Larry McMurtry has created a wonderfully engaging family confronting every bigger-than-life personality of the frontier as the Berrybenders make their way up the great river, surviving attacks, discomfort, savage weather, and natural disaster. At once epic, comic, and as big as the West itself, it is the kind of novel that only Larry McMurtry can write.
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In the darkness beyond the great Missouri's shore...
In the darkness beyond the great Missouri's shore at last lay the West, toward which Tasmin and her family, the numerous Berrybenders, had so long been tending. The Kaw, an unimpressive stream, had been passed that afternoon -- Tasmin, Bobbety, Bess, and Mary had come ashore in the pirogue to see the prairies that were said to stretch west for a thousand miles; but in fact they could hardly see anything, having arrived just at dusk. The stars were coming out -- bright, high stars that didn't light the emptiness much, as a full moon might have done....
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