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Woodrow Call is 20 years older than he was when he buried Gus at the end of Lonesome Dove (Audio Reviews, LJ 2/15/93); too old, perhaps, to track down a brilliant young Mexican bandit who has been terrorizing most of the Texas frontier. With two untrained deputies, plus his aging old corporal, Pea-Eye, Call leads a chase that scatters bodies all along the border. This sequel to Lonesome Dove could easily have been a typical action-packed Western; instead, it is distinguished by two unusual female characters--Lorena from Lonesome Dove and a strong Mexican woman named Maria--who fight for respect and decency in the face of unrelieved chauvinism and violence so typical of the West at that time. Daniel von Bargen recounts it all in a superb dramatic narration, one that does full justice to his reputation as an accomplished stage and film actor. As a welcome bonus the publishers have appended information about all the technical staff responsible for the production. Less welcome, though, is the lightweight packaging that will not survive many circulations in a busy library.-- Jo Carr, Sarasota, Fla.
Those who have been waiting, through several comparatively disappointing novels, for an appropriate sequel to the memorable and Pulitzer-winning Lonesome Dove can take heart. Streets of Laredo continues that epic of the waning years of the Texas Rangers with all the narrative drive and elegiac passion of its forerunner. Captain Woodrow Call, Gus Macrae's old partner from Lonesome Dove , is long in the tooth but still a legendary hunter of outlaws when he is called upon by the head of one of the railroads now crisscrossing frontier territory to bring to book a young Mexican train robber and killer, Joey Garza. Accompanied by an inappropriate railroad accountant from Brooklyn, a reluctant Texas deputy and gangling, awkward Pea Eye Parker (who is trying to give up the Ranger life and settle down to farming and family with the lovely ex-whore Lorena), Call sets off, roaming the border country in his competent, unassuming fashion. Along the way he manages to slay Mox Mox, a fellow whose specialty is burning his victims alive, but with his arthritic fingers and failing eyes Call is no match for the alert, ice-cold Garza. How Pea Eye eventually gets his man, and how Call, terribly injured, slips into the shadows is the stuff of this sprawling but minutely detailed yarn. As before, McMurtry's empathic way with strong women--Lorena as well as Garza's gallant but despairing mother Maria--is as beguiling as is his way of bringing to life both dark-dyed villains and courtly heroes. As in some great 19th-century saga, the story has more than its share of improbable coincidences--people meeting fortuitously in thousands of square miles of empty territory, hearing vital news at appropriate and inappropriate moments--but these seem only mild contrivances to shape a story packed with action, terror, humor and pathos. Laredo is a fitting conclusion to a remarkable feat of reconstruction and sheer storytelling genius. 375,000 first printing; Doubleday Book Club main selection; Literary Guild alternate. (Aug.)
"Streets of Laredo is here and all that needs to be said is this: Hallelujah. . . . McMurtry has taken us back to the glory days of Lonesome Dove. . . ."--Los Angeles Daily News "Larry McMurtry is a wonderful storyteller, and with . . . Streets of Laredo. . . he has written a novel that is even better than the original--and that was one hell of a tale."--Boston Globe "Larry McMurtry remains a genius at dialogue. The scene where the seven whores start reminiscing about the first men in their lives in wonderful."--New York Times Book Review "One of McMurtry's most powerful and moving achievements."--Los Angeles Times "A marvelous novel in its own right and in every way a worthy successor to Lonesome Dove."--Chicago Tribune "Gorgeous . . . violent, funny, achingly sad, filled with heroism and regret . . . If you can put Streets of Laredo down, I'll eat my ten-gallon hat."--Cosmopolitan "Streets of Laredo is a splendid addition to the literary portrait of McMurtry's native Texas and the West that he has been creating for three decades. It's also one of his most affectingly melancholy books. . . . The characters are as finely etched as any McMurtry has ever minted."--Newsweek