65 y/o father of two sons. Married 25 yrs. Audible member for 8 yrs. I can hardly read books with my eyes any more. I love reviewing.
Larry McMurtry wrote this book about twenty-five years ago. It is still amazing. No matter what you think about westerns, this book is so involving that, once you get into it a little ways, you will be so entertained that you will finish the book and never forget it. The book was made into a TV miniseries starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall. The series was way popular. Duvall said that it was the peak of his acting career.
I had never heard of Lee Horsley, but he was a narrator with enough talent to do a great job; sometimes a great book gets a less-then-great narrator, and the product is not good. The plot of the book involves two famed Texas Rangers named Captain Woodrow Call and Captain Augustus MacRae. Both of these men are fascinating characters, and they develop throughout the book. They,and a bunch of cowboys whom they recruit, embark on an astounding cattle drive. From the Rio Grande (from the dusty, hot town that gives the book its name) north and west all the way to Montana, they drive 3000 head of cattle over and through many rivers, many threatening weather events (including lightning which literally strikes for hours, and strikes so strong that the eyes turn completely white; and the strikes are so close to the cowboys and to one other key character, a whore named Lorena, who is just as fascinating as the Captains) and other remarkable experiences. Have any of you ever been in a grasshopper cloud? The grasshoppers descend so quickly and in such large numbers that the cowboys and the horses are instantly breathing grasshoppers, beating them off their shirts, and discovering that their only option is to endure the torment for hours, until it is finally over. There is, as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas used to say, nowhere to run to, baby; nowhere to hide.
The other unbelievable, and often fatal peril, is Indians. They were not called Native Americans in the late 1800s. The men, the worst of them, were brutal, terrifying killers. They stalked across the plains, and anywhere else they lived, and their lives were so brutal, their hatred for the white man (and one black man in the cast) that they could sneak up on people in utter silence, and then attack with such ferocity that they killed their victims immediately. One particular monster among the Indians is a man named Blue Duck, who is so frightening that you cringe when you hear his name. In addition to the above, he is so cruel and inhuman that I will not describe him further.
McMurtry's gift for interweaving plots involving completely separate people is amazing. You get really interested in one group for a while, and then he shifts to another group, and then another. The whore Lorena is one of the best-developed people in the whole book, just as fascinating as Gus and Call. Her story is pitiful and gradually becomes a story of truly extraordinary love. The relationship between Lorena and Gus is so tender that it rings completely true. It is a relationship that easily could exist now, between two people who are truly, madly, deeply in love with each other. The relationship between Gus and Call is also extraordinary, and unique in my experience of books of any age. It is a marriage of sorts, also so tender at times that you understand it deeply in your heart. They literally would die for each other. Very literally.
Anyway, this is the longest review I have ever written. Enough about my opinion. I would love to hear yours.
The book is actually one of a trilogy, with Lonesome Dove and Comanche Moon. If you can, listen to Frank Muller read them all. His passing is the greatest loss the world of audiobooks has ever sustained. His ability to fully dramatize all the characters, the locations, the plot developments over the full life span of Captain Call: these are gifts which have provided me with almost countless hours of pleasure. Despite how "gritty" much of the material is, Frank reads it with the full range of human emotion, to an extent that the reader simply marvels at. It really is very hard to listen to another narrator without comparing him or her to Frank, and Frank always wins. I am now trying to hear the entire catalog, over 200 books, that he read before the horrible accident which killed his career, and then years later, killed him. I never wanted to be on a dusty, dangerous cattle drive; I feel now as if I almost have been there. Brilliant.
PLOT: Carlie takes on Mercenary Carson.....BEST Palmer in along time.
Innocent Carlie has her share of BAD memories and secrets. She finds herself a victim and has a photographic memory of some BADDIES who were involved in a crime. Carson is a handsome Lakota Sioux who fends off his feelings for Carlie. His own "past'.. keeps him from having a future with Carlie. When Carlie is kidnapped Carson is a key in her recovery. Just about all our favorite Jacobville Characters are part of this story. But ADDED fun is newcomer.... Rourke the South African born...uncover HUNK is my favorite of this book.....and future HERO...of a future Palmer books I am so very sure....bring him on... This is one of the best Palmer books in a long time. The hero is not such a woman hater as the past ones. the ONLY thing I would like to see is more spunk the heroines we loved in EARLY Palmer books. They maked us smile and laugh....Carlie is sweet and likeable and we enjoy her but her photographic memory was not used as I hoped in this book is my only disappointment. the Plot is solid and moves along well I give this 4 stars for Plot, reader and better than average Palmer book.