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
This is a prequel to Lonesome Dove with a young Corporal Call and Augustus. It is well written and superbly narrated. I could listen to Will Patten recite the phone book and enjoy it. It is also a good book but I could not give it five stars because it is so depressing. You are supposed to win some, lose some in life but you should not lose them all. If you do not mind a depressing story and you like oaters then this is for you.
Like many others, I listened to "Lonesome Dove" and loved it and wanted more of the story. This prequel, while entertaining, is a bit disappointing. Gus is one dimensional interested only in whores and it's hard to see how he would develop into the accomplished Texas Ranger we meet in "Lonesome Dove".
There is a lot of emphasis on torture and unpleasant death but I didn't find that to be as bad as some other reviewers do, though and lot of bad things and not much positive happens to the heroes in this one.
Near the end of the book, Mcmurtry changes style and suddenly we get Buffalo Hump and other Comanches in the first person where it had been third person throughout, which just struck me as odd.
I have to agree with one of the other reviewers on the ending. The ending is ludicrous and stretches the readers credulity beyond the breaking point.
Still, I did generally enjoy the story and it's worth it in any case as the first chronologically in the series.
Loved it! Will Patton is an awesome narrator and the voices of Gus and Woodrow are so much like Bobby Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones in the movie Lonesome Dove that you can just see them (albeit younger) as you are listening. Just started Commanche Moon and the narration is a huge disappointment.
Lonesome Dove was one of the best audiobooks ever and Comanche Moon is not far behind. Unfortunately the best reason for listening to Dead Man's Walk is that it is the first book in this trilogy and sets the stage- even if done poorly. Unlike the second two books, there is little character development. Gus, the most intriguing character in Lonesome Dove, is a one-dimensional character interested only in sex and alcohol. Likewise for the Comanches and Apaches, portrayed as only interested in torture and killing- with drawn-out descriptions of both
Farmboy, nurse, fisherman, birdwatcher,
I walked the Dead Man's Walk with Call and Gus. Will Patton brings a very good tale to the level of Majesty. I've listened 4 times and get a little more each time. You'll love ALL of the characters - the heroes and the villains. The landscape they trudge through is wide open and wild. Loved it. Still love it. It's a listen again and again. Makes the Lonesome Dove TV series into a poor cousin by comparison.
When the Mexican Commander hands over his gun to Call.... real drama.
I will listen to Will Patton read the phone book. His sensitivity with accents, and nuance are remarkable. I like him as an actor but LOVE him as a Narrator.
I'd take Gus out for dinner and just listen. Mostly because he'd do all the talking and you would never get a chance to interrupt. But I'd take Call fishing - and count the dozen words he spoke as a library.
Let me start by saying that I was let down by Will Patton's performance. Having listened to many of his performances of James Lee Burke's novels, I was looking forward to another stunning narration. Instead, it was just average, probably because the lighter atmosphere of cowboys and whores--even in the company of murderous Comanches--is a departure from the usual dark and brooding material that Burke produces...which seems to fit Patton's voice and intonation much better.
The story wasn't able to make up for the lackluster performance, however. This book is no Lonesome Dove. The humor, characterization, and epic story just aren't there.
Another familiar McMurtry saga.....Gus and Woodrow go on an expedition, there's a famous bad Indian that they try to kill, lots of whores,.......you know the drill.
If you enjoy stories of people being tortured this is a book for you. I had to force myself to finish this book; traditionally I love wild western stories.
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.
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