In a letter to her daughter back East, Martha Jane is not shy about her own importance: "Martha Jane -- better known as Calamity -- is just one of the handful of aging legends who travel to London as part of Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show in Buffalo Girls." As he describes the insatiable curiosity of Calamity's Indian friend No Ears, Annie Oakley's shooting match with Lord Windhouveren, and other highlights of the tour, McMurtry turns the story of a band of hardy, irrepressible survivors into an unforgettable portrait of love, fellowship, dreams, and heartbreak.
I did not expect to like this book so much.
As a kid I read about the Wild West and this book had good reviews (and was on sale), so I started it and was immediately brought in by the "camp fire".
This is as good a combination of reader and story as you will ever find.
The characters are richly written. With all their prickles, bad habits, really bad decisions, reverses and tragedies, each one is sympathetic and real, but would not make easy friends.
This is an interesting study on what happens when an era ends, but the people who lived it are still around. Where do they go? What do they do now? Take it on the road? There are no more absurd contrasts than a bunch of wild west cowboys and Indians in the middle of Victorian England, but here they are. And then the anticlimax of coming home to what?
Heartrending and real with romance thrown in, this book imagines all the possibilities with kindness and humor and all too human sadness.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
My very favorite..Narrator Betty Buckley knocked it out of the park. Writing was absolutely masterful.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I have had the pleasuer of listening to several of Larry McMurtry's books. But is is one of my favorites. Part of it is due to the reader Betty Buckley. It feels like the real Calamidy Jane is speaking at times, or even more of an entire cast. She does an amazing job. The story of the Old west and the main Characters of Buffalo Bills Wild West show draw into life here. The book is also written threw the eyes of several people, Jane, the bufflo men, no ears, ect. You feel you know every character. If you enjoy Larry McMurtry this is a must have!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I went back and forth on whether to rate the story three or four stars. For McMurtry it's only a three. But since I like McMurtry his threes are more like fours for anyone else.
My inclination is to compare this to Lonesome Dove. But really, it's not Lonesome Dove and not meant to be. We'll just stipulate that LD is better, that everyone should listen to it and move on to Buffalo Girls.
McMurtry has written a sad lonely book. He's borrowed history and molded it into a shape that suited him. In doing so he's given himself a new canvass to work with. This book will not move into the future with you. You won't look back and think of it later, most likely, but it still has things to say and will entertain you absolutely while it says them.
The best thing about Buffalo Girls is Betty Buckley's performance. Her husky broken voice creates the landscape and takes you back in time and due west. (Unless you're from California, in that case you'll have to head east.)
Definitely worth the credit.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Betty Buckley is a good, if unconventional, narrator. She goes astray with British accents, but brings the characters to life well enough. The musical interludes are dreadful and make this book almost unlistenable at times. As for the story, McMurtry's books of the 90s were all like this... morose to the point of maudlin. If you're pining for another Lonesome Dove, this ain't it.
I love all of Larry McMurtry's books and buffalo girls did not disappoint. It has all his familiar western characters and this time they are routed in history. Betty Buckley does an outstanding narration that is funny, heartfelt, sad and wistful - she really evokes the feeling of the dying Wild West and all it's pathos. If you are a fan of McMurtry and love tales of the old west this recording will enthrall you.
I so enjoyed McMurtry's portrayal of Calamity Jane and others of that time. great book!
this is second time, I read this book, it is amazing
I have described it to many friends
Where does Buffalo Girls rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
One of the best.
Any additional comments?
I loved it! A great story about the mythical old west. The reader is excellent and bits of music between sections beautifully sets the mood as the story unfolds. No film could have told this story better. A creative, and sensitive production.
What did you love best about Buffalo Girls?
The character's story telling was so good. You laughed and cried with them. It had some history in it that really helped to tell the story and entertain.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
The "voice" the author gives the characters, especially the character of no ears and the voice the narrator used didn't match in my head, but overall, she did a good job.
If you could take any character from Buffalo Girls out to dinner, who would it be and why?
No ears, for sure! He seemed so interesting and had such insight, but kind of from an unusual perspective and with odd ideas and thoughts. I would love to have a conversation with him!
Any additional comments?
Larry McMurtry is awesome! As always!