Lonesome Dove Storytelling at its Best

I’ve not kept up with commenting on the ten books that influenced me most, so here goes. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry impressed me as an example of storytelling at its best. Mr. McMurtry’s book is a work of historical fiction, based upon true stories he heard as a youth in Texas. The fictitious cattle drive from Lonesome Dove to Montana is based upon an actual cattle drive by rancher legendary Charles Goodnight. Woodrow Call’s pilgrimage back to Texas with Gus McCrea’s body is based upon an actual event. The two main characters, McCrea and Call, are finely drawn American classics, as only cowboys can be. McMurtry though me it is possible to sample from historical events to weave several disparate plotlines in and out of a book without detracting from any one of them. His prose is uniquely American and highly readable. He shows that a good book can be simple and gracious and good literature. When a writer finds himself dabbling in obscurities in an attempt to be “deep” he would be well served by reading or re-reading Lonesome Dove.

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