Dead Man's Walk

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Overview

Here at last is the eagerly awaited story of the early days of Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call, the heroes of Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Lonesome Dove. In Streets of Laredo, McMurtry brought the story ahead, giving us Call in his old age; now, in Dead Man's Walk, he takes the reader back, to the days when Gus and Call - two of the most beloved figures in American fiction - were young Texas Rangers, first experiencing the wild frontier that will form their characters. We also meet Clara Forsythe, ...
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Thorndike, Maine 1996 Trade paperback Large type / large print. Very good. No dust jacket as issued. Slight edge wear to covers, clean and unmarked inside, tightly bound. Trade ... paperback (US). Glued binding. Thorndike Paperback Bestsellers. Read more Show Less

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Thorndike, Maine 1996 Softcover Large Print Edition Very Good+ with no dust jacket 0-7838-1511-5. Book is in very good condition. Cover has almost no shelfwear. Spine is ... uncreased. Pages appear clean and tight. More detailed description and / or picture available on request.; 8vo-8" to 9" tall; 647 pages. Read more Show Less

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Dead Man's Walk

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Overview

Here at last is the eagerly awaited story of the early days of Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call, the heroes of Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Lonesome Dove. In Streets of Laredo, McMurtry brought the story ahead, giving us Call in his old age; now, in Dead Man's Walk, he takes the reader back, to the days when Gus and Call - two of the most beloved figures in American fiction - were young Texas Rangers, first experiencing the wild frontier that will form their characters. We also meet Clara Forsythe, the spirited, unforgettable young woman whose effect on Gus McCrae is immediate and unshakable. In Dead Man's Walk, Gus and Call are not yet twenty, young men coming of age in the days when Texas was still an independent republic. Enlisting as Texas Rangers under the command of Caleb Cobb, a capricious land pirate who wants to seize Santa Fe from the Mexicans, Gus and Call experience their first great adventure in the barren, empty landscape of the great plains, in which arbitrary violence is the rule - whether from nature, or from the Indians whose territory they must cross in order to reach New Mexico. The untamed frontier, and the reckless men who live there - the Indians defending it with unrelenting savagery, the Texans attempting to seize and "civilize" it, and the Mexicans threatened by both - are at the heart of Larry McMurtry's extraordinary new novel: at once a riveting adventure story and a powerful work of literature.

In Dead Man's Walk, the prequel to the bestselling books, Lonesome Dove and Streets of Laredo, McMurtry dazzles readers once more with the early adventures of two of the most memorable heroes in contemporary fiction--Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call. National ads/media.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae, the heroes of Lonesome Dove, return in a rousing if slightly contrived yarn set decades before the events of that Pulitzer Prize-winning novel-and earlier still than the latter-day adventures of Call, detailed in Streets of Laredo. Now hardly more than teenage runaways, the pair, just recruited into the ragtag Rangers of the new Texas Republic, come face-to-face with death on their baptismal patrol as Gus, foolishly wandering away from his guard post, stumbles onto the grotesquely disfigured Comanche chief Buffalo Hump and narrowly escapes with the Indian's lance embedded in his hip. Gus and Call return safely to San Antonio but, lured by myths of silver and gold, the hapless duo sign on to a small army led by a former seafaring pirate intent on liberating Santa Fe from Mexican rule. An unforgettable and equally unlikely crew of blackhearted villains, foppish officers and star-crossed heroes and heroines, the sorry little force heads west only to be terrorized by Buffalo Hump, then captured by Mexican militia. With the ruthless Captain Salazar calling the shots, Mexicans and Americans are ordered to march toward El Paso. Along the way, Call is whipped nearly to death for a minor offense, and the group is stalked by a murderous Apache. Forced by Salazar to cross the high desert known as ``dead man's walk,'' Gus, Call and company end up at a leper colony near El Paso, where they find salvation. Suffering from McMurtry's usual coincidences and miraculous escapes, as well as from some stereotypical key characters and too much obvious melodrama, this falls short of both Lonesome Dove and Streets of Laredo. Still, it's bracing entertainment in its own right, with McMurtry flashing his storytelling skills as he recreates the salad days of two flawed but all-American heroes adrift in the Old West. 500,000 first printing. Sept.
Library Journal
McMurtry's recent novels The Late Child, LJ 5/15/95 and Pretty Boy Floyd, LJ 9/1/94 have been disappointing, but in this prequel to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove LJ 7/85, he shows himself to be in top form again. During the years of the Texas Republic, a group of Rangers travel across Texas on several misbegotten missions. Two of the youngest Rangers, Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae, are featured in Lonesome Dove. Their coming of age can be charted by the rivers they crossthe Brazos, the Trinity, the Big Wichitaand the hardships they endure. Death is a constant companion, coming quickly at the hand of hostile Natives, fellow rangers, and nature itself. Their last expedition, to take Santa Fe from the Mexicans, ends disastrously with a heartstopping game of chance determining who will live and who will die. From opening line to last page, this marvelous novelpart soap opera, part slapstick, part tragedyis impossible to put down. Very highly recommended for all popular fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/95.]Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
John Milius
In DEAD MAN'S WALK, McMurtry uses a simple, wry, immensely accessible storyteller's voice to ponder the same questions that Melville and Conrad did. This is a great book…Larry McMurtry, at his best here, is one of the finest American novelists ever. We are lucky he's around.
Los Angeles Times
Michael Berry
DEAD MAN'S WALK succeeds marvelously…resurrecting two brilliantly conceived characters and delivering a rousing tale of the Wild West.
San Francisco Chronicle
From the Publisher
"In Dead Man's Walk, McMurtry uses a simple, wry, immensely accessible storyteller's voice to ponder the same questions that Melville and Conrad did. This is a great book. . . . Larry McMurtry, at his best here, is one of the finest American novelists, ever. We are lucky he's around."—John Milius, Los Angeles Times

"McMurtry remains a good storyteller, and he remains a master of dialogue, doing a sort of frontier version of Oscar Wilde."—Washington Post Book World

"Dead Man's Walk. . . succeeds marvelously . . . resurrecting two brilliantly conceived characters and delivering a rousing tale of the Wild West."—Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle

"Gee-haw! Larry McMurtry is back in the yarn-slinging business—with a vengeance. . . . Readers will gobble up Dead Man's Walk—a wild and wooly read—from cover to cover."—Denver Post

"Dead Man's Walk is a very good read . . . [It] will keep you reading [and] make you miss meals." —Seattle Times

"McMurtry does great characters. Call and McCrae are real, lifelike, believable, and lovable. . . . McMurtry's stories are brimming with passion and page-turning excitement. . . It's good, good stuff."—Kansas City Star

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780783815114
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 8/1/1996
  • Series: Lonesome Dove Series
  • Pages: 647
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry McMurtry

Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lives in Archer City, Texas.

Biography

Back in the late 60s, the fact that Larry McMurtry was not a household name was really a thorn in the side of the writer. To illustrate his dissatisfaction with his status, he would go around wearing a T-shirt that read "Minor Regional Novelist." Well, more than thirty books, two Oscar-winning screenplays, and a Pulitzer Prize later, McMurtry is anything but a minor regional novelist.

Having worked on his father's Texas cattle ranch for a great deal of his early life, McMurtry had an inborn fascination with the West, both its fabled history and current state. However, he never saw himself as a life-long rancher and aspired to a more creative career. He achieved this at the age of 25 when he published his first novel. Horseman, Pass By was a wholly original take on the classic western. Humorous, heartbreaking, and utterly human, this story of a hedonistic cowboy in contemporary Texas was a huge hit for the young author and even spawned a major motion picture starring Paul Newman called Hud just two years after its 1961 publication. Extraordinarily, McMurtry was even allowed to write the script, a rare honor for such a novice.

With such an auspicious debut, it is hard to believe that McMurtry ever felt as though he'd been slighted by the public or marginalized as a minor talent. While all of his books may not have received equal attention, he did have a number of astounding successes early in his career. His third novel The Last Picture Show, a coming-of-age-in-the-southwest story, became a genuine classic, drawing comparisons to J. D. Salinger and James Jones. In 1971, Peter Bogdonovich's screen adaptation of the novel would score McMurtry his first Academy award for his screenplay. Three years later, he published Terms of Endearment, a critically lauded urban family drama that would become a hit movie starring Jack Nicholson and Shirley MacLaine in 1985.

That year, McMurtry published what many believe to be his definitive novel. An expansive epic sweeping through all the legends and characters that inhabited the old west, Lonesome Dove was a masterpiece. All of the elements that made McMurtry's writing so distinguished -- his skillful dialogue, richly drawn characters, and uncanny ability to establish a fully-realized setting -- convened in this Pulitzer winning story of two retired Texas rangers who venture from Texas to Montana. The novel was a tremendous critical and commercial favorite, and became a popular miniseries in 1989.

Following the massive success of Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry's prolificacy grew. He would publish at least one book nearly every year for the next twenty years, including Texasville, a gut-wrenching yet hilarious sequel to The Last Picture Show, Buffalo Girls, a fictionalized account of the later days of Calamity Jane, and several non-fiction titles, such as Crazy Horse.

Interestingly, McMurtry would receive his greatest notoriety in his late 60s as the co-screenwriter of Ang Lee's controversial film Brokeback Mountain. The movie would score the writer another Oscar and become one of the most critically heralded films of 2005. The following year he published his latest novel. Telegraph Days is a freewheeling comedic run-through of western folklore and surely one of McMurtry's most inventive stories and enjoyable reads. Not bad for a "minor regional novelist."

Good To Know

A miniseries based on McMurtry's novel Comanche Moon is currently in production. McMurtry co-wrote the script.

The first-printing of McMurtry's novel In a Narrow Grave is one of his most obscure for a rather obscure reason. The book was withdrawn because the word "skyscrapers" was misspelled as "skycrappers" on page 105.

McMurtry comes from a long line of farmers and ranchers. His father and eight of his uncles were all in the profession.

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    1. Hometown:
      Archer City, Texas
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 3, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Wichita Falls, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A., North Texas State University, 1958; M.A., Rice University, 1960. Also studied at Stanford University.

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 64 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 64 Customer Reviews
  • 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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  • Posted February 8, 2014

    Book one of a four book western masterpiece that does not pander

    Book one of a four book western masterpiece that does not pander to cliche. I'm glad I read the series in chronological order. McMurtry merges real history and his story into one ineresting and real read. This series of books Dead Man's Walk, Comanche Moon, Lonesome Dove, and Streets of Loredo has become the standard I measure all westerns against.

    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 August 30, 2013

    Barnes&Noble error John Wearden 832-859-4386

    I am new with Nook & do not know how Dead Mans Walk or how Pride & Prejudice got on my device. Guess it is a "learning" process. I read & have these books & was not aware I even purchased them. You may be able to see that I have not even opened them to read. Is it possible to exchange for books I have never read? As I say this is new to me. If not possible I will mark it up to experience take the hit use the library & be "sure" I know what I'm doing before using Barnes & Noble again if ever. I have no ill feelings as --it happens. I did see some books I would like to exchange if possible or as I said be careful or use the library & just take the loss as experience & see what happens. I don't want to sound like a "dead beat" but I made an honest mistake.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    I

    I

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  • Posted September 16, 2012

    Lonesome Dove Part I

    This book takes you back to the beginning of how Gus and Call became Texas Rangers. It's tough to put this book down and it reads quickly and leaves you wanting more, so I jumped right in to Comanche Moon!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    Great read!

    One of the best books I've ever read. I am a huge western fan and this book had it all. The characters were great and plot never dulled. There was always something exciting happening. This is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    loved it

    Great book, a total must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    No lonesome dove!

    Very weak character development for call and Gus, no real build up, basically a boring read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Xavier

    Bye to this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2012

    A little disappointed in Gus's development but still a good read

    The novel starts out fast with a 200-lb. whore slinging a snapping turtle and largely keeps the action going throughout. I found it an enjoyable read, particularly since I am such a fan of Lonesome Dove. Having said that, I felt like Gus's character tended toward the one-dimensional with his fixation on fun, most particularly whores. Of course, he had much the same interests in Lonesome Dove, but at times with Comanche Moon, I felt like his character was a caricature of his Pulitzer Prize-winning double.

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  • Posted July 23, 2010

    Another great western read.

    I had seen portions of Lonesome Dove on TV, finally sat through it one weekend. That spurred (pun intended) me to read the paperback, something I thoroughly enjoyed. Stumbling over this prequel lead to my devouring it on the Nook. This portion of the saga is a must read and I have already purchased the next chapter.

    Larry McMurtry certainly has a way with a saga..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    Great book!

    Outstanding book to read! Long book but great! Larry McMurtry is a great writer! Really enjoyed the whole story of the western of Gus and Call. It is also a funny book, but also sad and emotional. This would be a great book to read for those who like western or need a book for their assignment. It is not a diffcult book to read but little confusing when it is a 3rd person view. I would read this book again on my spare time or on my next assignment. I would also recommed this book to other people to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2005

    A Outstanding book to read !!!

    Dead Mans Walk by Larry McMurtry. Is an outstanding book to read.It tell you how people survived off luck ,and the bad enviroment ,and what they had to go through.To survive off that enviroment back then.

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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 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2003

    Dead Man's Walk

    Wonderfull book. Best book in the series. I should have read 'Dead Man's Walk' first but I did not. I am on Chater 27 and I can not wait to have the time to finish this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2002

    Should be the original, the best ever written

    I love how this book perfectly explores the old West and how anyone who lives out here should respect those who made it safe for us all. I couldn't help but fall in love with both Gus and Call. Theya re such perfect characters with interesting personalities. Everyone should read this book and I guarantee you will love it.

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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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