By Sorrow's River continues the Berrybender party's trail across the endless Great Plains of the West toward Santa Fe, where those lucky enough to survive the journey intend to spend the winter. Along the way, Tasmin, whose husband, Jim Snow, has moved out to scout ahead, falls in love with Pomp Charbonneau, only to see him killed by the ruthless commander of the Spanish troops.
The Berrybenders meet up with a vast cast of characters from the history of the West: Kit Carson, the famous scout; Le Partezon, the fearsome Sioux war chief; The Ear Taker, an Indian whose specialty is creeping up on people while they are asleep and slicing an ear off with a sharp knife; two aristocratic Frenchmen whose eccentric aim is to cross the Great Plains by hot air balloon; a party of slavers led by the cowardly but bloodthirsty Obregon; a band of raiding Pawnee; and many other astonishing characters who prove that the rolling, grassy plains are not as empty as they look.
"An exciting, humorous, but often heartbreaking story that unfolds across magnificent, dangerous and often deadly landscapes." (Booklist)
Each book of the Berrybender trilogy has been better than the last. Narrator Alfred Molina continues to impress with his retinue of superb voices and accents, and the characters themselves have grown and (hard to believe) matured. This is Tasmin's book, by and large, though plenty of new and old characters come and go. she is enormously entertaining, witty, and resourceful to match her lascivious nature, and her cutting putdowns deserve saving for the reader to use in special cases in real life later!
I have rarely enjoyed a read as much, and must say the trilogy was too short for me!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
No real point to any of this and quite disrespectful to actual mountain men who lived. The soft pornographic element was wholly unnecessary.
Where does By Sorrow's River rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I love Larry McMurtry novels, especially the historical fiction ones. This one has such fun characters that you will find yourself smiling and enjoying a laugh out loud.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I enjoy all the Barrybender girls. They are so smart and hedonistic.
Which scene was your favorite?
As the Americans are captured by the Mexican soldiers, made up of boys and a couple of officers. The way the captain explains to himself why he hates Pomp is so true to life. Though it appears crazy to us. So well written.
If you could take any character from By Sorrow's River out to dinner, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Tazman. She is so interesting.
Alfred Molina is one of the best readers I've heard on an audiobook. And the story is classic McMurtry.