- John Gaines
This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry: "A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier: Set in the late nineteenth century, Lonesome Dove is the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. Augustus McCrae and W. F. Call are former Texas rangers--partners and friends--who have shared hardship and danger without ever quite understanding each other. Gus is the romantic, a reluctant rancher who has a way with women. Call is driven and demanding, a natural authority figure with no patience for weakness. The two could hardly be more different, but both are tough, redoubtable fighters who have learned to count on each other, if nothing else."
If you enjoyed this western epic and are looking for similar novels, here are some other titles you may enjoy:
Little Big Man by Thomas Berger
Fictional reminiscences of an 111-year-old man telling of his checkered career as plainsman, Indian scout, and squaw man and of his colorful acquaintances. (worldcat.org)
The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
A cowboy is unable to prevent three wandering travellers from being unjustly lynched for murder. (worldcat.org)
The Prairie by James Fenimore Cooper
Set in 1804, the tale follows the adventures of Natty Bumppo, over 80 years of age and ranging the plains, having departed his home along the now-vanished New York frontier in search of open country. Called "the trapper" or "the old man" and never referred to by name, numerous references to the previous two novels, as well as the stories and characters in the two which would not be written until years later, leave no doubt that the old trapper is the "Leatherstocking." Happening upon a party of settlers heading across the plains, the resourceful old trapper leads his companions through a series of harrowing adventures involving the hostile Teton tribe, the friendly Pawnees, led by the noble warrior Hard Heart, the shiftless settlers Ishmael Bush and Abiram White, the honorable Captain Duncan Uncas Middleton and the bee-hunter, Paul Hover. (amazon.com)
The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
The classic story of a boy's journey to manhood under the joys and hardships of ranch life, focused around the life and death of his red pony.
Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
Arguably Zane Grey's most popular novel and a forerunner of the western genre, Riders of the Purple Sage tells the story of a Mormon woman caught between the persecution of religious zealots and several Gentile gunmen seeking to lend her a helping hand. Set in Utah during the nineteenth century, this novel offers an early critique on the practice of polygamy and plural marriage in the Old West.
Silver Canyon by Louis L'Amour
Matt Brennan inherits a ranch from a murdered man and must use his well-practiced gunfighting skills to keep it. (worldcat.org)
The Virginian by Owen Wister
Set in the vast Wyoming territory, this masterpiece helped establish the code of the West and its stereotypical characters. The novel also features the first known "shootout" in American literature. (worldcat.org)
The Way West by A.B. Guthrie Jr.
An enormously entertaining classic, THE WAY WEST brings to life the adventure of the western passage and the pioneer spirit. The sequel to THE BIG SKY, this celebrated novel charts a frontiersman's return to the untamed West in 1846. Dick Summers, as pilot of a wagon train, guides a group of settlers on the difficult journey from Missouri to Oregon. In sensitive but unsentimental prose, Guthrie illuminates the harsh trials and resounding triumphs of pioneer life. With THE WAY WEST, he pays homage to the grandeur of the western wilderness, its stark and beautiful scenery, and its extraordinary people. (amazon.com)
You may also enjoy the following film:
How the West Was Won, directed by Henry Hathaway, John Ford, George Marshall
A western adventure spanning three generations, the breadth of a wild, unsettled country, and fifty of the most excitingly turbulent years of this nation's history. (catalog description)