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Amidst all this, the Berrybender family - English, eccentric, wealthy, and fiercely out of place - continues their journey of exploration, although beset by difficulties, tragedies, and the increasing hardships of day-to-day survival.
Abandoning their luxurious steamer, which is stuck in the ice near the Knife River, they make their way overland to the confluence of the Missouri and the Yellowstone. Tasmin is about to become a mother, living with the elusive young mountain man Jim Snow. Theirs is a great love affair, lived out in conditions of great risk.
From the murder of the iced-in steamship's crew to the appearance of the Partezon, a particularly blood-thirsty Sioux warrior with a band of over two hundred, The Wandering Hill is at once literature on a grand scale and riveting entertainment by a master storyteller.
"As in any McMurtry novel, each character the reader meets has glorious quirks, and Alfred Molina gives an understated, eloquent performance that allows the language to shine....A larger-than-life American adventure." (AudioFile)
This installment is even better than the first, Sin Killer. The combination of McMurtry's writing and Molina's versitile performance makes for great listening. It is truly like "watching" a wonderful play when listening to this book. I am not one to go on with superlatives, but this production was outstanding.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This is the second book in the continuing saga of the Berrybender 'tribe'. Even though the Berrybenders are Englishmen (and definitely WOMEN) to the core, this is a very accurate appellation since they seem to bring with them their version of reality to the untamed wilderness of early America. The characters and circumstances are so rich and novel, the author brings them alive to the point that I feel an active loathing and equal admiration for a number of the characters. This is a wonderful 'listen' that I recommend to all.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Always a fan of Larry McMurtry's prose, I felt I hit the mother lode with the Berrybender trilogy. As much as I enjoyed the entry book, The Sin Killer, The Wandering Hill expands the characters and "gives them flesh" and as annoying as they can be individually at times, their combinations--and conversations--often made me chuckle out loud. In true McMurtry style there is plenty of hard realism but the reader cannot help but feel he has learned a great deal about the era on which the author expounds, the American frontier. To me, however, the savvy language, the unexpected courage and resolve the characters show, and their unbelievable resilience make this one of the most enjoyable reads I've had. The narrator has an almost inexhaustible supply of voices and accents as well, and adds mightily to the book's enjoyment.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This is my second time through this series. Enjoyed it as much if not more this time than the last.
As always, McMurtry doesn't disappoint, and Molina's performance brings the characters to life. Superbly engaging.
I absolutely love the Berrybenders. they are wonderfully bold and colorful. Each character makes you love them or despise them. So much unpredictable excitement. Find myself hanging there waiting for the next sentence to be read.
I didn't realize it was second in a series of three but after listening to this book I eagerly sought out the other two! I am enjoying all three
Larry McMurtry's books, as narrated by Alfred Molina, are a wonderful pleasure, and give a beautiful, fascinating, and informative view of the history of the American West. Lonesome Dove set a high standard, and the Berrybender Narratives measure up well. I didn't mean to start with the 2nd in the series of 4, and am now going back to get the first one. The characters are idiosyncratic and well-developed, the story is mesmerizing, and the narration is super. I'd like to know more about how McMurtry researched his novels. It seems he must have studied lots of primary sources, like pioneer diaries. How could you make this stuff up!
I don't like the way it starts a chapter with a sentence that is repeated during the chapter