By Sorrow's River (McMurtry, Larry. Berrybender Narratives, Bk. 3.)

Version: Unabridged
Author: Larry McMurtry
Narrator: Alfred Molina
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Western, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published In: November 2003
# of Units: 10 CDs
Length: 11 hours, 30 minutes
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In this tale of high-spirited and terrifying adventure, set against the background of the West that Larry McMurtry has made his own, By Sorrow’s River is an epic in its own right, with an extraordinary young woman as its leading figure.

At the heart of this third volume of his Western saga remains the beautiful and determined Tasmin Berrybender, now married to the “Sin Killer” and mother to their young son, Monty. By Sorrow’s River continues the Berrybender party’s trail across the endless Great Plains of the West toward Santa Fe, where they intend, those who are lucky enough to survive the journey, to spend the winter. They meet up with a vast array 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 party of slavers; 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. Most of what is there is dangerous and hostile, even when faced with Tasmin’s remarkable, frosty sangfroid. She is one of the strongest and most interesting of Larry McMurtry’s women characters, and is at the center of this powerful and ambitious novel of the West.

Reviews (6)

By Sorrow's River

Written by Anonymous from Arlington, TX on September 20th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I have read all of Larry McMurtry's books and this was my least favorite. There seemed to be no storyline, so it seemed to just "ramble" on and on. I wondered why the printed version of this book is being practically given away at bookstores. I didn't even bother to listen to the last disc.....

By Sorrows River

Written by Anonymous on December 13th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

If you read the previous 2 and enjoyed them enough then you will like this one as well but it just leaves you hanging at the end....and that Tasmin.....

By Sorrow's River

Written by Ricardo from Gulfport, MS on January 26th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Where is the next CD? I can't get enough of the Berrybender party and the Sin Killer. I love McMurtry. I have Lonesome Dove, Return to Lonsome Dove, Dead Mans Walk, Streets of Larado, Etc...Keep Em Commin. A great historical perspective of the early 1800's. "In The Year of Our Lord, 1832." As Mary Berrybender would say. Keeps you wanting more.

Great story telling

Written by cdfmg on August 1st, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Simply a great way to spend the commute. Almost a romance novel, but plenty of action and rich characters. McMurtry at his best.

By Sorrow's River

Written by Kevin Harden on April 26th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Not a really a good story..Kinda like gone with the wind with main female character marrying one man & wanting another!!! I would almost class this as a darn romance not a western!

By Sorrow's River

Written by Gem SPECTOR on February 19th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 1/5

This is the final chapter of McMurtry's series starring the tedious, cloying,silly Berrybender family. I read this one, McMurtry bombs with this series. Save yourself the time, trouble, and energy; read Lonesome Dove again instead. Submitted by Gem Spector

Author Details

Author Details

McMurtry, Larry

"Novelist, essayist, and screenwriter Larry McMurtry was born June 3, 1936 in Wichita Falls, Texas. He grew up on a ranch just outside of Archer City, graduating from Archer City High School in 1954. He attended North Texas State University (B.A. 1958), then Rice University (1954, 1958-60, M.A. 1960), and studied for one semester outside of Texas, at Stanford University, as a Stegner Fellow, (1960-61). McMurtry published his first novels while working as an English instructor at Texas Christian University (1961-62), Rice University (1963-65), George Mason College (1970), and American University, (1970-71). In 1962, he won the Texas Institute of Letters Jesse M. Jones award, and in 1964, he won a Guggenheim grant. In 1970, he bought a rare-book store in Washington D.C.'s Georgetown neighborhood, named it Booked Up, and relocated to run the store. A second Booked Up was opened in Archer City, Texas, in 1988.

His first seven novels were all set in Texas, some in the country, some in urban settings. The first three were made into movies. Despite the critical and popular success of ""Hud"" (Horseman Pass By) and The Last Picture Show, for which McMurtry wrote the Academy award winning screenplay (1972), McMurtry perceived a lack of appropriate recognition for his work in general. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he wore a t-shirt that read ""Minor Regional Novelist"", to help make this point.

McMurtry's urban trilogy, set in contemporary Houston, Moving On (1970), All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers (1972), and Terms of Endearment (1975), all deal with love and marriage, and are examples of McMurtry's ability to consistently create a strong sense of place, characters, and dialogue. Terms of Endearment would later be translated into Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish, and made into a very popular movie by the same name (1983), starring Jack Nicholson, Shirley MacLaine, John Hurt, and Debra Winger.

Following this trilogy, McMurtry looked outside of Texas for settings: Somebody's Darling (1978) set in Hollywood, CA; Cadillac Jack (1982) set in DC, and The Desert Rose (1983) set in Las Vegas. These novels involve characters seeking meaning in urban life, and were not as critically or commercially successful as McMurtry's novels set in Texas.

In 1985, McMurtry published Lonesome Dove, the story of two ex-Texas Rangers who take on a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. This novel won McMurtry a Pulitzer Prize, as well as widespread critical and commercial success. The novel was brought to the small screen in 1989, in a very popular television mini-series of the same name, making McMurtry even more of a household name.

Since writing Lonesome Dove, McMurtry has continued to write novels set in both contemporary and historical Texas, with characters grappling with old and new lifestyles and values. These novels have been commercially successful, although not to same degree as Lonesome Dove. McMurtry announced that he will retire from novel writing with the 1999 novel, Duane's Depressed, however he has remained active as a writer, publishing a biography on Crazy Horse and an autobiographical reminiscence, Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen, in the same year.

Author biography courtesy of Southwest Texas State University's Albert B. Alkek Library. "