activity was with the Rangers. So, I read about Gus, Call, Pea and Jake and I wonder - what did they do as Rangers? What’s in their closet and how do they feel about it? Did McMutry know? Is that part of his character makeup? (In the opening Gus talks about not shooting a snake because he’s afraid someone will go out and kill a Mexican. Is that a acknowledgement?). So... I might need to read up on Texas Rangers a bit.

març 21, 2019, 8:42am

I'm up to chapter 15 and am really enjoying it. The descriptions of the physical world are very evocative (I live in a hot, dry place) and the characters are interesting and becoming well fleshed out. And it's funny, which I wasn't expecting.

I'm intrigued by Gus and Call and why they are partners because they seem such an unlikely duo.

març 21, 2019, 8:47am

>54 dchaikin: I'm right with you, Dan, wondering alot about the Rangers and what they did. "Texas history" is sort of a black hole in schools outside of Texas, I believe. But it's certainly a large part of American history overall. I feel like I should find some nonfiction to pair with this . . .

I'm on Chapter 35. This is my main book now, so I should proceed quickly.

març 21, 2019, 10:05am

I am ready to start chapter 80. Yesterday I kept listening to the book while I was making dinner, and time just sort of flew by. So many things have happened in the story, and I don't want to give spoilers because this really feels like a book where you want to approach it unspoiled if at all possible. I have a print copy along with the audio, and I have been strongly resisting peeking ahead. I've also been avoiding Wikipedia articles and the like, since they are liable to contain spoilers.

I know I probably shouldn't be all that surprised, but one thing that surprised me was the number of deaths that have occurred up to the point that I've read, along with the matter-of-fact approach to so many things, like violence.

Reading Lonesome Dove also inspired me to find my copy of Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (it was up in my parents' attic, which is basically my personal equivalent to a public library's storage area). When I was in elementary school in particular I remember being fascinated by stories of cowboys, pioneers, and the whole westward expansion (alongside my reading staples of fantasy and fairy tales). It will be interesting to see how well some of my childhood favorites hold up.

març 21, 2019, 11:50am

On chapter 48 or so. Riding slowly with the cow boys but enjoying every moment of it.

>57 shadrach_anki: I managed to resist the temptation of clicking on the spoiler lines, but that was difficult...

març 21, 2019, 1:16pm

Stalled as I’ve handed my evenings over the ncaa basketball tournament...

>56 japaul22: Texas history is a big deal here. My kids get some of it every year and it’s a required high school class ... but I grew up in FL and missed all that. (FL history is not something the average Floridian knows exists)

març 22, 2019, 9:56am

I am enjoying reading this thread because, while I am not currently reading the book, it is one of my all time favorites. I note a comment earlier about the complexity of Gus and Call, which McMurtry lets the reader discover slowly--one of the best parts of the book, in my estimation. Also, someone mentioned the TV mini-series, which got quite favorable reviews. I never watched it because I didn't want anyone to mess with the beauty of the book itself.

març 24, 2019, 9:46am

I've started the second volume yesterday morning, hurray! (The French edition has arbitrarily divided the book into two volumes, ending the first volume after chapter 52).
The second volume cover uses the same shades of orange and yellow as the first volume (see >26 raton-liseur: for the first volume cover). While the first cover showed three people on horses, Gus, Call and Lorie, the second cover shows a small farm, with the chimney smoking, and the three same characters, plus a dark hair woman. I kind of guessed who she is as I flipped through the book and have seen some names appearing here and there, but I am not so sure.
The idea of settling down is not yet in Gus and Call’s mind, as I have just finished a trying part of the book, and we just passed the Red River, leaving Texas to enter Oklahoma. I am taking a crash course on US geography (as well as history of course)!

març 24, 2019, 11:41am

>61 raton-liseur: “I am taking a crash course on US geography“

That’s entertaining. I still haven’t figured out where Lonesome Dove is supposed to be. Searching, I discovered a movie set and this bit: “It seems that Larry McMurtry’s original story was going to be a feature film called Palo Duro, to be produced in the late 1960s. John Wayne, James Stewart, and Henry Fonda would have played the three former Texas Rangers. The film never happened, so McMurtry later developed the screenplay into the award-winning novel.“


Editat: març 24, 2019, 11:58am

març 24, 2019, 1:40pm

>63 dchaikin: Thanks, it's really useful! I can see that we have quite a long way to go. After all the dust we have already eaten (I am a novice cow-boy – even worse, a novice cow girl – so I am always at the back of the herd!).

març 25, 2019, 5:14am

I've just read chapter 49 :-(.

Editat: març 25, 2019, 7:20am

>65 rhian_of_oz: You're catching up! You're probably as gifted as Dee as to track cattle or Indians.

març 25, 2019, 11:10am

>34 lilisin: I had the exact same thought as your spoiler at the end of chapter 58. I was particularly sad about Janey, I quite liked her.

març 25, 2019, 11:12am

>66 raton-liseur: I'm not sure I'd make a good tracker but I'm certainly faster than Pea Eye :-).

març 25, 2019, 2:10pm

>34 lilisin: and >67 rhian_of_oz: I agree too. While reading those chapters, I was wondering if they were necessary. The tone is so different from what we were used to read.
I guess it is necessary, although still not that sure. I have left those pages and moved across the Red River and we are back on track with the cattle, but part of me is staying behind in those 10 or so chapters full of violence.

Coincidently, I was hearing a writer talking about Amerindians culture and how fascinating it was. I could help thinking: "well, not everything."

>68 rhian_of_oz: ;-)

març 25, 2019, 5:11pm

>69 raton-liseur: I think there is a certain amount of necessity for those chapters, since they do highlight an aspect of the journey, but they were pretty brutal (and at least part of what I was referencing back in my >57 shadrach_anki: post under the spoiler tags).

>67 rhian_of_oz: I was sad about the whole trio. And sad for July as well, since he's left blaming himself for what happened. None of them really wanted to be out there in the first place, and they had the misfortune to run into a particularly horrible individual in the form of Blue Duck.

What are people's thoughts on Jake Spoon? In the end, I feel like he didn't personally do anything to get himself hung...but he also didn't do anything to even attempt to rein in the Suggs brothers, or stop them, or even to leave them to their own devices. Which sort of makes him an accessory to what happened. He seemed to spend a lot of time blaming other people and his bad luck for what he felt was going wrong in his life instead of taking any sort of responsibility for his actions and the consequent circumstances they put him in.

Editat: març 25, 2019, 9:52pm

Just finished chapter 37. I’m entertained and that storm was intense, but I think the book is somehow less now than when we first were getting to know Gus and Call. I mean I think there was a lot going on in setting these characters up, and now we’re getting moved along with more standard humor and with adventure.

I had forgotten to post of my favorites quotes about Gus: “It was good reading light by then, so Augustus applied himself for a few minutes to the Prophets. He was not overly religious, but he did consider himself a fair prophet and liked to study the styles of his predecessors. They were mostly too long-winded, in his view, and he made no effort to read them verse for verse—he just had a look here and there, while the biscuits were browning.

Editat: març 25, 2019, 10:28pm

>69 raton-liseur:, >70 shadrach_anki:

Re: Chapter 58 spoilers
I think the rocking back and froth between the violence and the calm is actually what makes the book so fascinating. It mirrors the violence and beauty of the old West, whether the violence and beauty comes from nature, or from human companionship; a river crossing can be innocent and playful, or dangerous as we encountered with the snakes; a relationship with a man can be nurturing or lead to abandonment. And in real life there is no crescendo to these things, they can just happen at maximum intensity and at maximum brute violence, without warning.

I also wanted to see more of Janey but I applaud the author for taking the risk of introducing a likeable character and immediately killing them off.

Re: Jake Spoon part 2 ending spoilers
I definitely agree that he didn't really do anything to get hung and even Gus, Call, and Newt thought that themselves, but he also didn't do anything to not get himself hung, and with the way he was going it was a fate calling for him in any case. Call and Gus seem to have a very strict moral compass so it makes sense that to uphold that virtue they made the call to hang Spoon.

Thoughts on the Indian:
I love the naming of this character. Despite the terror of the character he wasn't called Fierce Talon, Hunting Eagle, or anything foreshadowing of his actions. I love that he was simply a blue duck. I truly found that fascinating.

>71 dchaikin:

I quite liked the adventure aspect as it allowed me to really enjoy the landscape and setting. Also it allows for the setup that I mention in my first spoiler tag above which you can see once you get further along in the book. What a great quote that really captures Gus so perfectly well.

març 26, 2019, 7:52am

>72 lilisin: taking note of that.

A recent line, Gus to Call:

If I had wanted civilization I’d have stayed in Tennessee and wrote poetry for a living,” Augustus said. “Me and you done our work too well. We killed off most of the people that made this country interesting to begin with.”

març 26, 2019, 8:50pm

I've just finished Part 2, chapter 74

My thoughts on Jake:
I was never that keen on him and the further along I read the less I liked him. He's the sort of person that eases through life by charm and when things go badly always blame everyone else but themselves.
Having said that, I'm feeling surprisingly sad about his ending. But it couldn't really have gone any other way - Gus and Call's actions were absolutely consistent with the men we've come to know.

març 28, 2019, 3:28pm

I've finished the book and I loved it. Except for the last sentence, which I'd like to discuss once we're all finished reading!

març 29, 2019, 12:29am

I've just read Chapter 90. It must suddenly have become dusty in my house because my eyes are watering.

març 29, 2019, 8:39am

End of chapter 96. How could he?! McMurtry that is.

març 29, 2019, 9:31am

>75 japaul22: I see what you mean about the last sentence.

març 29, 2019, 10:27am

Finished listening to this on my commute in to work this morning. Still processing all my feelings. Teared up more than once while listening over this past month. Also had multiple instances of grinning and giggling like a loon. It has been a wild ride, yes it has.

>75 japaul22: can you elaborate on this at all? I think I can see what some objections might be, but it also seems to be rather par for the course of the novel in terms of tone and such.

març 29, 2019, 3:02pm

>79 shadrach_anki: In a nutshell, I thought it was sad and disappointing that it ended with the thought that Lorena was still just a whore. It wasn't what I wanted to end the book thinking.

I'd be happy to discuss more once we don't have to use spoilers so I can elaborate a little more!

març 29, 2019, 7:38pm

Don’t hide spoilers for my sake. But others are still reading.

març 29, 2019, 8:05pm

>79 shadrach_anki: I agree with you that the last sentence is consistent with the rest of the book, but I was also disappointed that *that* was the way he chose to end it.

març 30, 2019, 8:25am

As I’ve said before, this book has remained one of my favorites. I never read the prequels, but after reading Lonesome Dove, I listened to The Berrybender Narratives. The audio version was read by Alfred Molina. I think if you enjoyed LD, you’d most likely enjoy these four books as well. There is a lot of humor, with a warning—a fair bit of violence.

Editat: abr. 3, 2019, 5:48am

I made a long ride yesterday and I am now half way in Wyoming, the Yellowstone River being a handful of pages ahead according to the Captain (I finished chapter 92 to be precise). I really like the new characters from part three and found a new depth to the former ones.
I try not to read the spoilers in the above posts, but it’s difficult. A few days and I shall be able to read all of your comments.

abr. 3, 2019, 5:51am

And the ride has ended. From Texas to Montana and back. Still trying to come back in the modern world, but my head is still following the cattle in the Great Plains of a country still being built.

abr. 5, 2019, 1:32pm

I only just passed the halfway mark yesterday. Body count went up sharply. I’m really enjoying it, despite my slow progress. (Balancing my time with three other books)

abr. 10, 2019, 3:53am

Well, it's April now and although there was never a real deadline to the group read, I think I can say it's over. Minus dchaikin whom we are anxiously awaiting thoughts and comments from!

I'm very happy that my TBR was able to inspire us into reading what turned out to be a unanimously beloved book. Although it feels like it's been ages now since I read the book, the characters are still as fresh in my mind as if I had finished the book yesterday. Thanks everyone for contributing to the thread.

Any additional thoughts? Anyone going to watch the tv series?

abr. 20, 2019, 3:49pm

So, finally I did finish and really enjoyed this. On Litsy I wrote simply "Adventure, pacing, landscape and character and a masterful setup". I didn't go into the epicurean/stoic McRae/Call mash-up or into Don Quixote (which I haven't read) or into a few other things. Maybe I can pull these out in a post here in CR. Going back to read hidden spoilers above.

abr. 20, 2019, 4:20pm

>72 lilisin: "I think the rocking back and forth between the violence and the calm is actually what makes the book so fascinating. It mirrors the violence and beauty of the old West, whether the violence and beauty comes from nature, or from human companionship...

Love this comment, L.

>70 shadrach_anki:, >72 lilisin:, >74 rhian_of_oz: on Jake - I couldn't feel bad for Jake. He stumbled into a lot of preventable tragedies. I did wonder, did Gus and Call find the $800?

>75 japaul22:, >80 japaul22: - I've been thinking about this last line since I finished. Why end on that note? I wasn't comfortable with the implication that Lorena was the center of it all...but then maybe he means women or love were at the center of these men - love miss-applied in whorehouses or other games, love that undermines what they like to think of themselves, or that avoiding love fills the same role. LM did a good job of not letting characters say everything or understand everything. This book doesn't work as well if Call is able to breakdown his facade enough to acknowledge Newt. And while maybe Gus knew something, in general none of this crew knew what drove them. But, it's also sexist. They were all as good or bad as she was.

idle thoughts:

Was Gus courting death?
Was I wrong to be impressed with Pea-Eye's naked stagger to safety?
Was Charles Goodnight a good near-finishing touch?
Would Dish ever going to give up on Lorena?
Could July really be that dumb?
Why did Gus make that final request? Was it another game? Was there something constructive behind it?
Could the book have ended in Montana, or did it really need Call to circle back to the beginning?
I have more.

Editat: maig 24, 2019, 5:40am

At last, I've included my review of Lonesome Dove in my reading thread (here, in French).

I can't remember in which thread I had read a short discussion over Lonesome Dove being mythmaking material. I agree with this appreciation, and disagree at the same time. My opinion might be influenced by the fact that I read this from a non-US reader perspective, but I found the characters so human, and far more nuanced than the usual myth heroes, that I've had the feeling of reading much more than a western, and maybe having the opportunity of glancing at some of the more realistic sides of what it meant to conquer the west at that time.
This was a really good read, and a great reading experience. So thanks to all the fellow readers who took the time to share on this thread. It has made my reading richer, and even more enjoyable.

Editat: maig 22, 2019, 1:34pm

>90 raton-liseur: it was Petroglyph who brought up the American mythology on my thread ( post 41 here ). It was a really interesting post. Still thinking about it. McMurtry does blend in the American mythology here, even if he does it in his own way.

Editat: maig 22, 2019, 4:08pm

>91 dchaikin: I agree. He does use American mythology material. It's good to know a bit of this mythology, I guess, before reading Lonesome Dove, or the reader might lose a lot of subtext. But at the same time, I do not see Gus or Call (interesting, I always tend to call one by his name and the other one by his surname, strange the type of connection you develop with characters) being part of this mythology. They are far too human.
However, I agree that I use a very narrow (and inaccurate) definition of mythology here. Greek heroes were also very human and contrasted (contrasted, is this a word?).

I feel that playing with genre rules and expectations is quite in fashion at the moment on the book scene. I am thinking about The Sister Brothers, for the western genre as well, that I happened to read last year. It does the same in taking this mythology material and making something completely different and unexpected out of it. Blending toothpaste and western, that was an unexpected and interesting angle!
While reading Lonesome Dove, I had to keep reminding myself that it was a book published more than 30 years ago, so it has nothing to do with this trend.

Editat: maig 22, 2019, 10:44pm

They’re terrific characters, Gus and Call. I think their names are intended to be a bit random - like Pea-Eye or Deets. But still I thought about it the whole book. Call is an odd name, regardless.

Thinking about it now, he was not really following genre rules, so maybe not exactly breaking them. He’s more playing on the legend of the Texas Ranger, the dirty hero. And he’s playing with tracing the landscape, recreating it in some accuracy in both place and distance - filling all that in with many little stories. He’s quoted somewhere as intending to recreate Don Quixote - American Western version.

maig 25, 2019, 3:49am

>93 dchaikin: Will have to ponder on the Don Quixote reference. I have not read it, but still, it's an interesting and somehow unexpected parallel.

He’s playing on the legend of the Texas Ranger, the dirty hero. And he’s playing with tracing the landscape, recreating it in some accuracy in both place and distance - filling all that in with many little stories.
That's a sweet and short description of the book, I love it.