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About The Book

The complete collection of Larry McMurtry's major four-volume series following the Berrybender family—aristocratic, English, and fiercely out of place—on their journey to see the American West as it begins to open up.

Sin Killer
It is 1830, the dawn of a new era in America's growth, when Lord and Lady Berrybender embark on a journey up the Missouri River to explore the frontier and to broaden the horizons of their children: Tasmin, a budding young woman of grit, beauty, and determination, her vivacious and difficult sister, and her brother. As they journey by rough stages up the Missouri, they meet with all the dangers, difficulties, beauties, and temptations of the untamed West. For Tasmin, these temptations include Jim Snow, a frontiersman, ferocious Indian fighter, and part-time preacher known up and down the Missouri as "the Sin Killer."

The Wandering Hill
Abandoning their luxurious steamer, which is stuck in the ice near the Knife River, the Berrybenders make their way overland to the confluence of the Missouri and the Yellowstone rivers to spend the winter in conditions of siege at the trading post of Pierre Boisdeffre. By now, Tasmin is a married woman, or as good as, living with the elusive young mountain man Jim Snow, pregnant with his child and about to discover that he has secrets he hasn't told her. For his part, Jim is about to discover that in taking the outspoken, tough-minded, stubbornly practical young aristocratic woman into his teepee he has bitten off more than he can chew...

By Sorrow's River
The Berrybender party once again takes to the trail, across the endless Great Plains of the West towards Santa Fe, where they intend—those who are lucky enough to survive the journey—to spend the winter. Along the way, they meet up with a varied cast of characters from the history of the West—Kit Carson, the famous scout; Le Partezon, the fearsome Sioux war chief; two aristocratic Frenchmen whose eccentric aim is to cross the Great Plains by hot air balloon; a band of raiding Pawnee; and many other astonishing characters who prove once again that the rolling, grassy plains are not, in fact, nearly as empty of life as they look.

Folly and Glory
Under irksome, though comfortable, arrest with her family in Mexican Santa Fe, Tasmin Berrybender—who would once have followed Jim Snow anywhere—is no longer even sure she likes him, or knows where to go to next. Neither does anyone else—even Captain Clark, of Lewis & Clark fame, is puzzled by the great changes sweeping over the West, replacing red men and buffalo with towns and farms. As the Berrybenders embark on a desperate journey to New Orleans—starving, dying of thirst, and in constant, bloody battle, with slavers pursuing them—both Jim Snow and Tasmin find themselves forced to choose among conflicting loves, and finally decide where their futures lie.

About The Author

Photo Credit: Diana Lynn Ossana

Larry McMurtry (1936–2021) was the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lived in Archer City, Texas.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 1, 2010)
  • Length: 1248 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451611786

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Raves and Reviews

“Irresistible storytelling . . . Rich and satisfying.” —The New York Times

“McMurtry has reminded us that, in the hands of a maser, entertaining, old-fashioned storytelling rooted firmly in uniquely American experiences and landscape is pretty darn hard to beat.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Few authors match McMurtry’s voice of unsentimental authority when it comes to describing the random brutality and natural hazards that greeted those hardy pioneers who ventured west. . . . [Tasmin is] the best female character in McMurtry’s ever-growing oeuvre since Jacy in The Last Picture Show.” —Chicago Tribune

“Irresistible storytelling . . . The country he portrays is magnificent and violent, with shocking extremes of storm and tranquility. And McMurtry’s exquisite descriptions are written for a single breath, bringing their objects to life with a few well-chosen words . . . Rich and satisfying.” —The New York Times

“An old-fashioned, ripping good yarn . . . A wistful elegy for a lost way of life, and an exploration of the choice to be made between the English life with its order and pattern, or the frontier life with its vast beauty and frequent danger.” —Seattle Times

“Aficionados of Western fiction know that in the work of Larry McMurtry they will find not only first-rate story-telling but also authenticity and a sure mastery of the history and habits of the Old West. . . . In The Berrybender Narratives, he has created an utterly original epic of the Frontier.” —Richmond Times Dispatch

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