An inveterate audio book listener.
Rank: Definitely in the top ten, but I tend to not rank by 1st, 2nd , 3rd, rather, top group, very good, middle of the pack, and losers.
Compare to Gone with the Wind for :
Sense of place and time
Memorable characters who feel like friends
A story that makes me feel like I have actually experienced being there
Any scene involving Gus, and the interactions between Gus and Call.
Yes, but not possible.
I do not listen to Westerns as a rule, but this story, first as a book and then the Audiobook version, transcends its genre. It is not so much a Western as it is a character study set down in the Old West. Lee Horsely does a wonderful job of narration. The only desire I could have to top it would be to have Robert Duval narrate the story as he played Gus in the Miniseries, which was fantastic in its own right. This book is wonderful in whatever media you experience it.
This would be a better book to read on paper than listen to, entirely because of the poor narration. Being an actor does not make Lee Horsley a narrator. All voices -- men, women, southerners, northerners, Irish, Mexicans, American Indians, young old -- are the same, with the exception of one of the most nuanced characters in the novel, Gus, for whom Horsley has one voice, loud and always the same intonation, apparently reacting only to a reference to Gus's loud voice and not to anything else. Many lines are mis-read, with emphasis and intonation that don't make sense in the context. Speed varied considerably, sometimes enough to make me change the speed setting on my ipod, sometimes to half speed and once or twice even to double speed. It is true that a good narrator can make a mediocre book. In this case a mediocre narrator makes a good book annoying, frustrating, aggravating, and a real disappointment.
Loved the book when I read it in hardback and the T V mini series. Mr McMurtry does a magnificent job at giving us a look into life as it really was in 1870's Texas. The characters are not cookie cutter copies of what you find in other books of the West and Texas. Great book and great expressive writing. My only problem is the narrator. The voice used for Gus was horrid. Way too high pitched and the intonation completely wrong. I guess Mr Horsley thought being loud and sounding like a screech owl would cover up the lack of any try at a Texas accent.
... and I've listened to a lot! This story is captivating for the entire 36 hours. It is beautifully written, and the characters are completely fleshed out. It can be brutal, but it is also uplifting and funny. I've gone on to listen to many Larry McMurtry books after I listened to this. He is a true gift to those who love the western genre.
The book grew on me. The character development was like a slow-roasted meat - it took time, but the end result was pretty darn good. I was sad when the book was finished. There is a lot going on with all the characters, and it is a good examination of the human condition. Recommended.
Toni in TN
The 3rd go around with reading this book was as good as the first, although with it being Audible gave it a fresh experience.. The narration was as great as the writing and no matter how many times you've read this book before, you won't be disappointed.. In fact, I intend to keep it in my "Library" and after a couple of years will probably listen, again... AND, I'm usually more of a mystery reader... GREAT BOOK
I have watched the movie Lonesome Dove more times than I can count, It is my favorite movie of all times. When listening to the book the nariator makes Agustis so obnoxious that I couldn't listen to it any more. waste of money
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
Should you feel a hankering for a epic story set in the American Old West circa 1880, Lonesome Dove delivers all the requisite elements: cattle drives, saloons, prostitutes, rangers, mountain men, and desperadoes. It also manages to respect the historic realities of the frontier while paying tribute to the swaggering spirit of the great American cowboy myth. Giving this 800-plus page novel lasting readability, though, is its large cast of appealing but flawed characters, especially ex-ranger Augustus McCrae, whose easy-going banter and irreverant jabs become the main vehicle for McMurty's dry wit.
While the level of writing isn't exactly Tolstoy, the story kept me engaged with plenty of plot developments and human drama, including some surprisingly penetrating insights into the give and take of romantic relationships on the frontier. At times, the characters of Lonesome Dove suffer the brutal violence and random tragedy inherent to the real Old West, but McMurty treats their thoughts with tenderness and humor throughout (he switches points of view frequently). As with many good books, Lonesome Dove ends on a wistful note, leaving a few wrongs unrighted and several plot threads unresolved.
Overall, a fine example of well-realized and entertaining genre fiction. Even if the Old West isn't your regular cup of tea, this book is so good, it's worth making an exception for.