Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry book review

Lonesome Dove was very kindly sent to by a follower over on Instagram after she stated she really wanted me to read it and to hear my thoughts on it as it was one of her favourite books of all time! Lonesome Dove is the first true cowboy book I’ve read and is over 800 pages long. It took me a while, but I finished it and overall, I really enjoyed it!

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Lonesome Dove tells the story of Captain Woodrow F. Call and Captain Augustus “Gus” McCrae among many others as they decide one day to take a cattle heard from Lonesome Dove in Texas to Montana. It tells the story of their troubles along the way, they people they meet, their loves, their losses and so much more.

Lonesome Dove story – 4.5/5

Lonesome Dove is a very long book, therefore it fits a lot of different smaller stories into its pages. It tells the stories of multiple characters. There are stories of love, old age, loss, learning, youth, fatherhood, parenting and so much more. McMurtry does a fantastic job of telling so many great stories in these pages, many of which are offering lessons and thought-provoking moments to consider.

For the first half of the book, I wasn’t really into Lonesome Dove as I felt like it was just a generic cowboy story about a bunch of men who went around shooting and talking about women. However, there was a moment just afte the halfway point when everything clicked for me and how it was actually building these characters’ personalities to only have them shattered when someone they loved turned up or died or something they’d never had to tackle came across them. It was brilliant and I ended up thoroughly enjoying my experience of the final half of this book.

Lonesome Dove characters – 4.5/5

I listed to a lot of Lonesome Dove on audiobook and unfortunately the version on Audible was quite low quality, which is very unlike Audible as I’ve had such good success with their audiobooks. Additionally, the narrator gave Gus one of the most annoying voices – a really strong and loud Texan accent that make him quite annoying to listen to. However, this didn’t stop me from really really enjoying the people this book is about.

Again, due to the vast amount of characters in this book, there were so many personalities involved and personal stories to tell. You’ve got Gus and Call who are the older tougher generation, you’ve got Newt, the younger generation – stark contrasts who end up admiring one another for the unique perspectives they bring. Gus goes on a personal journey that despite his hard outer exterior ends up showing a softer side to him thanks to one woman.

There are so many other stories like this in here too. Stories about human beings finding out there’s more to life than their simple existence thanks to the introduction of old or new friends. The physical journey these people go on causes their personalities and character to go on a journey too, making for a really mature and personal look into human nature.

Lonesome Dove final rating – 4.5/5

Lonesome Dove was a book that, I’ll admit, at first, I didn’t really get. I thought it was a generic cowboy story about a bunch of men talking, shooting and expressing misogynistic views over women. However, about halfway through something absolutely changed that for me. The characters started having transformative moments, I started to understand the deeper and higher stories and lessons McMurtry was trying to tell here. I began to fall in love with the characters and never really wanted it to end in the end. The more I think about Lonesome Dove, the more I want to read the sequel.

Buy a copy of Lonesome Dove

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