Thursday, November 18, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy: Day 95

This is an ongoing series looking at books that influenced me as a fantasy author.

Lonesome Dove
by Larry McMurtry

Lonesome DoveI came relatively late to this 1985 Pulitzer-winning novel. The 1989 television movie came first for me, and I fell in love with the sweeping story and the epic characters.

Then I read the book.

And it put the TV movie to shame, as good as it is.

The plot is basically about some old-timers, former Texas Rangers, who decide to herd cattle from Texas to Montana. But that doesn't cover anything. There are multiple, complex sub-plots going on throughout this tale, and the characters themselves are quite complex and interesting. I won't say much more, because I don't like to give away too many details for readers who have yet to discover a book.

It's funny, in a way. Some of my favorite novels are Westerns, as are quite a few of my favorite movies. But, for the most part, I don't enjoy Western literature all that much. I've tried, but a lot of it comes off as overly simplistic and often unbelievable to me. That's why I usually stick with Western history in my reading instead of Western fiction.

Which is probably one reason I love this book, besides the quality writing. This tale is based upon real characters and real events, though the names have been changed and I'm sure events have been embellished upon for dramatic effect.

Still, if every Western were written like this one, I'm sure I'd be a much bigger fan of the literary genre.

Heck, I might even decide to write a few Westerns.

Up next: The Last Unicorn

1 comment:

Hanny said...

I just bought this is in a tiny bookstore in LaConner, WA. Thanks for the review, I'm looking forward to reading it!