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4.3 out of 5 stars42
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 15 September 2000
This would seem to be the last of the Lonesone Dove novels and its certainly one of the best and most poignant. We find Captain Call an old man having been hired by the railroad company to find a very young and ruthless mexican killer who has been robbing trains in the South. There are some great characters as usual, not least of which is the railroad accountant Mr Brookshire who accompanies Call to keep tabs on his spending but mostly to report to the railroad on their progress. The contrast between Call and the life the accountant represents is very clearly drawn. There is a wonderful scene at the start of their quest when the man's hat blows off as they wait for the train and the man watches helplessly as it is carried away on the breeze. He is about to leave the civilsed world behind. Call is still able to frighten most men on the basis of his reputation alone but this book is about the transition a man has to make when he is too old to live life on the frontier. It is littered with men who are coming to the end of their time, characters like Charlie Goodnight who appears in several of the previous books. Call replays the past as he chases his prey and slowly begins to change. Pea Eye joins Call's quest only to change his mind and return to his wife and children. Call is left to fight on even though he he knows that his time for fighting has past. Call's vulnerability rings true and the outcome of the story is in doubt to the last.
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on 21 January 2008
Having read Lonesome Dove and Dead Man's Walk, I was afraid that this book would not live up to expectations but I found it to be absolutely absorbing from cover to cover. Yes, there were stark descriptions of cruelty, indeed evil, but the west at that time was a cruel and evil place so McMurty was only describing reality. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
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on 7 February 2011
Its the grittiness that stops me giving this novel the full 5 stars. There is something just a tad disturbing about the narrative: a bit too non-redemptive for my taste, like a spaghetti western turned to words.

But, as a novel, this is a superb piece of writing. At no time did I want to put this down. The characters are well drawn and the reader feels real sympathy for them. Death is round every corner, hurt round the next one, and injustice is so easily visible at all times. This is the end of the West, drawing to a close, and stuck in one of the last places where law is set by the gun.

Its a harrowing tale, and one where the plot flows, but also one where there is no real end. One to feel you are watching rather than involved in. As I said, a movie in words. And, to my taste, wonderfully well written too.
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on 13 February 2014
I'd agree with many readers that this doesn't touch Lonesome Dove but it is still a great piece of writing and was infused with much of the humour, tragedy and even some of the shock value that the earlier books had. McMurtry is as at his best as a slightly surrealist author and some of the scenes and descriptions in this book - particularly around how 'Crow Town' becomes founded - are outstanding.

My one big gripe with all McMurtry books is the 'horror' he introduces. Like all other books (Lonesome Dove less so) there are some fairly brief but vivid descriptions of awful, cruel things happening and being done to people. This includes descriptions of extreme cruelty to children (in the case of this book) - Only brief references but on final analysis, its appearance does not seem critical to the plot or even the sub plot in which it features. The West is painted as a horrific place in all these books and no doubt life was tough, and cheap too. But these novels do make you think that every homestead gets burned, every woman raped and every other man is bad to the core.

But back to the positives. Call's character is not as overly chatty as some people think, the book just focuses more on him because there is now no Gus. Call is now a dinosaur, a 'killer to catch a killer' and you get the sense that as the West is becoming civilised, Call is now regarded increasingly as just another killer. A careful study of a Mexican family is interesting - Call had previously hung the father and son for stealing cattle - the same cattle that had previously been stolen from them (this is not a spoiler, dont worry!). Call is shown as not really being a good guy but instead as someone that just keeps doing what he knows best.

In summary, a great read, enjoyable but a bit too horrifying (for me) at certain points.
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on 18 March 2010
In the Streets of Laredo, Call, the macho ex. Texan ranger, is reduced to an old has been who keeps going relying on his reputation rather than the skills he has now lost. Pea Eye, Call's deputy, just wants to get back to his wife, ends up being a hero gunfighter, much to his surprise.
A wonderful read, Streets of Laredo is a fitting end to the Lonesome Dove series, a wonderful bleak elegy to the old west.
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on 16 January 2016
I binge read all of the Lonesome Dove books, including this one - Streets of Laredo - which actually is a SEQUEL to Lonesome Dove, the main volume that is widely accepted as the classic book. I felt this book lacked the depth and virtue of all three of its predecessors in the Lonesome Dove series. It really felt like it was flogging a dead horse to be honest. Certainly when compared to its predecessors.

Here's how I rate the four volumes in terms of marks out of ten for engaging reading (listed in the order they are intended to be read):

Lonesome Dove = 10/10
Dead Man's Walk = 8/10 (prequel #1 of Lonesome Dove)
Comanche Moon = 9/10 (prequel #2 0f Lonesome Dove)
Streets of Laredo = 7/10 (sequel of Lonesome Dove)

In truth you would be adequately rewarded by just reading Lonesome Dove. In my opinion the other three volumes are money-spinning back and forward stories, surrounding the masterful Lonesome Dove grand opus.
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on 10 June 2013
While not quite as all engrossing as Lonesome Dove, this is still an exceptional Western . One misses Gus and Captain Call has a lot more to say for himself. A cracking good yarn.
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on 9 April 2011
I am the last person in the world who would attempt to belittle the great Larry McMurtry of 'Lonesome Dove' fame, but the truth is: whatever made Lonesome Dove so brilliant is totally absent here. The same goes for 'Comanche Moon' and 'Deadman's Walk'. 'Streets of Laredo' is quite possibly the worst one of them all.

And this brings me to my point: as a 'western writer', Larry McMurtry produced one of the finest novels - not westerns, mind; NOVELS - ever written. And THEN almost all the rest of his western writing is so far off the mark it is almost like someone else sat down and wrote it.

I loved 'Lonesome Dove' so much that I ordered and subsequently read ever other Lonesome Dove sequel/prequel: AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM DISAPPOINTED ME AND THEN SOME.

If I were you, I'd avoid them. Certainly don't even touch 'Streets of Laredo'. But if you really are desperate to be with good old Gus and Call once more, then I advize reading 'Comanche Moon' first and then 'Deadman's Walk'; Comanche Moon is certainly the better of the two.

It is sad for me to have to write a review like this, because 'Lonesome Dove' is just such a fine fine book - and nothing else Larry Mcmurtry has since written in the western cannon seems to be able to even come anywhere close.

A.E.B.
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on 26 October 2014
Lonesome Dove was a hard act to follow but this book makes a worthwhile attempt at it,Larry McMurty has captured me body & soul with the prequels & sequels to his magnificent Lonesome Dove.I wanted all the novels to go on for ever & I swear I had withdrawl symptoms when I finished them
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on 30 December 2003
Having very much enjoyed Lonesome Dove, McMurtry's classic Pulitzer-Prize winning epic about the American West, I was looking forward to finding out how the story continued. The adventure is well described and the characters, especially the new ones like Brookshire, the accountant pitched by his irascible boss into the very wild no-man's-land of the Texan Mexican border, are as ever excellent. But the weaknesses of Lonesome Dove are here, too, especially the apparent inability of most of the characters to change or to learn from experience. And the greatest turnoff of all was here in a far worse form: the emphasis on mindless, hideous cruelty, including, this time, sadistic treatment of children and animals - the stuff of nightmare to the extent that I could not read this book again.
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