Book Review: Lonesome Dove

May Book Review by Jeremy D. Krones

Lonesome Dove
Larry McMurtry

Without a doubt, Lonesome Dove is the quintessential cowboy story. Written by Larry McMurtry in 1985 and set over a century earlier, Lonesome Dove is based on a true story and follows the tale of Gus McCrae and Woodrow F. Call, two Texas Rangers-turned-cowboys, as they gather a herd of cattle and drive them all the way to the yet-unsettled lands of Montana.

This book and the TV miniseries which was made shortly after the book was published share with modern audiences the rough-and-tumble lives of Americans seeking their fortunes in the newly-acquired Western territories.

Readers and watchers follow three parties across the West, each one with their own unique purpose, but which also constantly interact with each other: Call and McCrae with their herd and posse of cowboys from Texas; a friend of the ex-Rangers named Jake Spoon as he adventures around the West with his companion Lorena; and a small-town sheriff from Arkansas named July Johnson as he searches for Jake Spoon, who got in a bit of trouble in July’s territory. There is love and romance, fighting and violence, unbelievable landscapes, and emotional encounters.

This book club highly recommends both the novel and the miniseries.