Lonesome Dove (2) – Larry McMurtry
Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurtry (Pan Books 1986)
Review submitted by Des.
Gus and Call are retired Texas Rangers whiling away their days in the fly speck on the map known as Lonesome Dove. Gus’s time is spent talking – he loves the sound of his own voice, drinking whiskey and visiting the local saloon and the ‘hostess’ Lorena. Call is intense, taciturn and, driven to create his own empire, decides to take a huge herd of cattle thousands of miles north to the unexploited territory of Montana.
Set in the 1880s, this yarn is populated with a great cast of characters. There is the sadistic, psychotic Comanche Blue Duck, the hapless Jake Spoon and Po Campo,the cook who walks all the way – introducing the wary cowboys to the culinary delight of roasted crickets dipped in molasses. Oh, and two blue pigs.
It soon becomes clear that not everybody will make it to the end of the drive and various people arrive and depart – often in dramatc circumstances.
Gus is a great foil for the largely silent Call and both are fearless and efficient fighters, drawing on their experiences as Rangers opposing the Comanches and various bad guys.
This is a vividly told, accomplished tale. USA Today said that if you read only one Western novel in your life it should be this one.
Copies are available from the Gold Coast Library here