"Now except for the two young rangers, his whole troop was drunk, the result of an incautious foray into Mexican territory the day before". This quote explains the troops readiness for being real rangers. Dead Man's Walk, by Larry McMurtry was written to give a realistic view of what explorers of the western frontiers could have encountered. The main characters of the book Gus and Call are great characters for their parts. The location where the story takes place creates great imagery in the readers mind. McMurtry used informal language to show the characters way of living. All these things tie together to make this a great book.
This book focuses on a troop of rangers, especially the protagonist Gus and Call, through out their journey to explore the western frontier. Along the way they encounter many hazards, such as cyclones, natural obstacles, and Indians. The antagonist in the story is a Comanche Indian named Buffalo Hump. These conflicts keep the story interesting and fun to read.
The setting in this novel varies from the desert plains to small rural towns. All of the places the troop comes to are realistic and make the story seem real. At one point in the novel the troops comes to the side of a big hill and has to fend off while trying to keep their horses from running off. Realistic scenes like this show up all throughout the book to enhance the storyline.
McMurtry puts a wide variety of characters in the book to describe the differences in a troops personality. Gus is a young man who is driven mainly by sex. This keeps him thinking all throughout the novel. Call is a more mature young man who tries to think of consequences before his actions. The greatest feared character is without a doubt Buffalo Hump. He keeps the troop aware throughout the book. The troop continuously talks of how to kill themselves if captured by him. The main aspects of these characters give them a certain place in the story.
The main goal of the troops in the story is to make it to California. The reason they joined the Rangers is because it was a cheaper and more sure way to get there. The unsurity of going with the Rangers was the battles and other hardships along the way. If the troops can make it to California, they hope to strike it rich off of all the gold there.
The type of language used in this book made it easy to understand the way of life the different Rangers had. Some of them were from up North and the way he talked represented that. Some of the other characters in the book had an accent that sounded like they came from the back of the backwoods. Some of them could turn three words into one and still make sense. Throughout, the mostly informal language in his book allows the reader to understand the mindset and background of the characters.
To sum it up, this book had many good elements in it. It definitely shows an example of the ways people lived and thought back then. For somebody who likes westerns, or action books, this would be a great book for them. After fighting many battles the ultimate battle comes up with Buffalo Hump. To find out how this awesome story ends, read Dead Man's Walk, by Larry McMurtry.