The title of my review sums up my feelings on the book. I couldn't imagine a better reader than Will Patton. And McMurtry is always fun and poignant and kind of brutal in that he likes to kill off his characters after you've fallen in love with them.
I have started and restarted this review several times. I don't want to gush, but . . . Will Patton is as incredible a narrator as he is an actor. In fact, this will seem like a movie in your head. There are many, many characters, but with Will's narration, you will recognize each voice -- even without a "Gus said'. I read this book years ago, and thought it an ok read, but, with Will Patton's narration, it brings it up to one of my favorites. I just wish he read the entire series.
This is one of the best, period. I listened to it for the first time when I was about 15. At 26 I really wanted to revisit it. Boy am I glad I did. What a book. My boyfriend went absolutely crazy over it. We can't wait to continue the series.
I listen while doing those tasks when I don't need to be mentally engaged all the time. If I miss something I listen all over again.
Fits with the Lonely Dove Story and is a keeper. Seems like you are there with the characters and it is true to history.
This is a graphic but well put together book that gives you a good feeling of what it must of been like in the 1840's. If you are into the details of living out on the wild and can handle graphic details of torture you will like this book a lot.
If you thought Gus was the hero of Lonesome Dove, you'll love this tale of his youth. Read with real character by Will Patton and written while McMurtry was still knocking them out of the ball park.
In short: Everyone dies a terrible death. Every person, every pet, every pack animal, every wild creature. Its over the top. I read previous reviews posts about how cruel the descriptions are and how difficult it is to listen to because of the violence and horrible endings everyone and everything faces in this book and I thought, well a lot of people are pansies. You have to have some terrible endings for a good drama, right? McMurtry takes it over the top in this book. Obviously, because this is the prequel to Lonesome dove (and others) Carl and McCray don't suffer terrible endings, but the device he uses to save them in the end is so far fetched I wish he had knocked them off too just to skip the embarrassment of such a ludicrous ending. Skip this one completely. I Loved Lonesome Dove, and ignored other reviews on this book because I wanted to spend more time hearing about the characters I met in Lonesome Dove. Now I wish I had taken heed.
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.