Reading The Lonesome Dove Series In Order

by Josh Hanagarne on January 20, 2011

comanche moon bookI have talked with so many readers who finish Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize winning book Lonesome Dove without having any idea that there are three additional books in the Lonesome Dove series. In fairness, this was the first book in the series, although it falls third in the chronology.

If you’re already familiar with Gus and Call, I’ll just sketch out the broad strokes of each book below. If you don’t know them yet or you just wonder what all the fuss is about, please check out my full review of Lonesome Dove.

Then, in order of the story, not of publication:

Dead Man’s Walk

Gus and Call are young men just about to join the rangers. The frontier is about as savage as these books will ever see it. Watching them learn the ropes of their unit is a good time, and the first appearances of Call’s temper are some of my favorite scenes in any novel ever. Also, a truly bizarre, unexpected ending sequence.

Comanche Moon

The dynamic duo are now veteran Texas Rangers and business on the frontier is still rough and wild. My favorite thread in this book actually had to do with action away from these two, however. Their Captain, Inish Scull, gets captured by a truly sinister gent named Ahumado, who hangs him in a cage and does all sorts of nasty things to him while Scull tries to give himself little challenges to help keep him focused and sane.

LD

See above

Streets of Laredo

This book focuses on Captain Call as a bounty hunter as he chases a young train robber. A few old characters reappear in this novel, in unexpected circumstances. I can’t go into this one too much without spoiling some events from Lonesome Dove, but it’s a great read. The villain Mox Mox is one of my favorite McMurtry creations.

That’s it! I’d love to hear your opinions on each of these books, or any of them. If you’ve never read any of them, I envy you. You’re in for a treat.

Josh

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Cassie January 26, 2011 at 9:00 am

do you recommend reading the books in the order they were published? starting with Lonesome Dove? or do you recommend reading them in chronological order? thanks!

Reply

Josh Hanagarne January 26, 2011 at 10:53 am

If I was doing it again, id probably still read them in the order they were published. DON’T read Streets of Laredo first. Please

Reply

Lee Fritts October 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Nah! Get em when you can and try to see Steve zahn (sp?) as Gus. Just great acting !!!!!

Reply

Theyra Ward September 13, 2011 at 10:53 am

Thanks for information. I am real sad that there are not more books from Mr. McMurthy in the Lonesome Dove series to read. I do wish I had read them in chronological order. They were great reading and I loved so many of the strange characters. Jones and Duvall did a wonderful job playing the characters in the movie.

Reply

Josh Hanagarne September 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

You’re welcome, Theyra. I wish there were more as well.

Reply

Chasity McAtee October 25, 2011 at 1:34 am

I too am a HUGE fan of Lonesome Dove – have all of the books as well as the movies. My boyfriend and I love to read them and/or watch them and then talk about them afterward. I think that Larry McMurty is one of the best authors around – if not “thee” best western novelist of all time. I wish he would write some more different types of Westerns that they could also make into movies. That would be awesome! :)

Reply

Josh Hanagarne October 25, 2011 at 6:54 am

You are wise, my friend.

Reply

Len July 13, 2012 at 10:47 am

I just finished Lonesome Dove and at first was put off with the size of the book, but I have never read such a great book with such great characters. I also wish I wouldve read it in chronological order but I feel with this quality of writing they can all stand alone on their own. A true great story.

Reply

Josh Hanagarne July 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I’m so glad you read it. I feel the same way.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: