Folly and Glory (Berrybender Narratives Series #4)

Folly and Glory (Berrybender Narratives Series #4)

4.0 12
by Larry McMurtry
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

"As this finale opens, Tasmin and her family are under irksome, though comfortable, arrest in Mexican Santa Fe. Her father, the eccentric Lord Berrybender, is planning to head for Texas with his whole family and his retainers, English, American and Native American. Tasmin, who would once have followed her husband, Jim Snow, anywhere, is no longer even sure she likes… See more details below

Overview

"As this finale opens, Tasmin and her family are under irksome, though comfortable, arrest in Mexican Santa Fe. Her father, the eccentric Lord Berrybender, is planning to head for Texas with his whole family and his retainers, English, American and Native American. Tasmin, who would once have followed her husband, Jim Snow, anywhere, is no longer even sure she likes him, or knows where to go next. Neither does anyone else - even Captain Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame, is puzzled by the great changes sweeping over the West, replacing red men and buffalo with towns and farms." "In the meantime Jim Snow, accompanied by Kit Carson, journeys to New Orleans, where he meets up with a muscular black giant named Juppy, who turns out to be one of Lord Berrybender's many illegitimate offspring, and in whose company they make their way back to Santa Fe. But even they are unable to prevent the Mexicans from carrying the Berrybender family on a long and terrible journey across the desert to Vera Cruz." Starving, dying of thirst, and in constant, bloody battle with slavers pursuing them, the Berrybenders finally make their way to civilization - if New Oreleans of the time can be called that - where Jim Snow has to choose between Tasmin and the great American plains, on which he has lived all this life in freedom, and where, after all her adventures, Tasmin must finally decide where her future lies.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Larry McMurtry's four-volume series, The Berrybender Narratives, is like a cross between John Ford and Quentin Tarantino: a genre-bending Western farce that follows the misadventures and couplings of a sprawling English family and its hangers-on as it makes its roundabout way across the West in the 1830's...While McMurtry doesn't stint on frantic action, violence or seemingly round-the-clock gropings, Folly and Glory marks a somber and satisfying end to a long, rambunctious trip.—Rodney Welch
Publishers Weekly
This is the fourth and final volume in McMurtry's Berrybender Narratives (following By Sorrow's River), a frontier epic of lusty and bloody proportions, in which, fortunately, nearly everyone is killed off. Lord Berrybender, an arrogant and lecherous Englishman and his whining brood of daughters, their brats and servants have been arrested by Mexican authorities and are under house arrest in Santa Fe in the mid-1830s. Tensions between Mexicans and Americans run high as the dispute over Texas drifts toward war. When the Berrybender party is expelled from Santa Fe, the group is forced to march across the desert to Vera Cruz, escorted by inept Mexican soldiers. The grueling journey is filled with hardship and death as thirst, cholera and hostile Indians whittle the group by half. Meanwhile, Jim Snow, aka the Sin Killer, a famous mountain man, plans to rescue his white wife, Tasmin Berrybender, and her family somewhere along the desert route. Once the rescue is complete and the surviving Berrybenders are safely in Texas, Jim goes after the gang of slavers who murdered his son and his Indian wife (mountain men seem to have a lot of wives). Here McMurtry really shows why Jim is called the Sin Killer and why white men and Indians fear the mountain man who shrieks "the Word" and shows no mercy when he is riled up. Of the four books in the series, this is the bloodiest and most brutal, with rapes, torture, mutilation and death heaped upon the characters until grief and despair nearly consume them. Add the disaster at the Alamo and a passel of colorful Texas heroes to the enduring figures of mountain men Kit Carson and Tom Fitzpatrick, and this grisly frontier soap opera concludes with a bang. (May) Forecast: Reader opinions are mixed on the blackly comic Berrybender series, and McMurtry may have lost some readers along the way, but this strong wind-up should sell solidly. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The wonderful actor Alfred Molina reads what is mercifully the final installment of the four-part "Berrybender Narratives." At the close of By Sorrow's River, the increasingly disgusting Lord Berrybender, his irritatingly whiny daughters, and the rest of the entourage were under house arrest in Santa Fe. It is the mid-1830s, and tensions between the Mexicans and Americans are heating up as the dispute over Texas heads toward war. When the Berrybenders are expelled from Santa Fe and forced to cross the desert without food, their disasters multiply to the point that the listener will shudder from all the mutilations, rapes, tortures, starvation, and slow deaths from thirst. This epic is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it is always a pleasure to hear the words of one of our premier writers read by one of our premier actors. Recommended for public libraries.-Barbara Perkins, Sachse P.L., TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Lord Berrybender's epic four-year hunting trip through the unsettled West comes to a wistful close. Under comfortable house arrest in Santa Fe, McMurtry's large cast of peers, painters, trappers, priests, Indians, and the crop of infants who have replaced the many characters left dead on the deserts and by the many tributaries of the Missouri await rescue and relief. Everyone is edgy in this most remote reach of the rickety Mexican republic. Lady Tasmin, the improbable but appealing eldest daughter of the boozy earl is in black despair following the death of her reticent lover Pompey Charbonneau, son of Sacagawea. (Yes, that Sacagawea.) Were it not for the loving ministrations of Little Onion, Tasmin's sort-of-in-law, her husband's Indian wife, Tasmin's son Monty and the twins Petey and Petal would have no emotional home. Tasmin has no emotional room for anything. Not even her husband Jim when he returns. Her sister Buffum worries constantly about her Indian husband High Shoulders, who is on the Mexicans' most-wanted list. Tasmin's stepmother and friend Vicky, the cellist and former mistress to Lord Berrybender seethes as Lord B. cavorts with a voracious but deeply blue-blooded 16-year-old. Only little Petal seems untouched by the provincial malaise. Petal is truly her mother's daughter. Impetuous, brilliant, bossy, demanding, and precocious, the pretty child steals everything her twin brother might want and demands her mother's full attention and, if possible, devotion. She's unimpressed by her father when he returns, but they eventually bond. Suddenly the great caravan lurches into motion again. The governor's governors have ordered the removal of the party to old Mexico, where everyonewill be held hostage for dealings with the soon-to-rebel Texans. Their resumed odyssey brings horrible deaths to both family and retainers from cholera, slavers, and indigenous tribes, and as the Republic of Texas rises, the great adventure winds down. A fitting end to McMurtry's odd but wise saga of Old Europe in the New World (By Sorrow's River, 2003, etc.).
From the Publisher
"In this tale of the exploration, and exploitation, of the West, McMurtry is telling us something about our checkered past — and perhaps about our uncertain present."
People

"Like a cross between John Ford and Quentin Tarantino: a genre-bending Western farce that follows the misadventures and couplings of a sprawling English family and its hangers-on as it makes its roundabout way across the West in the 1830s."
The New York Times

"McMurtry hits the bull's eye...to make readers eyewitnesses to the crucial decade in which the West was both won and ruined."
San Antonio (Texas) Express-News

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780641682568
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/04/2004
Series:
Berrybender Narratives Series, #4
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.76(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >