• Dead Man's Walk

  • By: Larry McMurtry
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (3,560 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Streets of Laredo, McMurtry brought the story ahead, giving us Call in his old age. Now, in Dead Man's Walk, he takes us back to the days when Gus and Call were young Texas Rangers, first experiencing the wild frontier that will form their characters. We also meet Clara Forsythe, the unforgettable young woman whose effect on Gus McCrae is immediate and unshakable. Danger, sacrifice, comradeship, and love give them the strength and courage to survive against the almost insurmountable odds of the frontier.

In Dead Man's Walk, Gus and Call are not yet 20, young men coming of age in the days when Texas was still an independent republic. Enlisting as Texas Rangers under a land pirate who wants to seize Santa Fe from the Mexicans, Gus and Call experience their first great adventure in the barren great plains landscape, in which arbitrary violence is the rule -- whether from nature, or from the Indians whose territory they must cross in order to reach New Mexico.

From the Indians defending their land with unrelenting savagery, to the Texans attempting to seize and "civilize" it, and the Mexicans threatened by both, the reckless men of the untamed frontier make this at once a riveting adventure story and a powerful work of literature.

©2000 Larry McMurtry (P)2000 Simon & Schuster

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What listeners say about Dead Man's Walk

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Not Lonesome Dove

This is a prequel to Lonesome Dove with a young Corporal Call and Augustus. It is well written and superbly narrated. I could listen to Will Patten recite the phone book and enjoy it. It is also a good book but I could not give it five stars because it is so depressing. You are supposed to win some, lose some in life but you should not lose them all. If you do not mind a depressing story and you like oaters then this is for you.

52 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining but not "Lonesome Dove"

Like many others, I listened to "Lonesome Dove" and loved it and wanted more of the story. This prequel, while entertaining, is a bit disappointing. Gus is one dimensional interested only in whores and it's hard to see how he would develop into the accomplished Texas Ranger we meet in "Lonesome Dove".

There is a lot of emphasis on torture and unpleasant death but I didn't find that to be as bad as some other reviewers do, though and lot of bad things and not much positive happens to the heroes in this one.

Near the end of the book, Mcmurtry changes style and suddenly we get Buffalo Hump and other Comanches in the first person where it had been third person throughout, which just struck me as odd.

I have to agree with one of the other reviewers on the ending. The ending is ludicrous and stretches the readers credulity beyond the breaking point.

Still, I did generally enjoy the story and it's worth it in any case as the first chronologically in the series.

26 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Much better narration than Lonesome Dove

Will Patton's considerable talents can be easily noticed with the way he not only smoothly and skillfully narrates the story, but gives a bit of life to the various characters we encounter.

8 people found this helpful

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Young Gus and Call

I enjoyed this a lot. First of all, this was a perfect book for Will Patton to read and he did so, perfectly. I wish he could read the entire four book series. As for story, it was well told with believable characters. It was also interesting because I know the area that's being written about. The story never gets old and I listened to the entire series multiple times on Audible.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the best stories I have ever read.

entralling story. wonderful characters. developed a brillant scenery in my mind. found myself in the cold and at the camp fire as i travelled in my car. the reader was outstanding and a lure to listen to any book he reads.

7 people found this helpful

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Great beginning to the Lonesome Dove saga!!!

What made the experience of listening to Dead Man's Walk the most enjoyable?

Very well read by Will Patton.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dead Man's Walk?

When Kicking Wolf was scared by Lady Carrey naked on her horse with the snake in her arms.

What does Will Patton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Tons of emotion to each character.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Enjoyed it, and found it hard to stop listening.

Any additional comments?

I look forward to Comanche Moon.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Humorous, witty, real wild west.

What did you love best about Dead Man's Walk?

I walked the Dead Man's Walk with Call and Gus. Will Patton brings a very good tale to the level of Majesty. I've listened 4 times and get a little more each time. You'll love ALL of the characters - the heroes and the villains. The landscape they trudge through is wide open and wild. Loved it. Still love it. It's a listen again and again. Makes the Lonesome Dove TV series into a poor cousin by comparison.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dead Man's Walk?

When the Mexican Commander hands over his gun to Call.... real drama.

What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

I will listen to Will Patton read the phone book. His sensitivity with accents, and nuance are remarkable. I like him as an actor but LOVE him as a Narrator.

If you could take any character from Dead Man's Walk out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I'd take Gus out for dinner and just listen. Mostly because he'd do all the talking and you would never get a chance to interrupt. But I'd take Call fishing - and count the dozen words he spoke as a library.

11 people found this helpful

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Great story, good narrator

Great adventure story, well read.
I love the series and this book kicks off the whole lonesome dove saga. Good

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Dead Man's Walk

Loved it! Will Patton is an awesome narrator and the voices of Gus and Woodrow are so much like Bobby Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones in the movie Lonesome Dove that you can just see them (albeit younger) as you are listening. Just started Commanche Moon and the narration is a huge disappointment.

11 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Why? Different Narrators?

I listen to and thoroughly enjoyed, Lonesome Dove. I wanted more and purchased, Dead Man’s Walk. I’m barely into the story and am very frustrated that the Narrator’s voice, inflection, presentation, etc. is not even close to, Lonesome Dove.
Are all the books in this series different? Don’t they think ahead? Is this a ‘rocket science’ question. I almost feel like canceling this book and purchase, Dead Man’s Walk, in paperback instead. (The series should be performed by the same narrator! Yes, the books are years apart so, do first ones over.)
I will listen a little longer but, I’m very disappointed NOT hearing Gus McCray’s voice!!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for JOHN
  • JOHN
  • 07-25-21

A Compelling Story of the Old West

I came to this book after McMurty's majestic Lonesome Dove and it did not disappoint. The story and the writing is first class. It paints a picture of an era that is utterly alien to our experience, a time that was savage and merciless when life, for many, was indeed nasty, brutish and short. Will Patton does an excellent job in narrating it (he should be asked to do a narration of Lonesome Dove too as Lee Horsley's one was done back in the early 90s and it could do with updating). If you enjoyed Lonesome Dove you will enjoy this too.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jamie Cowan
  • 11-29-19

surprisingly good

I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I was going to, it's easier to follow than Blood Meridian, yet very engaging, I strongly recommend picking this one up.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher Hegan
  • 05-26-19

Western Adventure of the Highest Order.

Wonderfully narrated, vividly told, this is the beginning of the long life of adventuring with the Texas Rangers for Gus McRae and Woodrow Coll that ends so poignantly with McMurty’s “Lonesome Dove”. Not for those with weak stomachs, not for those who hold precious the revisionist image of the Native American as a high and noble spirit.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Duncan Connell
  • 05-20-22

Enthralling

I absolutely loved this book start to finish. The narration, the characters, the story. Really gives you a feeling of the great open spaces in the old West. Can't wait to continue the story in the next book

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  • a thomson
  • 12-25-21

A great frontier tale

This is a great tale of the west, the frontiers and plains to the west off the Misssissippi. circu 1830-50. If you like this book then follow it up more historical fiction and adventure by listening to the Titus Bass trilogy from Terry Johnston. You will need a map as you follow our story along; the great rivers of North America. Story and narration both good.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alice
  • 08-06-21

Enjoyable Listen

Found the characters quite difficult to follow and distinguish for the first few chapters, however as the story progressed all became much more clear and enjoyable.
First Western I've read and really enjoyed it. The narrator was fantastic throughout.

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  • Judy
  • 06-13-20

My first cowboy story.

I enjoyed this very much and intend to look for more by Larry McMurtry. It was a bit gruesome in places but I guess that was how life was.
The description of the Indians was very interesting and I learned a lot. Didn’t know Apaches didn’t “scalp” and didn’t know about the slave trading.
Narrator was good and believable too.
Not my usual type of story but glad I did.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Luke
  • 04-20-20

Convincing and authentic

I thought this was a very good listen. The writing and narration skilfully captured life in the outback and portrayed a convincing sense of a long lost era that was, in places, hard to listen to. The brutal existence that these men endured in these lawless times made me appreciate the civilisation that we have now.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gary Bass
  • 01-23-20

Excellent book

The Lonesome Dove series is just a wonderful and accurate depiction of the American West and the relationship between Texas , Mexico and the indigenous people ( Apache and Comanche in the main ) . Superb character development and Will Patton is excellent - although he needs work on his French accent .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alice May
  • 06-26-19

Gritty, compelling, beautifully read

Larry McMurtry’s writing is up there with Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx. It also lends itself perfectly to being read out loud
- and Will Patton’s narration was a seamless fit. This is the first book in the Lonesome Dove series, and my only gripe is that the second - Comanche Moon - isn’t available on Audible so I’ll need to find time to read a physical copy before moving on to book three.

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  • Lisa K
  • 12-23-20

wonderful book, beautifully read.

highly recommend. This is a book to you won't want to turn off! the reader is one of the best I've listened to.

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  • Samara
  • 09-23-20

Loved the narration

Great story, wonderful narration, trying to find a sequel with good narrator is proving difficult.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mordsith
  • 09-10-19

I loved it

it was different to the mini tv series And i still really liked it awesome

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-29-18

great western never got slow

the narration brought the story to life.
this western puts Lonesome Dove in great context, and is epic in its own right. Good characters believeable trials seems well researched with snippits of information that ground the story in its time.

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  • David Myers
  • 12-02-17

Wow, just wow

I enjoyed this so much. Amazing performance from the actor who pulled me into the world of the story. Amazing story or endurance against impossible odds. I can’t wait to check out lonesome dove.