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Dead Man's Walk

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2000

    A Fitting Follow Up to LONESOME DOVE

    This is a harsh tale of the earliest partnership between Woodrow Call and Gus MaCrae, the marvelously heroic anti-heroes of LONESOME DOVE. In this tale the two, as young men, stumble into the early Texas Rangers, drawn by the naive love of adventure which rangering promises the two youths. But they soon find that they and the rangers they lucklessly attach themselves to are no match for the harsh country they confront. The Commanches and the Apaches are harder and smarter in the ways of the wilds and the Mexicans are more numerous and better prepared. The Texans are bunglers, led by charlatans and self-interested adventurers. Worst of all, none of them, from the lowliest ranger, to the officers, to the whores who trail along behind them, know what they are letting themselves in for. It is a hellish passage which they undertake, rife with the sudden violence and grotesqueries which characterize McMurtry's vision of the west. There is the oversized whore, Mattie, who alternately mothers and fornicates with the young rangers she finds around her; the simpering easterner who has set himself up as an officer in the rangers; the pirate turned soldier of fortune who leads his troop of adventurers into country he neither understands nor is prepared to encounter; the sudden lightning storms and tornadoes; the misshapen Commanche war-chief who hunts the white men like buffalo; the deadly Apache who culls the white herd in the night through a long and arduous desert death march; the overly proud Mexican Captain Salazar whose life, in the end, depends on the goodwill of his remaining captives; the old mountain man and the scout who travels with him; the brain damaged quartermaster whose luck it is to live while other, more complete men, must die. All of these rush blindly toward that strange fate which awaits them in the end and which will overwhelm those who will survive, in a moment of surrealistic beauty and dread which somehow wipes away the harshness and suffering which have gone before. In the end, MacCrae, the carefree instinctive man of action, and Call, the careful and thoughtful planner, are forced to see that they, as they have been, callow and inexperienced youths, are no match for the country and the people they have found in it. But, unlike most of their comrades, they miraculously survive their trek. And are changed and enlarged by it. Country bumpkins and veritable greenhorns at the outset, they are fast on the way to becoming the tough rangers we will meet once more, in the books which tell of their subsequent adventures, by the end of this tale. This one does not quite rise to the resonant strains of its precursor LONESOME DOVE, but it is a fitting prequel. We get to see how the country and the experiences of a harsh youth began to form the two men whose tale this ultimately is. And if there is not much plot here, there is a vividness in the description and the dialogue that make you feel like you are there with these men. True, the tale is so grotesque as to seem utterly unreal at times. But McMurtry's writing is sharp and evocative and fresh so that, despite a certain predictability in the events, you want to stay with the characters, to experience this harsh and nightmarish world along with them. Not up to LONESOME DOVE. But that was a hard act to follow.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2004

    Fascinating!!

    Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry is an awesome history lesson on the early ages of the United States. Anyone that enjoys learning about the past should consider deeply about reading this book. I could not put it down. The story line and the amount of detail used will really capture any reader who has interest in Western's. This book should be read because by everyone because it will teach the value of hard work and show everyone what a near death experience is like. I know that now I appreciate everything in life, even if it wouldn't normally be wanted.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2014

    Good read

    I never thought I would enjoy this type of book but after visiting Wyoming and going through museums, I decided to read. Pretty graphic but overall a good book. I like how the characters were developed and have now moved on to the Commanche Moon. Gus and Call are very luck but just the endurance is amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Xavier

    Bye to this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2005

    Great

    'Dead Man's Walk' I like the book because it is a book that makes you want to keep reading. I think this book is a great book for someone who enjoys Westerns stories and like Cowboys. I think others should read this book because it teaches you a different feel of things.How they survived and delt with others in the tribe.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2001

    Gus and Woodrow begin their adventures

    After seeing a bit of 'Lonesome Dove' on the television I thought I'd try to read a bit about the lives of the Texas Rangers Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae. I wasn't disappointed and plan to buy more of their story. I enjoy reading this type of adventure series in the chronology of the hero's life as I've done with the Hornblower series. A good read.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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