Dead Man's Walk (Lonesome Dove, #3) by Larry McMurtry
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Dead Man's Walk

(Lonesome Dove #3)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  12,599 ratings  ·  666 reviews
Dead Man's Walk is the first, extraordinary book in the epic Lonesome Dove tetralogy, in which Larry McMurtry breathed new life into the vanished American West and created two of the most memorable heroes in contemporary fiction: Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call.

As young Texas Rangers, Gus and Call have much to learn about survival in a land fraught with perils: not only
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 17th 2000 by Simon Schuster (first published 1995)
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Prestonage This is an old question and I've only read the first 80 pages or so of the novel, but thus far:

Buffalo Hump (

Glanton (https://b…more
This is an old question and I've only read the first 80 pages or so of the novel, but thus far:

Buffalo Hump (

Glanton (

Kirker (

are all based upon real life figures. (less)
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryTrue Grit by Charles PortisBlood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthyAll the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthyBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Best Westerns
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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Time It Never Rained by Elmer KeltonMolly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? by Molly IvinsDead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
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Dead Man's Walk: Where it all Began

When my Aunt gave my Grandfather Lonesome Dove for Christmas in 1985, I patiently waited for him to finish it before diving into the saga of Texas Rangers Woodrow McCall and Gus McRae. I thought it was a cracking good read. I figured I had seen the last of Call and Gus, though there was plenty more to tell if Larry McMurtry was of a mind to do it. Well, he was. Ended up with a tetralology, messing with my mind in the order in which he published them. Streets of
Michael Finocchiaro
Having thoroughly enjoyed Lonesome Dove, I decided to explore the rest of the books about Gus and Call by McMurtry. My local library's copy of Streets of Laredo had a binding issue, so while they are repairing it, I skipped forward to the 3rd book which is actually stepping back in time to when Gus and Call are young men not yet twenty joining up with the Texas Rangers for what would be a pair of long, storied careers.

The book is split into two missions: one which takes them on an abortive miss
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Dead Man's Walk couldn't POSSIBLY be a more apt title, as this book mainly consists of two things: walking and dying. This, the chronological first of the Gus & Call stories, is a surprisingly harsh and brutal series of expeditions in the Southwest, usually involving hostile Mexicans, Apache and/or Comanche. The titular stretch of hostile ground in modern-day New Mexico is so fucking desolate and uninhabitable that it was even used for the Trinity atomic bomb test in 1945! The aforementioned exp ...more
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dead Man’s Walk is the ‘beginning’ of the Lonesome Dove series, though being the 3rd published. I thought it was apt to start chronologically, and boy did I love this fantastically gritty, hilarious and brutal opening. I could not agree more with those who say Larry McMurty is the American Western equivalent of Joe Abercrombie.

“Well, boys," Long Bill said. "I guess here's where I quit rangering. It's rare sport, but it ain't quite safe.”

Larry McMurty is one of the most famous Western writers,
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
While it was great to read about Gus and Call again - two of literature's more vivid characters - there seemed to be little point to DEAD MAN'S WALK other than "here's some more Gus & Call." While LONESOME DOVE contains not only great characters and stirring developments, but also meditates on themes of change, age and regret, here McMurtry seems content to just revisit his two leads and kick them around the old west for a few hundred pages.

Most disappointingly, in this novel Gus and Call are p
My review for those who do not want to read this book:

Hungry, thirsty, lost, hungry, thirsty, lost, hungry, thirsty, Comanches, hungry, thirsty, lost, hungry, thirsty, Mexicans, hungry, thirsty, walking, hungry, thirsty, walking.

My Review for those who may:
This book, while entertaining, is rather repetitive. I'm not sure how entertaining it would be without having read Lonesome Dove first (a clearly superior novel). Strangely, both Gus and Call are bystanders rather than protagonists in this nov
aPriL does feral sometimes
'Dead Man's Walk' by Larry McMurtry is sort of a prequel, but it can be read as a standalone.

Beloved (❤️) characters and best friends Augustus 'Gus' McCrae and Woodrow Call were introduced in a previously published novel, Lonesome Dove. That book is about their lives when they were older experienced ex-Rangers who had settled down to run a business in Texas. But they both were once young men unknown to each other who were eager for adventures in the West. That is where 'Dead Man's Walk' begins.
Some years ago, my friend Tressa finally convinced me to read a western and that book was Lonesome Dove. It is now one of my favorite books of all time.

Recently, I signed up for Audible, (to get a free audiobook, if I'm to be completely honest), and when I went to cancel the trial, they convinced me to stay on for a reduced price.
I agreed to it and immediately went book shopping. Thanks to my lovely GR and BL friends, (mostly I'm looking at you Bark and Spare Ammo), I stumbled upon and recogni
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i am not into Westerns but i have become a fan of Larry McMurtry. this is the second book in this series and i LOVE his style. i feel like i know the characters and wish them well. Cowboys vs Indians vs Mexicans. i recommend this and Lonesome Dove, so far. Nail biters for sure.
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to smetchie by: overwhelming desire for Lonesome Dove to last forever
What a let-down. Prequels blow. I don't want to see my beloved, crusty, bad-ass cowboy heroes as young, inexperienced, frightened, blundering, bottom-of-the-totem-pole, young'ins any more than I want to see Darth Vader as an insolent, surly, teenager. It's not fun or cool or satisfying at all. I wonder if I'll ever learn. ...more
Apr 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's not Lonesome Dove. . . but for those of us who can't get enough of Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call. . . well, it's worth the visit. ...more
Carol Storm
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really loved this "prequel" to the Western Classic LONESOME DOVE. In this story, Texas Rangers Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae are not seasoned veterans in the Wild West of the 1870's when the buffalo herds are gone and the Indian tribes nearly vanished. Instead they are boys in their teens, inhabiting a post-Alamo Texas where buffalo herds number in the millions and raiders of the mighty Comanche tribe can appear anywhere and inflict sudden death and unspeakable torture at any moment.

You might t
Bob Mayer
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lonesome Dove is one of my favorite books of all time. And a rare case where the casting of the mini-series was PERFECT. I've re-read the book several times.

Dead Man's Walk precedes Lonesome Dove timewise. We meet many of the characters when they are younger. While not as good as LD, it's still a great read.

The long walk across Texas is fascinating. I've driven it in my Jeep, I was so interested in it. Larry McMurtry is a master writer who has written a wide spectrum of books. I don't want to gi
Feb 06, 2021 rated it liked it
After the absolutely perfect "Lonesome Dove" and equally stellar "Streets of Laredo" my expectations were high. Maybe that was the problem because I thought this was all right but not great. All of the seemingly "perilous moments" lose their edge when you already know the characters will all survive; I'm not a fan of prequels for that reason. I was on the verge of giving the book two stars but I have a soft spot for Larry McMurtry so I bumped it up. On the whole a good book but my heart wasn't i ...more
Wow. What a stinkeroo this turned out to be. In fact, it sadly confirms the suspicions I had of McMurtry while reading Lonesome Dove which is to say he has incredible skill in drawing you into a rich, realistic, dusty Old West atmosphere but lacks the ability to create a well-structured story. Also, contrary to popular opinion, I feel McMurtry -- at least in his Western novels -- paints some pretty one-dimensional characters.

This book triples the meandering of Lonesome Dove, which incidentally I
Mar 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This was the weakest of the series so far but it was still a good book. It was great to see Call and Gus when they were green and fumbling and it was great to see Gus meet Clara. Still, it didn't have the colorful characters that I loved so much in Lonesome Dove and Streets of Laredo. I was actually wondering if he wrote most of this as a background before he even wrote Lonesome Dove just because it was so much less entertaining. ...more
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable to read!
A great adventure story brilliantly told.


A man could perhaps and perhaps all day, and not find his way to the truth.

I felt as though I walked across a very long desert by the time I completed this book. The prequel to the great Lonesome Dove, this book required staying power. Admittedly, I am not a big fan of westerns but McMurtry is a more-than-decent writer so this book entered my collection. But it exhausted me.

That doesn't mean the book is hard to read. Quite the opposite. But the title is very appropriate. Walking. Lots and lots o
Twerking To Beethoven
To be perfectly candid, the only reason I picked this book up is... I read Abercrombie's Red Country, loved it, and found out it was heavily influenced by McMurtry's The Lonesome Dove Series and Dexter's Deadwood among others, so I was like "why not?".

That being said, I know I'm supposed to type something else and give out further details about this book BUT, given there are some sweet reviews out there, and I'm not so good when it comes to reviews since I'm way better at being either a spoilin
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio edition narrated by Will Paton. This was really well done both in Larry McMurtry's storytelling and Will Patten's narration. (I think Will Patten is the best at narrating these wild west type stories!) Some scenes had me on the edge of my seat and I love the totally authentic Western feel of the story, at least how I imagine it to be. Honestly, it's like McMurty lived it and came back to earth to tell us all about it. I so enjoyed getting to know Call and Gus's backstory ...more
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic from the legend.
May 17, 2018 added it
4 and 1 / 2 stars

In this novel, Woodrow Call and Augustus “Gus” McCrae are just young men who have joined the Texas Rangers. On their first ride out to survey a new road, they meet up with Buffalo Hump, one of the fiercest Comanche warriors on the plains. They lose two men, and are lucky to make it back safely to San Antonio.

On their next adventure, the troop heads out for Santa Fe, New Mexico – over a thousand miles away! They meet up with a tornado. Gus falls in love with practically every wom
This is the first book in the Lonesome Dove trilogy. I didn't know I could be so captivated by a story of the Texas Rangers. Other GR friends have written more detailed reviews and their enthusiasm is contagious. I am now a fan and will read more. Will Paton's narration was top notch. ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lots of dying, but even more walking. I can understand the complaints referring to repetition. It was a lot of forced marching. The story could have benefited from a change of situation. Even passing into the next territory, a new Indian enemy was ready to harass them. It was bordering repetitive. But through it all, the writer's propensity for misfortune, the unexpected, and the sobering reality of death, delivers a page turning tale of western dramatization, that'll leave you on your ass in th ...more
Catherine  Mustread
The first in the four-book "Lonesome Dove series" can also be considered a prequel, since it was published ten years after the third of the original trilogy, Lonesome Dove, though Lonesome Dove was the first to be published in 1985 (?). This book follows a group of novice, inept and raggedy Texas Rangers, including Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae, setting out from San Antonio to Santa Fe, in search of victory and treasure. Instead they find much trouble, tribulation, and torture from other Rangers, ...more
Angus McKeogh
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t seen the Lonesome Dove television series nor have I read the first two books in this series. I chose to approach the series with the earliest book in the storyline and I felt it was great. Interesting. Well-written. Continuously engaging plot development. Great characters. Sadness. Intrigue. An appreciation for living in the present. I’m really excited about moving on to Comanche Moon but I have some other things to get through first. Thinking I’m going to love this series after this s ...more
Joshua Gross
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Like Lonesome Dove, there's a long journey through the whole book with a surprisingly short return journey. There's also a prostitute trying to get to California and some evil and creative Indians. This book, however, seemed more like tragedy after tragedy on the open range, where everyone is always completely miserable or in danger. Then things got weird and the book was suddenly over. ...more
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
so far better than I expected!

Well, I'm glad I read this first because apparently it blows if you've read Lonesome Dove first.

I quite liked it; Feckless youths and scary-ass indians!
Not at all the romantical-style western I thought it would be.
Quentin Wallace
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read Lonesome Dove, but that was the only book in the series I've read until now. First off I did enjoy this, a truly epic western. It was great to read about the early days of Gus and Call. There were a few thing didn't like.

The entire novel just seemed like a long trail ride, which I suppose it was, but it did get a little tedious at times. I wouldn't say it ever got boring, or even dragged, but it did seem like a lot of the same situation over and over. Next, the final part of the book
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge Larry McMurtry fan and this audible book read by the fantastic Will Patton did not disappoint. I hated to see it end.
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Larry McMurtry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on June 3, 1936. He is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two essay collections, and more than thirty screenplays.

His first published book, Horseman, Pass By, was adapted into the film "Hud." A number of his other novels also were adapted into movies as well as a television mini-serie

Other books in the series

Lonesome Dove (4 books)
  • Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove #1)
  • Streets of Laredo
  • Comanche Moon (Lonesome Dove, #4)

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