In Dead Man's Walk, Gus and Call are not yet 20, young men coming of age in the days when Texas was still an independent republic. Enlisting as Texas Rangers under a land pirate who wants to seize Santa Fe from the Mexicans, Gus and Call experience their first great adventure in the barren great plains landscape, in which arbitrary violence is the rule -- whether from nature, or from the Indians whose territory they must cross in order to reach New Mexico.
From the Indians defending their land with unrelenting savagery, to the Texans attempting to seize and "civilize" it, and the Mexicans threatened by both, the reckless men of the untamed frontier make this at once a riveting adventure story and a powerful work of literature.
©2000 Larry McMurtry; (P)2000 Simon & Schuster
First audible experience. Made the car ride seem short as characters came to life. The voices were consistent and well portrayed the great expedition. Learning how the Hat Creek outfit got started is an exciting adventure. Look forward to the next book in the series.
It's in the top 5
It would be a toss up between Gus, and Mattie.
It's hard to say their were many great moments in the book, but when the Mexican officer asked to be shot to let the others go free, that was inspiring.
No moment in particular, I was moved by the book as a whole because it was very well written, and superbly narrated.
This is a quintessential Western novel, and must listen. This is a great book even if you don't like Westerns.
Two western voices together highlight this stubborn, however interesting plot line. I do love McMurtry's writing voice, and Will Patton [drawls] us right in to this dusty and realistic nightmare. This is where Call and Gus got tough.
The most interesting part is... the deadman's walk; chilling with the amazing surviving spirit of mankind... and how tough Texas was to settle.
I kind of predicted the ending to some extent, but was glad it was written with surprise.
It has a follow up and while I didn't love the book, I do need to get the next one to see how things progress.
Will Patton is such an excellent narrator that I purchased this book for his work. I truly liked the characters in this book, but it is awfully bloody. I fast forwarded through many gory, detailed descriptions. I'm trying the next book if it is as bloody and cruel I'll probably give up on the series.
Lonesome Dove was so good that I immediately wanted to start the series from the chronological beginning. I was sad to see that there was a different narrator for each book in the series, but I figured that if they were all by the same author, they would all be as good. Now I am not sure I want to finish the series. The narration was totally enjoyable (not quite as good as the reader for Lonesome Dove), but the story was weak. I understand that the two main characters that are so easy to enjoy Lonesome Dove are supposed to be very young men and maybe not quite as nuanced in this book, but they just weren't very interesting here. The humor of Lonesome Dove is absent. Also, Dead Man's Walk is very short (14 hours, I think, compared to the 30 or 40 of Lonesome Dove), which I suppose was merciful.
lost in words
The story had was interesting but the ending felt like walking off a cliff.
narration was very good
I think the ending left you so high and dry it begs for a follow-up book
I have not read all the Lonesome Dove series and it would probably be helpful to do so to understand the whole complexity of this saga. I love the western open lands and love the visions created by the author. All in all it's a good story.
I loved the reader! I'm unsure why others complained, because I feel Will Patton did a wonderful job of expressing a natural-sounding Texan accent. The story was great, too.
FOr me, the most memorable aspect was the view that the white soldiers and settlers were unable to properly defend themselves. Unlike most westerns which convey Mexicans and Native Americans as ignorant, evil animals (more of less), this book showed their prowess as hunters, skilled fighters, and strategic thinkers. In the end, the indians didn't lose.
Karl got my most sympathy and attention. He was clearly street smart more than book smart, which was good for his training as a Texas Ranger.
Will's portrayal of Caleb made me hate the character - as intended. He was evil, so the narrator made him sound obnoxious and just nasty. I was glad when he was shot down.
If you're looking for the typical western story where the good guys are sure to win in the end, you should find another book. But if you want a cool, colorful western story with many interesting characters and compelling events, then I recommend you download this book. I would gladly read it over again.The only reason I took a star off this review is because the story takes a weird turn at the end that is unrealistic and lame. A woman sings opera to scare the Indians off. This book was building towards a fight between Karl and Buffalo Hump, so it's stupid to end that scene in such a silly way. It could have been enough to have the prophetic white mule appear to send Buff running.
I have been listening to books on tape for over 20 years. Starting with audio tapes, then CD's and now downloads.
Gus and Cal come alive in this book. One learns what drives them internally when they grow up. The ways that they care for each other, though neither ever says a word about their committment to each other.
I grew to like the Spanish Captain very much. How one hates him so much at the beginning and comes to empathize with him by the end of their journey. He knows that he is in a bad situation that will not turn out well for him and that he will be misunderstood. But his honor and pride of the obediance of the orders has him carry on even though he knows the results will be unfair to him
Mr. Patton did a great job and made it a joy to listen to this book.
The inter actions between Gus and Cal often made me smile. The fruitlessness of the entire plan and the destruction of so many people made me sad.
One gets a feel of the abilities of the Camanches. I contacted the Texas ranger historical site after this book. He confirmed that the Camanches were probably the finest mounted calvary on the planet at the time.
The characters made this a potentially great book. You almost fall in love with them and their ways. The problem with the story is that there is truly no story. It is one tragedy after another. The good guys never win. Who would write a story in which the heroes always lose and the villains always win?
Lonesome Dove of course...
Will Patton is the best narrator. I love his work. He is the reason I bought the book. He did a great job with this book in spite of it being a loser.
I am looking forward to listening to Lonesome Dove.
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