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Midwest Reader

United States | Member Since 2013

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  • Streets of Laredo

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By Daniel Von Bargen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (227)

    The final book of Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove tetralogy is an exhilarating tale of legend and heroism. Captain Woodrow Call, August McCrae's old partner, is now a bounty hunter hired to track down a brutal young Mexican bandit. Riding with Call are an Eastern city slicker, a witless deputy, and one of the last members of the Hat Creek outfit, Pea Eye Parker, now married to Lorena -- once Gus McCrae's sweetheart. This long chase leads them across the last wild streches of the West....

    Pamela Pequeno says: "Torturous listening"
    "what a disappointment..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I have no idea. Not fans of LONESOME DOVE, I can tell you that...


    Would you ever listen to anything by Larry McMurtry again?

    Maybe. LONESOME DOVE was very good, so he's definitely capable of good writing. Maybe I'll be luckier next time (though it definitely WON'T be a western, I can tell you that...)


    Which character – as performed by Daniel Von Bargen – was your favorite?

    No particular character -- I just thought he did a decent job overall (though his halting pronunciation of "Famous Shoes" does seem a little odd...). He is a wonderful character actor and has that great character actor voice...given more colorful phraseology like that in TRUE GRIT, I think he would definitely do the material justice. But here he was bound by the bland and uninteresting writing of McMurtry. The dialogue was weak, and the exposition dull and lacking any real detail. I don't recall that he even bothered to describe any of the characters aside from general size (Brookshire was fat, Call was small, etc.) or gender (Lorena is pretty). Kinda hard to picture someone if you don't know what they look like...I guess you're supposed to rely on your memory of the LONESOME DOVE miniseries? Anyway, I can't imagine any narrator making this material interesting. I hope Mr. Von Bargen gives audio books another go someday and finds a novel that is up to his talents.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Streets of Laredo?

    So many scenes are utterly superfluous to the main plot -- like anything to do with Judge Roy Bean or John Wesley Hardin or Charlie Loving, none of whom actually do much and only serve as famous cameos. The entire Doobie Plunkert subplot. Any time he brought up characters from LONESOME DOVE, as it was invariably to take a dump on our memory of them and make sure we knew there were no happy endings. Any scene dealing with evil incarnate Joey Garza or his saintly mother Maria. Come to think of it, I could've done without the whole story. In the future, I'll treat this book like ALIEN 3...it never happened. I prefer to think that the Hat Creek operation is still going on up there in Montana, Dish is still intent on wooing Lorena, and Newt may yet get his father to acknowledge him...


    Any additional comments?

    Late in the book, Ned Brookshire despairs about his trip into the wilderness with Woodrow Call -- "he had taken them from somewhere to nowhere, and accomplished nothing..." That's actually a pretty good summary of this book. There are no real heroes in this book, only villains and victims. Writers have been "demythologizing" the American West for so long now that it's just tiresome. Unfortunately this is just more of the same.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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