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Dead Man's Walk | [Larry McMurtry]

Dead Man's Walk

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.<
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Publisher's Summary

In Streets of Laredo, McMurtry brought the story ahead, giving us Call in his old age. Now, in Dead Man's Walk, he takes us back to the days when Gus and Call were young Texas Rangers, first experiencing the wild frontier that will form their characters. We also meet Clara Forsythe, the unforgettable young woman whose effect on Gus McCrae is immediate and unshakable. Danger, sacrifice, comradeship, and love give them the strength and courage to survive against the almost insurmountable odds of the frontier.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (682 )
5 star
 (358)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (452 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (455 )
5 star
 (296)
4 star
 (106)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    connie anchorage, ak, United States 02-01-14
    connie anchorage, ak, United States 02-01-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
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    178
    7
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    "Didn't Want to Take A Break"
    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I kind of predicted the ending to some extent, but was glad it was written with surprise.


    Do you think Dead Man's Walk needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John TACOMA, WA, United States 11-08-13
    John TACOMA, WA, United States 11-08-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Not Lonesome Dove. Not even close."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Crider Kansas City, MO, United States 10-05-13
    S. Crider Kansas City, MO, United States 10-05-13 Member Since 2012

    lost in words

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    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Closer to the truth of the 'old' West"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The story had was interesting but the ending felt like walking off a cliff.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    narration was very good


    Do you think Dead Man's Walk needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I think the ending left you so high and dry it begs for a follow-up book


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos Brunswick, ME, United States 09-15-13
    Carlos Brunswick, ME, United States 09-15-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    20
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    "I loved this western story."
    What made the experience of listening to Dead Man's Walk the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dead Man's Walk?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

    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.


    Who was the most memorable character of Dead Man's Walk and why?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KEITH Canyon Country, CA, United States 08-03-13
    KEITH Canyon Country, CA, United States 08-03-13 Member Since 2010

    I have been listening to books on tape for over 20 years. Starting with audio tapes, then CD's and now downloads.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    196
    47
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    "If you liked Lonesome Dove Read this book"
    What made the experience of listening to Dead Man's Walk the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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


    Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Mr. Patton did a great job and made it a joy to listen to this book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William G. Crovatt Tokyo Japan 06-20-13
    William G. Crovatt Tokyo Japan 06-20-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
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    12
    8
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    "Like taking a big bite out of a cowpie"
    What would have made Dead Man's Walk better?

    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?


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Lonesome Dove of course...


    Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    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.


    What character would you cut from Dead Man's Walk?

    The writer.


    Any additional comments?

    I am looking forward to listening to Lonesome Dove.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DUANE 05-16-13
    DUANE 05-16-13 Member Since 2014

    I am a Holy Bible Thumping, God loving, Holy Spirit following Jesus Freak.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Depressing for the most part."
    If you could sum up Dead Man's Walk in three words, what would they be?

    Depressing, although it does introduce Call and Gus.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The few times that there are humor and the introduction of Mattie.


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    He did a good job.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it was disappointing after Lonesome Dove.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nofrettin Vancouver 04-18-13
    nofrettin Vancouver 04-18-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    3
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    0
    0
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    "Poorly done"
    Would you try another book from Larry McMurtry and/or Will Patton?

    Yes, I will probably read the rest of the series based on the excellence of Lonesome Dove. I very rarely dislike a book this much, usually I can see the good in it and see what the author was intending. This one had me waiting for it to end.


    What was most disappointing about Larry McMurtry’s story?

    There didn't seem to be any kind of plot, or much character development throughout this story. It seems that McMurtry was simply milking the characters and not putting in any effort.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Will Patton’s performances?

    The narration was awful. I'm not sure if it was the narrators fault or the bad writing, or a combination of both. Perhaps a different genre would suit Will better.


    Any additional comments?

    I am sorry to sound so negative, but this one really left a bad taste in my mouth. I feel I would have been better off to have only read Lonesome Dove. Having said that, I will still finish the Comanche Moon and Streets of Laredo because I like the characters. All in all I'd say skip this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BJ York, PA 12-05-12
    BJ York, PA 12-05-12 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't get enough of these characters"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Dead Man's Walk to be better than the print version?

    Cannot comment. Did not read the print version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really like these characters. I have "read" listened to all of the books in this series over and over again. I listen to my books at work - not music like my coworkers.


    Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, first one. I sometimes have a problem with the narrator - if I don't like their voice it is hard for me to continue to listen to the book. Will Patton was great.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really. I listen over time.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 03-26-12
    David 03-26-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
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    Story
    "Intense stuff !"
    What made the experience of listening to Dead Man's Walk the most enjoyable?

    This story kept me guessing as to, what next ?


    What did you like best about this story?

    I found it to be suspenseful.


    What does Will Patton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He delivered a higher level of excitement to the story.


    If you could rename Dead Man's Walk, what would you call it?

    It's fine the way it is.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book, all around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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