Title: Dead Man's Walk
Author: Larry McMurtry
Narrator: Will Patton
Listening Length: 14h:29m
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Synopsis: Dead Man's Walk, is the prequel to Lonesome Dove, and takes us back to the days when Gus and Call were young Texas Rangers, first experiencing the wild frontier that will form their characters. We also meet Clara Forsythe, the unforgettable young woman whose effect on Gus McCrae is immediate and unshakable. Danger, sacrifice, comradeship and love give them the strength and courage to survive the almost insurmountable odds of the frontier. Gus and Call are not yet 20, young men coming of age in the days when Texas was still an independent republic. Enlisting as Texas Rangers under a land pirate who wants to seize Santa Fe from the Mexicans, Gus and Call experience their first great adventure in the barren great-plains, in which arbitrary violence is the norm - whether from nature or from the Indians whose territory they must cross in order to reach New Mexico.
Another classic by Larry McMurtry, this is the second novel I have “read” by McMurtry and it was as enjoyable as the first, Lonesome Dove. Again, McMurtry puts his characters through horrendous experiences and while this is a road story, which I generally do not enjoy, the narrative and wonderful narration by Will Patton kept me spell-bound to the end, even though I knew what the eventual outcome for some of the characters would be – this being a prequel. The scattering of humour and tender moments throughout the novel add important light moments to the generally bleak story-line. Again the characterisation is wonderful and the scene setting really placed me into the middle of the landscapes with the characters. One criticism of the story is its sudden ending, although this really is a minor point. The selection of Will Patton to narrate the novel was inspired. He brought both the story alive and the characters to life. His dulcet tones fitted the story perfectly. I shall definitely be reading more stories by McMurtry and listening to more audio-books by Patton.
What others thought
Amazon.co.uk; 64 reviews, of which 95% were 3* or more, giving an average of 4.5*
Amazon.com; 321 reviews, of which 91% were 3* or more, giving an average of 4.3*
Goodreads.com; 9,003 ratings (431 reviews), with 95% of 3* or more, giving an average of 3.9*
Other novels by the same author (click on the image to go to Amazon for more details)
Other novels narrated by Will Patton (click on the image to go to Amazon for more details)
Other novels in the western genre (click on the image to go to Amazon for more details)