I purchased the Lonesome Dove Chronicles from the Kindle Store on Amazon.Com last month and started working my way through the series. Lonesome Dove is one of my favorite books. It is one I can read over and over again. McMurtry has a simple, clean style that conveys his scenery and characters The people are just people. Some are fantastic, some are dramatic and all of them are deeply flawed in very real ways. Their reactions are things you can get behind. There are no heroes here. Not heroes as we so often think of them.
I happen to like that a lot in a book. I don’t need to read about perfect people doing perfect things with weak, silly flaws that let me go, “aww”.
First thing: Do not read the author’s forwards if you do not want spoilers. This is a collector’s set and you are expected to know the story.
Second: I will read this book again.
This series, if you do not already know, is a Western. It is set about 15 years before the American Civil War. It is not a civil war novel. It is the start of Woodrow Call and Augustus McCrae’s relationship and life. It wanders through roughly their first 12-15 years together. The dates are not perfect but the general time sense is good. Some of the information from Lonesome Dove is reset here. The base storyline is the same. However, some details do change. I just rolled with it. It does not destroy Lonesome Dove but only expands upon the story and fleshes out the characters. But, I will pre-warn anyone that there are inconsistencies and to take a deep breath and allow them to improve the story.
I came to like Call more than Gus which was surprising because I liked Gus more than Call in Lonesome Dove. However, in this book, Call’s flawed, stoic nature is on display and it resonates so well with the setting and scenery. He is a very clear person and I like that more than I like Gus’ charm in this book and its sequel.
The story itself is good, solid fiction. Sometimes you have to suspend belief a bit at a few instances at what people can live though. The book is very, very violent and many people die. I spent a lot of time being surprised which was pleasant. He doesn’t make everything perfect at the end. For anyone that enjoys Lonesome Dove or westerns in general it is a very, very good read. The writing style of smooth and simple but it grips you and drags you in. All I can say is that the weather is terrible.