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Lonesome Dove Books In Order

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Publication Order of Lonesome Dove Books

Lonesome Dove (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Streets of Laredo (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead Man's Walk (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Comanche Moon (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon

Chronological Order of Lonesome Dove Books

Lonesome Dove is a series of four novels written by Larry McMurtry. The books follow the exploits of a group of former Texas Rangers as they try to carve out a life for themselves in the Old West.

+The Story

The Lonesome Dove series has a large cast. But the characters around whom most of the novels revolve include Joshua Deets, Augustus Macrae, Jake Spoon, Woodrow F Call, Clara Forsythe Allen and Lorena Wood Parker to mention but a few.

Despite a premise that sounds like the opening of an ordinary Western, the Lonesome Dove books are anything by ordinary, with Larry McMurtry weaving the sorts of complex plots and subplots that one rarely sees in the genre.

‘Lonesome Dove’, the first book in the series, published in 1985, picks up in 1876 in a small town in South Texas called Lonesome Dove. The Civil War is finally over, and so is America’s conflict with Mexico which saw them annex a considerable portion of their enemies territory, this including Nevada and New Mexico.

It has been quite a while since Lonesome Dove saw any significant hostilities. Woodrow F. Call and Augustus McCrea were Texas Rangers. They have retired. The fight against the Indians and the Mexicans is over, and those few lingering tensions do not really appeal to the former captains.

Call and Gus have since set up the Hat Creek Cattle Company. Their job is to secure cattle and horses for determined clients, an objective they accomplish by sneaking into Mexico in the middle of the night and stealing all the cattle and horses they might need to satiate the needs of their clients.

Call and Gus have a relatively comfortable life in Lonesome Dove. And they get along well enough despite being so different. Gus is the lazy one. He’s comical and laid back and he loves to drink. Call is the strong and silent type. He isn’t afraid to deploy violence when the need arises.

For more than a decade, Call and Gus have maintained their chosen way of life. Things change when Jake Spoon comes to town. An old friend of the team, Jake is on the run from a sheriff called July Johnson.

Jake accidentally killed July’s brother and now July is out for blood. Jake puts it in the minds of Call and Gus to gather a large herd of animals and drive them north. The goal is to set up a cattle ranch at their destination.

While Jake doesn’t push Gus and Call into taking up the task, they are eventually convinced to undertake the adventure. What ensues is a journey that tests their mettle and changes them to their core, not to mention all the people Call and Gus meet along the way and every man and women who they bring along on their drive north.

The Lonesome Dove series was not published in chronological order. The sequels to the first novel shoot back and forth through time. Some of them take readers back to Gus and Call’s early days when they were still Texas Rangers, with fans of the characters following them as they are slowly transformed to become the men everyone sees in the first novel.

Other novels continue the story that was started in ‘Lonesome Dove’ and show readers what happened to the characters following the adventures they encountered in the first novel.

It should be noted that Larry McMurtry did not set out to write a Lonesome Dove novel. The idea came into being when a gentleman called Peter Bogdanovich, who was impressed with Larry’s previous work in film, reached out to the author and suggested that they collaborate on a Western.

Larry was amenable to the idea and they proceeded to write a script for ‘Lonesome Dove’. The studio they approached loved their pitch. Unfortunately, none of the actors that the pair wanted in their movie liked their script.

As a result, the script got stranded in development hell. Larry watched for a decade as the studio tried and failed to get his script off the ground. Then he gave up, bought back the rights to the script and decided to produce the story as a novel.

Lonesome Dove has been adapted into a number of television series and miniseries which include ‘Comanche Moon’, ‘Lonesome Dove’, ‘Return to Lonesome Dove’, Dead Man’s walk’, ‘Streets of Loredo’, ‘Lonesome Dove the Series’, and ‘Lonesome Dove The Outlaw Years’.

+The Author
Larry McMurtry is an American novelist that has won Academy awards and Pulitzer prizes for his books and films. Born in 1936 in Archer City, Texas, Larry grew up on a ranch. He didn’t have access to as many books as he would have liked. But his family members loved to tell stories and that often left Larry just as satisfied.

The author began as an academic essayist before going into creative writing.

The author took offense with the popularity of his Lonesome series, primarily because his fans eventually begun to idealize and romantic the Wild West when he had intended to show the hellish nature of the landscape.

+Lonesome Dove
The 1870s have been good to Call and Gus, former captains in a Texas Rangers Division. After a lifetime spent fighting Indians and Mexicans, Gus and Call are now the owners of the Hat Creek Cattle Company.

When Jake Spoon, a former Texas Ranger, and colleague, comes to town, Call and Gus are unaware that he is on the run after having accidentally killed a dentist. Jake gets it into Gus and Call’s head that they could benefit by gathering a large herd of cattle and driving it north.

The pair decides to follow through with this plan after some thought, bringing a number of curious characters along with them. None of them know just how drastically their lives will change along the way.

+Streets of Laredo
Captain Woodrow Call is now on his own, no longer Augustus McCrae’s partner. Working as a bounty hunter, Call has been tasked with finding a Mexican bandit with, particularly, brutal habits.

Call quickly jumps on his trail, bringing with him a few friends on a journey across the last wild stretches of the West.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Lonesome Dove

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