Book Review: "Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry
Long time ago, I guess in the 80s, this was an award-winning mini series. I didn't get to see it except in bits and pieces because my life was very busy. My family saw it, though, and they loved it. My mom and Ellen read the book, but it never crossed my path.
A couple years ago, Ellen gave me the sequel, "Streets of Laredo" and I really enjoyed it. Last year, she saw the mini series at the Goodwill Store in video cassette. I still have a working VCR, so she bought it for me for about a dollar or so. It was really, really good.
I picked up the book to read. The story was fresh in my mind, so I didn't have any surprises when I read it. I wish I had read it, first. The book was awesome.
It is a western about a couple retired Texas Rangers that decide to take a herd of cattle up to Montana, basically on a whim, because they were restless. On the way, they run into many problems, and I have never known an author so willing to kill off main characters. The trip was a disaster. Basically, just about nothing worked out the way it was planned.
It was also very sad, and by the last hundred pages, I couldn't wait for it to end.
All the horse parts of the book were very accurate. The horses played an important part of the story, and the author seemed to have a great appreciation for them.
I do think it cleared up one thing. My sister, Ellen, has issues with crossing rivers. They had one terrible river crossing and many difficult ones. The cowboys dreaded river crossings throughout the book. I think exposure to the mini series and the book may have traumatized her for life. Maybe it is good that I didn't read the book until now. That first river crossing is tragic, and they portray it so well on the mini series.
If you like westerns, cowboys, horses and adventure--this is the book for you. Just be prepared to like most of the characters and willing to watch them die.