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Lonesome Dove Audiobook

Lonesome Dove

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: I first listened to Lonesome Dove with some trepidation. Could the likeable star of TV's Matt Houston really handle McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-winning genre-transcending Western? I shouldn't have worried. Lee Horsley inhabits McMurtry's language and characters like a pair of trail-beaten boots, indulging the laid-back roughness of his own Texas roots to bring the tale of Gus McCrae, Woodrow Call, and the Hat Creek Outfit to spirited life. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

Lonesome Dove is a dusty little Texas town where heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers embody the spirit and defiance of the last wilderness. Larry McMurtry's American epic, set in the late 19th century, tells the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, a drive that represents not only a daring foolhardy adventure, but a part of the American Dream for everyone involved. Lee Horsley, one of TV's most popular leading men and star of the Old West series Paradise, narrates this compelling saga.

Copyright ©1985 by Larry McMurtry, All Rights Reserved; Copyright (P)1992 Dove Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Pulitzer Prize Winner, Fiction, 1986

"Everything about Lonesome Dove feels true....these are real people, and they are still larger than life." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (4734 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Carlos Brunswick, ME, United States 10-21-13
    Carlos Brunswick, ME, United States 10-21-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent story for fans of westerns!"
    Where does Lonesome Dove rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The story is one where not all the good guys win, and not all the bad guys lose. It's perfect!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lonesome Dove?

    Anything involving Gus. He wasn't my favorite character at first, but was at the end.


    What aspect of Lee Horsley’s performance would you have changed?

    Lee was perfect for this book; however, the audio is poorly produced. I can hear background white noise in parts, and over-modulated in the beginning.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Not your predictable western story.


    Any additional comments?

    I was stupid for putting off listening. I wish this story lasted longer so I could hear more of their adventures, commentary, etc. I highly recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Riverton, WV, United States 10-11-13
    J Riverton, WV, United States 10-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    "I did not want it to end."

    I loved this book and was very sad when it ended. I did not like the ending however it really leaves you wanting more. I actually thought something was wrong with the download and the ending was cut off. The characters are wonderful and the story made you feel like you knew them each personally. The audio was poor and the volume kept changing at times the voice of Gus was so loud it hurt my ears then everything got very soft. The narrator was wonderful but the poor audio quality was frustrating. However it would take more than that to ruin this story. I would highly recommend this book to everyone it's got romance, drama and action. You will never want the story to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William San Antonio, TX, United States 09-20-13
    William San Antonio, TX, United States 09-20-13 Member Since 2010
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    "The quality of the reading is just horrible!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It really needs a different performer. Every sentence starts reasonably loud, and then trails off to a whisper. It makes it VERY hard to listen to. I'm a regular audio book "reader", and this one is almost unbearable. If Lee Horsley narrates another book, I'm not listening to it.


    If you’ve listened to books by Larry McMurtry before, how does this one compare?

    n/a


    What didn’t you like about Lee Horsley’s performance?

    See the above. The volume of his reading trails off to inaudible. I've tried listening many different ways, earbuds, speakers, car audio. All the same. Ugh. I'm at chapter 9, and not sure I can continue.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    That's about it. I'm not sure I can continue.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 09-14-13
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 09-14-13 Member Since 2016

    Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!

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    "A grand and tragic adventure and a MUST read"

    Lonesome Dove, as I think almost everyone before me must have mentioned, completely transcends the cowboys and Indians genre with a story of epic proportions and a cast of characters so well drawn that they were not only believable but entirely memorable too. Augustus McCrae and Woodrow F. Call are two old friends and partners who've survived their years as Texas rangers and now lead a settled life. When an old acquaintance tells them all about the wonders to be found in the north, they decide to leave the comfort of their Texas ranch—baptized the Hat Creek Cattle Emporium and Livery Stable by Gus, the only lettered man in the bunch who also likes to talk a lot and very loudly—to make their way with a herd of some two thousand heads of cattle to Montana, to be the first settlers there. While their journey may be a long one, and the book is well over 800 pages, there isn't a dull moment, as the country is still peopled with warrior Indians and plenty of natural dangers to keep the action going. There is a complex relationship between the two old rangers, with Gus having opinions about everything and unable to ever keep quiet about them, and "Captain" Call, whom all the men look to for direction preferring to say as little as possible and keep to himself. Gus has kept the company of whores the better part of a life almost entirely devoted to being with and thinking of women, while Call has aimed to keep to his own strict code of behaviour, though Gus knows all too well the man has had moments of weakness leading to very real consequences in the form of what is now a young man, which Call can't accept as being his son. The one thing fuelling Gus's desire for travel and adventure is the promise of reconnecting with an old and never forgotten flame, while Call seemingly has a very simple need to stay in control of events and lead his men along on their northbound journey. There's a rabble of cowhands and various misfits traveling along, each one being significant to the group, but also taking on importance in this wide canvas set in post-Civil War America. This is a grand and tragic adventure that one shouldn't miss, and if you're anything like me, these characters will live on in your mind, and you may just start talking and thinking with a Texas accent, no matter where you happen to be from. There's no question this is one of my favourite books of the year, and maybe of all time.

    I should probably mention as an afterword that I enjoyed this book so much I decided I wasn't ready to part with the two main protagonists yet, so that I got started on the audio version of the first book in the story order today starring Call and Gus as young men just starting out with the Texas rangers, in Dead Man Walking. It's narrated by Will Patton, who is so good that he's managed to make me almost forget how good Lee Horsely was for Lonesome Dove. Am also looking forward to watching the tv series which was highly recommended by some of the most ardent fans of this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristine T. Hall Woodstock, Il. United States 09-01-13
    Kristine T. Hall Woodstock, Il. United States 09-01-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Best Audiobook Ever - a Treasure."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this to anyone who wants to disappear into a terrific story. The reader completely embodied the characters. Lonesome Dove is a remarkable book read by a truly gifted reader. It will remain on my iPod always. The only challenging issue with this novel is convincing people to listen to a very long 'cowboy' book. It took my daughter five years to convince me! Lonesome Dove is exciting, romantic, sad, funny, tender, scary, and compelling to the last page. And it won the Pulitzer Prize - deservedly so.


    What other book might you compare Lonesome Dove to and why?

    The Thorn Birds because of the sense of place and the richly drawn characters. But Lonesome Dove is a better book.


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

    He allowed me to see the characters with just his voice. He did many strong male voices and yet each was different. His voice for Augustus McCrae was gravelly and rough but gentle and compassionate. Lee Horsley made as good an Augustus McCrae as Robert Duval in the acclaimed television version of Lonesome Dove. And that was without the visuals - just with his voice. And yes, I loved the audiobook more, but the television series was quite wonderful as well. I strongly suggest listening to the audiobook before watching the series.


    If you could rename Lonesome Dove, what would you call it?

    We Don't Rent Pigs


    Any additional comments?

    I'm sorry I spent 5 years whining that I didn't like Westerns and refusing to read Lonesome Dove. I am a Jane Austen fan and yet I found this book about cowboys to be a treasure. I guess I do like Westerns.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Issaquah, WA, United States 08-28-13
    Steve Issaquah, WA, United States 08-28-13 Member Since 2016
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    "GREAT book, mediocre production"

    Can't say enough about the book itself. One of my all-time favorite novels--finely-crafted characters that become old friends you want to go back and revisit time and again. Beautifully crafted writing.

    The reader, Lee Horsley, does well with the character voices, wisely taking his cues from the cast of the miniseries who nailed their performances.

    The downside to this audio book is the abysmal audio engineering and sound quality. The volume varies throughout, dropping dialogue so low you can't hear it, and then the next sentence is blasting loud. Intermittent background hiss. The audio issues really detract from an outstanding book and decent performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Fairfield, CA, United States 08-27-13
    Charles Fairfield, CA, United States 08-27-13 Member Since 2009
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    "takes you back in time"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Lonesome Dove to be better than the print version?

    I never read the print version


    What did you like best about this story?

    Gus


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Gus on the porch talking to his pigs


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

    No, it is too long, but I did listen while doing other things


    Any additional comments?

    give it a try, much better then the film, and the film was very good

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. 08-13-13
    Mr. 08-13-13
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    "Welcome to Lonesome Dove"
    Any additional comments?

    This review is intended for those who haven't read any of the four installments of The Lonesome Dove Tetralogy (a word I've never heard of but it's what McMurtry calls it) and are here because this is the most famous of the four and the first one to be published, it's actually the third book in the series, for some reason McMurtry wrote them in order of book #3, 4, 1 and 2, who knows why...this review is also for anyone who's read the books but is new to their audio version, and it's actually overall intended as a review for all four.

    First, the story/stories: as those who've read them know and as you newbies can surely guess, overall they're pretty great...the weakest of them (which I think is #4, Streets of Laredo) is never worse than very damned good and I think the best (this one, 'natch) is a genuine masterpiece. One of their greatest strengths lies in their across-the-board appeal; obviously if you like Westerns or historical novels (American or otherwise) you'll love them, but if you're like me and only care for what I call the "obvious exception Westerns" such as McCarthy's Blood Meridian, Robert B. Parker's Cole and Hitch novels, the masterpiece that is HBO's Deadwood or relatively recent films like Unforgiven or Tombstone (if that, even) you'll still love these. Each has all the expected and time-honored tropes of the Western yet is told so beautifully with such at times shockingly real character and events they can appeal to pretty much anyone. I give the highest of high recommendations to all four, and suggest listening to them in order (as in Dead Man's Walk to Comanche Moon to this one to Streets of Laredo) but you also don't need to, they each can stand alone, although I would add you might not want to start with Streets of Laredo, as it contains major spoilers for the other three (those who've read know what I mean). Also, by the by, the movies are pretty good too, the original based on this book is obviously the best but the other three are fairly solid, and it's fun watching all the same characters come back each time played by different but (usually) very similar actors, which is about as good as segue as possible to lead me to...

    The narrators. Usually when it comes to a series I like the same narrator all the way through, as I believe most of us audiobook aficionados do, but I make an exception here. I really enjoy the four different readers, both in their style and their stature: two (Will Patton and the late great Frank Muller) are superstars of this medium, each with great acclaim and dozens of performances on their resumes while the other two (Lee Horsley and Daniel Von Bargen) are more or less unknowns, at least in the world of audio. Each brings their own distinctive style to the books, and they're all quite different...for instance Muller is probably the most "professional" of them while Horsley clearly had no idea what he was doing, at least from a technical standpoint (which in no way criticizes his performance cause it's masterful nonetheless). As each book has its own unique, distinctive feel and vibe while still comfortably existing within the greater series, each narrator does as well. Oddly enough, Muller actually seems the least well-suited to the task (though, again, this is in no way a criticism, he never once put in less than an above average performance and on Comanche Moon he was far better than that) while Horsley for all his seeming amateur status might be the most fun and enjoyable of the bunch. Having said that, out of these four I think Patton is both the best narrator and the best fit of performance to text (not saying he's better than Muller overall but he's certainly on the same level), I mean he's a great reader who also just plain sounds like a cowboy, which obviously Horsley does as well but he's not quite as solid from a technical standpoint.

    So I guess I wrote all that (aka way too damn much) to say that I recommend these audiobooks, individually yes but far far more as a complete set, about as highly as any audiobooks you're likely to find, on this site or anywhere else. As an audio series I'd put it up there with George R.R. Martin/Roy Dotrice's Song Of Ice And Fire series, Stephen King/Frank Muller's Dark Tower series (sorry but I really don't like George Guidall and I have no idea why Muller's version of book 1, The Gunslinger, isn't available here), Nelson Demille/Scott Brick's John Corey series or James Ellroy and Craig Wasson's collaboration on two of Ellroy's Underworld U.S.A. trilogy (why why why has no one yet gotten Wasson to record American Tabloid, which he should do anyway and in fact is not available on audio at all??). Simply put (too late) these audiobooks are amazing, as a whole or in part. Can't recommend them enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonard P. 08-08-13
    Leonard P. 08-08-13
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    "As good as I thought it would be."
    What made the experience of listening to Lonesome Dove the most enjoyable?

    I didn't see the mini-series, but knew who played some of the main characters. I love Gus and of course, could see him. I didn't love Lee Horsley as Gus, but I got used to it and it was okay. It was very distracting in the beginning. Horsley as all the others, was great.


    What other book might you compare Lonesome Dove to and why?

    I don't know of another. This made me laugh out loud and cry.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Gus got Lori back.


    Who was the most memorable character of Lonesome Dove and why?

    Gus. He was just larger than life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve LEXINGTON, NC, United States 08-04-13
    Steve LEXINGTON, NC, United States 08-04-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Could not get into it"
    What disappointed you about Lonesome Dove?

    slow, hard to follow


    Would you ever listen to anything by Larry McMurtry again?

    ??


    Any additional comments?

    have tried to watch the movie, it seemed good just couldn't sit through it, thought the book might capture me...not.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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