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.
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.
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
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.
This is a great story. I could not put it down. The narrator did a great job as well. I have already purchased the next book in the series and will look for more information the series from this author.
If you enjoyed Lonesome Dove and Streets of Loredo, this is very good to go back to how it began. Woodrow Call and Guys Macrae, two very well thought out characters.
Overall, the story is fine enough; it does get a little deus ex toward the end. The handling of the Apache and Comanche characters will make you squirm though. Even when the book is told from the perspective of some of the Native American characters, the author doesn't try to redeem his depiction of them and really explore the impact the Mexican and Texan characters have on their lives.
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