Literature: Lonesome Dove

Robert Duvall as Gus MacCrae and Tommy Lee Jones as Woodrow Call

I wanna do it, Gus. I wanna see that country, before the bankers and lawyers all git it.
Captain Woodrow Call

Lonesome Dove is the name of a highly-regarded Western novel by Larry McMurtry published in 1985. It was also adapted into a 1989 Emmy-winning four-episode television miniseries. It is considered the first part of a trilogy, with the second being Open Range and the third being Broken Trail. Two prequel novels, Dead Man's Walk and Comanche Moon were subsequently published.

In 1876, former Texas Rangers Captains Augustus McCrea and Woodrow Call run a livery in the small border town of Lonesome Dove. When their old colleague Jake Spoon arrives with tales of the unsettled territory in Montana, Call is inspired to drive of cattle there to start a ranch.


  • Berserk Button: Do not hit Newt when Woodrow Call is around.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: When facing hanging, both Jake and Blue Duck decide to preempt their execution. Jake, who was being hanged from a tree branch, spurred his horse out from under himself before Gus could do it. Blue Duck, when about to be led from his fourth-story cell to the gallows, broke away from his guards and jumped out a window.
  • Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie: Woodrow Call brings Gus MacCrae's body across the country so he can be buried in his favorite orchard.
  • Cattle Drive: the whole basis of the plot
  • I Ate WHAT?: When recruiting a new cook in San Antonio, Po Campo asks Gus and Call to try something he made. Call pops it in his mouth and says "Dang, that's tasty!" What exactly is it? "Grasshopper." Cue Spit Take.