Can't say enough about the book itself. One of my all-time favorite novels--finely-crafted characters that become old friends you want to go back and revisit time and again. Beautifully crafted writing.
The reader, Lee Horsley, does well with the character voices, wisely taking his cues from the cast of the miniseries who nailed their performances.
The downside to this audio book is the abysmal audio engineering and sound quality. The volume varies throughout, dropping dialogue so low you can't hear it, and then the next sentence is blasting loud. Intermittent background hiss. The audio issues really detract from an outstanding book and decent performance.
I never read the print version
Gus on the porch talking to his pigs
No, it is too long, but I did listen while doing other things
give it a try, much better then the film, and the film was very good
This review is intended for those who haven't read any of the four installments of The Lonesome Dove Tetralogy (a word I've never heard of but it's what McMurtry calls it) and are here because this is the most famous of the four and the first one to be published, it's actually the third book in the series, for some reason McMurtry wrote them in order of book #3, 4, 1 and 2, who knows why...this review is also for anyone who's read the books but is new to their audio version, and it's actually overall intended as a review for all four.
First, the story/stories: as those who've read them know and as you newbies can surely guess, overall they're pretty great...the weakest of them (which I think is #4, Streets of Laredo) is never worse than very damned good and I think the best (this one, 'natch) is a genuine masterpiece. One of their greatest strengths lies in their across-the-board appeal; obviously if you like Westerns or historical novels (American or otherwise) you'll love them, but if you're like me and only care for what I call the "obvious exception Westerns" such as McCarthy's Blood Meridian, Robert B. Parker's Cole and Hitch novels, the masterpiece that is HBO's Deadwood or relatively recent films like Unforgiven or Tombstone (if that, even) you'll still love these. Each has all the expected and time-honored tropes of the Western yet is told so beautifully with such at times shockingly real character and events they can appeal to pretty much anyone. I give the highest of high recommendations to all four, and suggest listening to them in order (as in Dead Man's Walk to Comanche Moon to this one to Streets of Laredo) but you also don't need to, they each can stand alone, although I would add you might not want to start with Streets of Laredo, as it contains major spoilers for the other three (those who've read know what I mean). Also, by the by, the movies are pretty good too, the original based on this book is obviously the best but the other three are fairly solid, and it's fun watching all the same characters come back each time played by different but (usually) very similar actors, which is about as good as segue as possible to lead me to...
The narrators. Usually when it comes to a series I like the same narrator all the way through, as I believe most of us audiobook aficionados do, but I make an exception here. I really enjoy the four different readers, both in their style and their stature: two (Will Patton and the late great Frank Muller) are superstars of this medium, each with great acclaim and dozens of performances on their resumes while the other two (Lee Horsley and Daniel Von Bargen) are more or less unknowns, at least in the world of audio. Each brings their own distinctive style to the books, and they're all quite different...for instance Muller is probably the most "professional" of them while Horsley clearly had no idea what he was doing, at least from a technical standpoint (which in no way criticizes his performance cause it's masterful nonetheless). As each book has its own unique, distinctive feel and vibe while still comfortably existing within the greater series, each narrator does as well. Oddly enough, Muller actually seems the least well-suited to the task (though, again, this is in no way a criticism, he never once put in less than an above average performance and on Comanche Moon he was far better than that) while Horsley for all his seeming amateur status might be the most fun and enjoyable of the bunch. Having said that, out of these four I think Patton is both the best narrator and the best fit of performance to text (not saying he's better than Muller overall but he's certainly on the same level), I mean he's a great reader who also just plain sounds like a cowboy, which obviously Horsley does as well but he's not quite as solid from a technical standpoint.
So I guess I wrote all that (aka way too damn much) to say that I recommend these audiobooks, individually yes but far far more as a complete set, about as highly as any audiobooks you're likely to find, on this site or anywhere else. As an audio series I'd put it up there with George R.R. Martin/Roy Dotrice's Song Of Ice And Fire series, Stephen King/Frank Muller's Dark Tower series (sorry but I really don't like George Guidall and I have no idea why Muller's version of book 1, The Gunslinger, isn't available here), Nelson Demille/Scott Brick's John Corey series or James Ellroy and Craig Wasson's collaboration on two of Ellroy's Underworld U.S.A. trilogy (why why why has no one yet gotten Wasson to record American Tabloid, which he should do anyway and in fact is not available on audio at all??). Simply put (too late) these audiobooks are amazing, as a whole or in part. Can't recommend them enough.
I didn't see the mini-series, but knew who played some of the main characters. I love Gus and of course, could see him. I didn't love Lee Horsley as Gus, but I got used to it and it was okay. It was very distracting in the beginning. Horsley as all the others, was great.
I don't know of another. This made me laugh out loud and cry.
When Gus got Lori back.
Gus. He was just larger than life.
slow, hard to follow
have tried to watch the movie, it seemed good just couldn't sit through it, thought the book might capture me...not.
Moved along at a better pace.
Slow, boring, rambling
Reached chapter 17 of 48 and could take no more, the reading also is so loud for some characters and hardly audible for others.
The narrator's voices were great and portrayed the characters well. I enjoyed the characters of the book as well as the story itself. It was a pleasant journey.
Gus was my favorite character. His ideas about life and events were unique and special and very funny.
It was a book that I listened to slowly so that it did not end too quickly.
I have seen this movie and read the book twice but nothing prepared me for how great the audio version would be. The characters came alive and had big personalities, especially Gus McRae. Many thanks to Audible for having this classic among their treasures. Have not had a better told story in a long time.
I am a Holy Bible Thumping, God loving, Holy Spirit following Jesus Freak.
Bravery, Love, Friendship
Gus saving Laurie from being kidnapped.
Mr. Horsey is the best narrator I have ever heard.
I did want to listen to it all in one sitting.
If I could spend a day with any character, it would be Gus.
I read this every 5 years. Audible is new to me and I found it very enjoyable. I laugh and cry.