Sunday, February 7, 2010

Larry McMurtry's "Sin Killer"

Finished reading Volume l of the four-volume Larry McMurtry saga of the Berrybenders. This first one is entitled Sin Killer, published by Simon and Schuster, copyright 2002, and has been on my shelf for a couple of years waiting to be read.

As the steamboat makes its way up the Missouri River, the family and its valets, maids, cooks, gunbearers, etc., have their problems, several of them dying or getting killed or lost on the prairie in one fashion or another. The oldest daughter finds herself alone in a small boat and is saved by the prairieman/mountainman, Jim Snow, also known as Sin Killer and Raven Brave, a man of the outdoors who instills fright in the Indians. She soon finds herself in love with Jim with all its ramifications and her father would have a fit if he knew what was going on.

One predicament after another befalls the characters, be it the weather and freezing, or capture by the Indians, or plain stupidity, they manage, or what's left of them, manage to get stranded by the frozen river some miles from their destination, Yellowstone, to the consternation of the boat's captain, where this volume ends.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to starting the second one, The Wandering Hill. Whether or not the four volumes live up to the reputation of Lonesome Dove remains to be seen, but I think he is off to a great start. The other two books in the series are By Sorrows River and Folly and Glory.

(No money or gift was received for mentioning this book.)


  1. I enjoyed the language in this one. Reminded me more of Lonesome Dove than any of his other books.

  2. Yes, the language is colorful and apt and comical at times.