Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lonesome Dove Readalong - Chapters 41 -50

This weeks questions are provided by Leah from Amused By Books and if you'd like to see her answers, as well as Amy's and Melissa's, please visit My Friend Amy.

1. We now have the full story of two huge female relationships in our main men's lives: Cal and Maggie; and Gus and Clara. They are very different. What do these relationships tell us about the men they've become, if anything?

I think that mostly these failed relationships show what kind of life Gus and Call did lead as Texas Rangers and the sacrifices that went along with it. We are just getting a glimpse of it and I think more will be revealed about Gus and Call as Rangers, as well as about their relationships with Maggie and Clara. I believe Call did love Maggie but his problem is a basic fear of commitment. He didn't want to be tied down to one woman and give up the life he had as the captain of the Texas Rangers.As far as Clara goes, I think she knew Gus more than he knew himself and didn't marry him precisely because he may have been unhappy down the road as a settled down husband and would always want to go back to the 'lonesome' life of a Ranger.

2. Our old pal Roscoe gets a female traveling companion! Do you think he should have rescued her? Do you think they make a good pair?

To be honest, I have so far not put too much importance to the girl appearing at Roscoe's side. She is a little bit of a mystery and if anything, she will not end up with Roscoe but with July instead. I think July will find Roscoe (not the other way around, I think that's pretty clear that Roscoe is not very capable by now) there will develop a relationship between July and the girl.

3. The cowboys finally meet a Native American while traveling, the famous Blue Duck, who Cal and Gus even know from their Ranger days (and we saw how bad ass Gus and Cal used to be when they Rangered when they wandered into San Antonio for a bit). What do you make of everything that has happened with Blue Duck and Lorena and what do you think will happen when Gus and Blue Duck meet again?

I'm not gonna lie, I was shocked by the rape of Lorena's. I didn't think it would actually come to that. I guess that shows my ignorance and/or lack of knowledge in the western department. I did know that Blue Duck would come back for her, so that wasn't a surprise. I was actually very mad at her for being so stupidly stubborn and really so naive as to believe that Jake would come back on time to save her. I mean, didn't she have enough bad experience with men to know better?! I just hope that Gus will come out alive of it because I did sense some foreboding there and I hope I'm wrong.

Final thoughts: This part of the book really showed me why so many people love Lonesome Dove and why Larry McMurtry is the successful writer he is. The swift change from the atmosphere of fun, humor and comedy of western manners to the scene in San Antonio that showed how dangerous Gus and Call really could be and then to the kidnapping of Lorena and her subsequent rape proves to me a work of a very talented writer. Not many people can achieve such 'an emotional roller coaster' (if I may) in a novel successfully without confusing the reader.  This part really caused me to switch my attitude from mild entertainment to serious consideration of a classic.