Widely acclaimed as the greatest Western ever made, Lonesome Dove has become a true American epic. Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel was a New York Times best seller, with more than 2.5 million copies currently in print. The Lonesome Dove miniseries has drawn millions of viewers and won numerous awards, including seven Emmys.
A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove takes you on a fascinating behind-the-scenes journey into the creation of the book, the miniseries, and the world of Lonesome Dove. Writer John Spong talks to forty of the key people involved, including author Larry McMurtry; actors Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Anjelica Huston, Diane Lane, Danny Glover, Ricky Schroder, D. B. Sweeney, Frederic Forrest, and Chris Cooper; executive producer and screenwriter Bill Wittliff; executive producer Suzanne de Passe; and director Simon Wincer. They and a host of others tell lively stories about McMurtry’s writing of the epic novel and the process of turning it into the miniseries Lonesome Dove. Accompanying their recollections are photographs of iconic props, costumes, set designs, and shooting scripts. Rounding out the book are continuity Polaroids used during filming and photographs taken on the set by Bill Wittliff, which place you behind the scenes in the middle of the action.
Designed as a companion for A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove, Wittliff’s magnificent fine art volume, A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove is a must-have for every fan of this American epic.
The last the boy Papa saw of his Momma, she was galloping away on her horse Precious in the saddle her father took from a dead Mexican officer after the Battle of San Jacinto, fleeing from his Daddy, Old Karl, a vicious, tight-fisted horse trader. Momma’s flight sets Papa on a relentless quest to find her that thrusts him and his scrappy little dog Fritz into adventures all across the wild and woolly Hill Country of Central Texas, down to Mexico, and even into the realm of the ghostly “Shimmery People.” In The Devil’s Backbone, master storyteller Bill Wittliff takes readers on an exciting journey through a rough 1880s frontier as full of colorful characters and unexpected turns of events as the great American quest novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Wittliff grew up listening to stories and memories like these in his own family, and in this imaginative novel, they come to vivid life, creating an engrossing story of a Texas Huck Finn that brims with folk wisdom and sly humor. A rogue’s gallery of characters thwart and aid Papa’s path—Old Karl, hell-bent on bringing the boy back to servitude on his farm, and Herman, Papa’s brother who’s got Old Karl’s horse-trading instincts and greed; Calley Pearsall, an enigmatic cowboy with “other Fish to Fry” who might be an outlaw or a trustworthy “o’Amigo”; o’Jeffey, a black seer who talks to the spirits but won’t tell Papa what she has divined about his Momma; Mister Pegleg, a three-legged coyote with whom Papa forms a poignant, nearly tragic friendship; the “Mexkins” Pepe and Peto and their father Old Crecencio, whose longing for his lost family is as strong as Papa’s; and blind Bird, a magical “blue baby” who can’t see with his eyes but who helps other people see what they hold in their hearts. Papa’s adventures draw him ever nearer to a mysterious cave that haunts his dreams—an actual cave that he discovers at last in the canyons of the Devil’s Backbone—but will he find Momma before Old Karl finds him?
The Devil’s Fork opens with the boy Papa exclaiming, “They was gonna hang my o’Amigo Calley Pearsall out there in front a’the Alamo down in San Antoneya come Saturday Noon and if I was gonna stop it I better Light a Shuck and Get on with it. And I mean Right Now.” And so Papa and his sweetheart Annie Oster set off to rescue Calley, thereby launching themselves into another series of hair-raising adventures.
The Devil’s Fork concludes the enthralling journey through wild and woolly Central Texas in the 1880s that began in The Devil’s Backbone and The Devil’s Sinkhole. Papa springs Calley from jail, but their troubles are far from over. Framed for murder, the two amigos have to flee for their lives. Joining their flight this time is o’Johnny, the evil Sheriff Pugh’s disabled little brother, who has uncanny abilities. Escaping danger for a while, Papa and Calley try to start a new life as horse traders, only to find themselves branded as horse thieves when o’Johnny and a mysterious white ghost horse begin rescuing abused horses from their masters. Can Papa and Calley escape the noose and save all the horses that Johnny and the White Horse liberate? Or will their own hot tempers send them down the Devil’s Fork, from which no one ever returns?
Proving himself a master storyteller once again, Bill Wittliff spins a yarn as engrossing as the stories his own Papa told him long ago, stories that inspired The Devil’s Backbone, The Devil’s Sinkhole, and The Devil’s Fork.
When last we saw the boy Papa in The Devil’s Backbone, he had finally learned the fate of his missing Momma and his vicious daddy, Old Karl. But hardly has he concluded that quest before another one is upon him. Now a white-haired man with a hangman’s noose around his neck and death in his eye—o’Pelo Blanco—is coming. And he means to hang Papa.
In The Devil’s Sinkhole, the master storyteller Bill Wittliff takes us on another enthralling journey through wild and woolly Central Texas in the 1880s. When Papa and his o’amigo Calley Pearsall confront Pelo Blanco before he can ambush Papa, the encounter sets them on a pursuit with a promise of true love at the end, if only they can stay alive long enough for Calley to win the beautiful Pela Rosa, the captive/companion of Pelo Blanco. But before they can even hope to be united with Pela and Annie Oster, Papa’s plucky sweetheart, Papa and Calley have to defeat not only Pelo Blanco but also the evil, murdering Arlon Clavic and deliver Little Missey, the mysterious Wild Woman a’the Navidad, to the safe haven of the Choat farm. With dangers and emergencies around every bend, it’s a rough ride to the Devil’s Sinkhole, where this world and the next come together, bringing Papa and Calley, Pelo Blanco and Arlon to a climax that will leave readers clamoring for the next adventure.
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