In a letter to her daughter back East, Martha Jane is not shy about her own importance: "Martha Jane -- better known as Calamity -- is just one of the handful of aging legends who travel to London as part of Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show in Buffalo Girls." As he describes the insatiable curiosity of Calamity's Indian friend No Ears, Annie Oakley's shooting match with Lord Windhouveren, and other highlights of the tour, McMurtry turns the story of a band of hardy, irrepressible survivors into an unforgettable portrait of love, fellowship, dreams, and heartbreak.
©2001 Larry McMurtry (P)2004 Simon & Schuster
I did not expect to like this book so much.
As a kid I read about the Wild West and this book had good reviews (and was on sale), so I started it and was immediately brought in by the "camp fire".
This is as good a combination of reader and story as you will ever find.
The characters are richly written. With all their prickles, bad habits, really bad decisions, reverses and tragedies, each one is sympathetic and real, but would not make easy friends.
This is an interesting study on what happens when an era ends, but the people who lived it are still around. Where do they go? What do they do now? Take it on the road? There are no more absurd contrasts than a bunch of wild west cowboys and Indians in the middle of Victorian England, but here they are. And then the anticlimax of coming home to what?
Heartrending and real with romance thrown in, this book imagines all the possibilities with kindness and humor and all too human sadness.
I have tried to find compelling content on audible. So far even good books are too often ruined by bad renderings. Buffalo Girls is an exception. Long ago, I listened to the cassette version. Recently the Audible offering became my favorite. Larry McMurtry is a master at investing in character development and Betty Buckley is the perfect vehicle. You can't go wrong with Buffalo Girls. It will inspire you to dig unto the stories of the historical people. If you dig this, check out David Milch's "Deadwood" series that ran on HBO. - Good luck and good listening.
I have had the pleasuer of listening to several of Larry McMurtry's books. But is is one of my favorites. Part of it is due to the reader Betty Buckley. It feels like the real Calamidy Jane is speaking at times, or even more of an entire cast. She does an amazing job. The story of the Old west and the main Characters of Buffalo Bills Wild West show draw into life here. The book is also written threw the eyes of several people, Jane, the bufflo men, no ears, ect. You feel you know every character. If you enjoy Larry McMurtry this is a must have!
I went back and forth on whether to rate the story three or four stars. For McMurtry it's only a three. But since I like McMurtry his threes are more like fours for anyone else.
My inclination is to compare this to Lonesome Dove. But really, it's not Lonesome Dove and not meant to be. We'll just stipulate that LD is better, that everyone should listen to it and move on to Buffalo Girls.
McMurtry has written a sad lonely book. He's borrowed history and molded it into a shape that suited him. In doing so he's given himself a new canvass to work with. This book will not move into the future with you. You won't look back and think of it later, most likely, but it still has things to say and will entertain you absolutely while it says them.
The best thing about Buffalo Girls is Betty Buckley's performance. Her husky broken voice creates the landscape and takes you back in time and due west. (Unless you're from California, in that case you'll have to head east.)
Definitely worth the credit.
The character's story telling was so good. You laughed and cried with them. It had some history in it that really helped to tell the story and entertain.
The "voice" the author gives the characters, especially the character of no ears and the voice the narrator used didn't match in my head, but overall, she did a good job.
No ears, for sure! He seemed so interesting and had such insight, but kind of from an unusual perspective and with odd ideas and thoughts. I would love to have a conversation with him!
Larry McMurtry is awesome! As always!
The Narrator sounded like an old drunk- just like Calamity.
Haven't found one yet
A voice that brings all the characters come alive.
Calmity's friend Dora. She almost starved as a child and she kinda turns me on.
Heaps of fun on a long driving trip. Kept me smiling the whole 5 hrs !
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