Not at ALL the type of book I normally pick up, but based on the reviews and ratings I decided to give it a try. They were spot on.
It snuck up on me, but by the halfway point I found myself caring about Augustus McCrae in a way I never would have expected based on the first couple hours.
I REALLY realized how good it was when I was listening while driving and noticed my entire body was tensed up during a fight scene because I was so wrapped up in the events. Wow. That's some good writing!
It made me want to experience a cattle drive! :)
If you enjoy a charater driven story that just happens to happen in the old west, this is your best bet. The author constructs his people with care and empathy. One is truly sad when misfortunes occur and can revel in the humor and humanity of those who overcome their adversities.
The sexual content is relevent without being puriant or gratuitous. It just all rings true.
It took me a little while to get used to the narrator's voice and chararcterizations. I thought that at the very beginning he moved a little too fast. But once he did slow down the pace was perfect.
Complaints about Gus' voice are understandable. But because Gus is so outrageous, his voice needs to be outrageous as well. After a while, it just made me smile when he spoke.
This book is wonderful and tragic all at the same time. If you have ancestors who lived in some of the places that this story covers at the time this this story takes place, it may give you a new respect for the lives they may have led and the times that they lived in. I look forward to listening other books by L.M.
McMurtry is a genius with characters, and Horsley's reading of Gus MacRae, Woodrow Call, and Clara Allen are outstanding. This epic novel is a gritty, realistic portrait of the west as it teetered on the cusp of being settled (or as Gus would have said, "Ruint"). Lonesome Dove's west is populated by adventurers, pirates, sociopaths, and extraordinarily strong women. The novel is thoroughly entertaining and lends itself well to being read.
donald t wardlow
This book, and "the Stand," by Stephen King, go back and forth in my mind as far as being the best book ever. Mr. Horsley brings this book to life as only a Texan can do, even better than the skilled narrator who did the audio for the Library of Congress. He was good--Horsley is exceptional. He captures the brashness of Gus, the savagery of Blue Duck, the timid nature of July Johnson, and so much more. With such an epic to work with, many potential narrators would be overwhelmed. This reading lends an added dimension to an amazing book--more realistic than anything John Ford ever put on the screen. In this real Wild West, the good guys certainly don't always win, and even the good guys show the character flaws that make them seem more real than any hero John Wayne ever portrayed. McMurtry only wrote two other books worth bothering with--Streets of Laredo, the sequel to this book, and "Last Picture Show." Other than that, don't even bother. Forget the two prequels, they're worthless. This is easily my favorite western, and as i stated at the outset, one of my two favorite books of all.
This book is nothing short of spectacular. Not only is it a fantastic book, it is by far and away the best job of reading of any book I've listened to, and I have listened to plenty. This is not a Western in any traditional sense, but an unabashed story of life, by an author with an incredible sense for the rhythms of life, and a reader of great sensitivity who brings every character into his own. I guaranty you will not regret getting this book.
M A Stoever
I've been downloading two Audible titles a month for almost two years, and so far Lonesome Dove is the most memorable: an exciting and moving story populated with brilliantly created characters, brought to life by a fine narration.
I am not a fan of Western fiction, but decided to purchase this one due to its fame and awards, and because I found out it had been one of my grandfather's favorite books. The best aspect of the story is the characters, who come alive with a beauty of economy rarely seen. The setting also comes alive, and I enjoyed getting a good feel for what it was like to live in Texas during this time period. Being transported to a time and place is the greatest pleasure of historical fiction.
My disappointment comes from the terrible audio quality and poor narration. The volume varies widely, so that one must adjust the volume continually. Sometimes the volume drops extremely low. Sometimes it is extremely loud: one of the characters is described as having a loud voice, and that is taken literally in the narration, so that this character's dialogue is about three times louder than the others. No only is this annoying, it makes it impossible to listen to the book with earphones without risking hearing damage, let alone being startled out of your skin over and over.
The recording and editing are also of poor quality. The book sounds as if it were recorded at different times in different studios with different equipment. Sometimes there are delays between sentences, other times parts of sentences are repeated. At times the audio is clear, at other times it sounds like it was recorded with an old portable cassette tape player from the 70s.
I like the narrator's voice, as it seems very appropriate for the material, and he does a decent job varying the character's voices. But this recording is in serious need of a good director and editor.
I was a big fan of the television series so I downloaded the book for a cross country road trip. The book is so much better than the series (which I rememner won all kinds of awards as well). I was so engrossed in the story that I had to stop listening because I forgot to watch the road. I finished the book after the trip and by the time it was over I felt like the characters were old friends. I can't say enough good things about this book. Great value too, even though this is one of the longest books I have listened to I was literally sad when it was over I enjoyed it so much. Really a masterpiece.
It's huge. I listened to all forty some odd discs on my trip to Alaska and back.
I don't know how the narrator kept all his characters straight, but he did and had a different voice for all of them. He kept the story interesting, on track voice positive.
It's long, but if you have the time, it is a must