Thursday, December 07, 2006


Wow. I'm amazed. I read the first 400 pages of Lonesome Dove from October 5 through last Sunday, and then I read the last 540-ish pages in the last 3 days. Incredible. NOW I'm ready to see the cinematic version of it, at last.

I'm not uptight about spoilers, but I know some other folks might be. So I'm going to put the names in white and you can highlight them to see the names if you so choose.

I can't believe Larry McMurtry killed Gus.

I'm in total shock that we don't find out what was in the letter from Gus to Lorena.

Then again, I know there's at least one sequel.

I cried when they buried Deets, and I cried for about the last 3 pages. I never cry. It takes a lot to make me cry. Crying when reading a book? Well, that's the second time this year, and I've read a lot of books until I hit upon this one.

I can't believe July Johnson is such a dim-witted dullard. I disliked his wife and I'm not sorry that she got massacred.

At first I thought Gus was a diarrhea-of-the-mouth, no-account layabout, and eventually I found him to be so incredibly competent, capable and just plain old ALL MAN that he grew heroic in my eyes.

That was perhaps the greatest surprise to me in this novel, finding out the strong, silent guy was just piling grief on his own misery and unwittingly avoiding the most noble thing he could have done while the jabbering (seeming) dimwit was the very portrait heroism and rugged individuality.

Blue Duck was a mean mo-fo - I suppose there were people around that were that cunning, ruthless and evil. After all, they're around today, too, aren't they?

I was sick of the word poke used to refer to sexual intercourse by about page 7 of 944.

Incredibly good book.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

As to the "P"word, I can see where you would find it objectionable, or distasteful, but it was very much in the flavor of the time and place and characters.

Whatever Larry may say about Texas, his love and respect for its women is evidenced by the femmes who people his books. I'm thinking of the one w/ Shirley Mac and Debra Winger...memory is failing on the title this morning. I cried reading the book and in the movie. And the vile women he creates only serve to show us how wonderful the other women are.

Anonymous said...

My parents both loved the "Lonesome Dove" books and movies. Wow. I've got to read more of his stuff, I think.

I think he wrote "The Last Picture Show" (the book, I mean...). Did you read that one?

Zelda said...

I like how he handles women. I think he's better than most authors, male and female. And I agree 100% regarding Gus and Call. That was so cool how you just flushed out their hidden strengths and weaknesses. I remember being so crushed and disgusted when Larry McMurtry killed off who you said, I nearly flung the book and didn't fininsh. It was gutsy on his part, but I don't think it was wise.

schnoobie said...

Loved how you were so thoughtful of others who may not have read it...Plus it was just darn tootin FUN having the words pop up like magic....Oh if Nancy Drew would have had such technology!!!!
obviously ,I need to get out more....

TweenkalToez said...

Love the hidden words :D

I've never *read* Lonesome Dove, but I've seen the movie a few times. I think you may have inspired me to get the book. :)

In other news...you've been Tagged!

Meg Nakagawa said...

Phlegmy, Ben wants to know the significance of the cyber bunny... Me, I have to clean the house for the first time in two months because some new friends are coming over tonight and though they are not fussy, I want to keep them as friends and am in the "desperate to impress" mode.

Like what you did with the while letters - looks like a Quiz!

Rabbit said...

You should read the Thalia trilogy..Last Picture SHow, Texasville, and Duane's Depressed.

SWMBO was a townie extra in LPS. Grew up there, lived next door to McMurtry's current house and took piano lessons from his mom.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Anonymous said...

I always liked the part in Lonesome Dove (the movie) when Tommy Lee said "I can't abide liars" and beat the living shit out of some cowboy-saloon lowlife. Just made my day.
Nice blog

:P fuzzbox said...

I loved the book and the mini-series cemented Robert Duval as my favorite western star of all time. He was all that I thought Gus would be and so much more.

phlegmfatale said...

hollyb - well, the funny thing about the poke deal was that in the film [which I bought yesterday and just finished watching a little bit ago] Duvall delivers that word in such a jaunty and good-natured way that I won't see it as icky in the same way next time I read the book. Yes, it certainly could have been way more icky.
Oh, my goodness, Terms Of Endearment is an amazing film. What breaks my heart is when she's saying goodbye to her little boys - unbelievable. And then The Evening Star (neither of which I have read, but I LOVE Shirley MacLaine) is absolutely brilliant. Yes, he gets it about how women relate. I adore him for making Clara so gracious and welcoming to the world-weary Lorena. She could easily just have been a frosty bitch to her rival for Gus' affections, and yet she simply took Lorena under her wing. Oh, and wasn't Angelica Huston breathtaking? Gorgeous woman. There's something so melodious about her voice, which I find surprising. True that, on the vile women score - I could understand the numbed-down Elmira in a way, but she was icky, and less sympathetic. I guess hooking will do that to a gal.

sudiegirl - Yeah, I think my folks liked the series - I know my mom loved it - this is the first of his books I've read. Brilliant.

zelda - yeah, he absolutely does write woman stuff better than just about any man I can think of - beautiful. Yeah, it was gutsy, but it made it so much more memorable and bittersweet that Gus died.

SCHNOOBIE!!! YOu farmin' quiltin' woman, you! Yeah, it's fun to do it a little differently occasionally. Yeah, I read Nancy Drew as a kid. Well, we both need to get out more, obviously!

tweenkaltoez - yes, you MUST read the book - you'll thank me. Though the film was superb, there was so much that had to be left out.
OK, I'll take your tag challenge. Give me a minute.
Funny, I go for years without doing memes and this will be the third in recent months... hmm.
meg - you mean the bunny on the avatar? I just liked it. You know, I'm like you - our artistic temperaments keep us too busy making new messes to clean up the old ones. Sometimes I just have to invite people over to make myself do a deep cleaning. Eek. Yeah, that was fun whiting out the letters.

rabbit - I'll read them all, eventually - McMurtry is a master craftsman - he tied up enough loose ends to satisfy, and left enough loose ends dangling to set our chops for more. Good stuff.

goatman - Yup, I loved that - it's a brilliant scene in the book. Glad you like the blog - goatyguy. Come on back anytime.

fuzzbox - yeah, me too - I've always found Robert Duvall to be dignified, graceful and elegant (have you seen him Tango?), but I didn't know I had it in me to find him fetching, and now I do. He was poetry in that role. Funny thing is that in the first few pages, I started wondering that they cast Tommy Lee Jones as Call and Duvall as Gus, because it seemed like casting against type for both of them, to me, but I think it that choice was inspired. Brilliant!