Those longing to escape this world for awhile would do well to escape to the arid plains of 1880''s Texas. Two once-formidable Texas Rangers retired to a life of horse ranching and a little card playing. Gus is the philosophical type and Call is a silent workaholic. They manage a crew of cattlemen but have very little prospect for the future.
An old compatriate of theirs comes riding in one day and tells of the Montana country, where the grass grows tall and the country lies wide open for ranching. Thus begins an odyssey for Gus and Call, their crew, a gambler and a prostitute and two thousand head of Mexican longhorn cattle.
The stark, dry landscape affords little comfort and security but every day brings a moment of beauty and a lot of time for reflection on stories of the past.
Author Larry McMurtry brings his characters to life as we see what it means to be a man on the frontier. To survive the long drive from Texas to Montana you have to believe in the vision of beauty looming far beyond the horizon, and leave behind the dull security of the past. Call doesn''t know quite what made him go, but somehow he''s compelled to see the journey through. Gus knows it won''t be easy, but that change must come. Pea Eye, Newt and Dish are the loyal men who will work and follow through whatever comes. Lorena the beautiful and restless "sporting woman" starts the journey with Jake Spoon, a handsome neer-do-well, and finds her way to Gus and Call''s group after being rescued from renegades.
As in any good odyssey, plenty of trouble comes their way: snakes and floods and lightning kill some. Others will contend with marauders. Still others will fall from their own character failures. They will make it to the end, but not without a cost.
Reading Lonesome Dove makes you feel a part of something meaningful to the soul of humanity. It is a great quest but not a challenge to read because of the artistry of Larry McMurtry''s writing.