Books Like Lonesome Dove

By Rakib Sarwar Written by Rakib Sarwar
Updated on August 5, 2023

What are some books that are similar to “Lonesome Dove”? If you’re looking for another great Western novel to read, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are four novels that will keep you entertained from beginning to end. So saddle up and get ready for some good old-fashioned entertainment!

If you’re looking for a Western to read after finishing “Lonesome Dove,” there are plenty of great options. You could try “Shogun” by James Clavell, which tells the story of an English sailor who is shipwrecked in Japan and becomes entangled in the country’s politics.

Or, check out Cormac McCarthy’s novel “All The Pretty Horses,” about two young cowboys who venture from Texas to Mexico. If you prefer your Westerns with a bit more action, Robert B. Parker’s “Appaloosa” might be up your alley – it follows the escapades of lawman Virgil Cole and his partner Everett Hitch.

What should I read after Lonesome Dove?

Shogun by James Clavell

Some readers who enjoyed the descriptive writing and overall story arc in Lonesome Dove may want to read Shogun by James Clavell. This novel tells the story of an English sailor who is shipwrecked in Japan during the 16th century and becomes involved with the country’s shogunate. 

‘All The Pretty Horses’ by Cormac McCarthy

Those who are looking for a more recent novel that captures the spirit of Lonesome Dove may enjoy ‘All The Pretty Horses’ by Cormac McCarthy. This book is the first in a trilogy that follows John Grady Cole through three decades of his life in Texas and Mexico.

Robert B. Parker’s ‘Appaloosa’

Another novel that shares some commonalities with Lonesome Dove is Robert B. Parker’s ‘Appaloosa’. This novel follows the lives of two former Texas Rangers as they solve a cattle rustling case in a small western town. Both stories of ‘Appaloosa’ and ‘Lonesome Dove’ deal with frontier life in America.

‘The Claim’ by Peter Heller

Those who enjoyed the realistic portrayal of the main character as he persevered in a harsh environment may also enjoy ‘The Claim’ by Peter Heller. In this novel, a New York father and daughter inherit a mining town and must set out on a journey to claim it. If you like Lonesome Dove, I think you will love The Claim. There is the same epic scope, the same sense of place, the same insight into human nature. And in many ways, they are mirror images of each other.

How does “Shogun” compare to Lonesome Dove?

Books Like Lonesome Dove

Fans of Lonesome Dove will find a lot to enjoy in Shogun. This epic novel tells the story of an English sailor who becomes involved with the lord of a Japanese shogunate. The story is told from the perspective of John Blackthorne, who must come to learn about Japanese customs and language if he wants to survive. The novel is filled with action, interesting characters, and beautiful descriptions of Japanese culture.

However, even though both novels are set in the past, Shogun is very different from Lonesome Dove. Lonesome Dove follows American characters who are living their lives in the United States’ Wild West, while Shogun is set in 16th century Japan. Lonesome Dove also includes a lot of humor and comic relief, while Shogun is darker and more serious. Still, readers who enjoyed Lonesome Dove will likely be fans of Shogun as well.

How does “All The Pretty Horses” compare to Lonesome Dove?

Like Lonesome Dove, All the Pretty Horses is the first book in a trilogy. This novel tells the story of John Grady Cole, who is the 16-year-old son of a rancher in Texas. After Cole’s father dies, he sets off for Mexico with his friend Lacey Rawlins. The novel follows their adventures and misadventures as they travel across the border.

All the Pretty Horses is very different from Lonesome Dove. First of all, it takes place in Texas and Mexico instead of the Wild West. The novel also focuses on the friendship between Cole and Rawlins instead of the life of cowboys on a ranch. Still, fans of Lonesome Dove will likely enjoy this novel as well.

A Western like Lonesome Dove?

If you’re looking for a Western novel that is similar to Lonesome Dove, you might want to try the western classic The Virginian by Owen Wister. This novel follows a young cowboy as he moves from the east coast to Wyoming and becomes involved in the lives of the people who live there.

Another western that features many of the same themes, characters, and locations that Lonesome Dove fans will enjoy is Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey.

Larry McMurtry’s Best Books 

McMurtry’s writing is lyrical and his characters are richly drawn, making it easy to get lost in the world of Lonesome Dove. If you loved the book, you may want to check out some of Larry McMurtry’s other books. His novel “Shogun” was made into a popular miniseries, and is set in Japan during the 16th century. The other books of Larry McMurtry are also great reads. And his book “Film Flam” is a terrific collection of essays about the cinema, including a commentary on Lonesome Dove.

If you’re looking for a book to read after Lonesome Dove, we recommend Shogun by James Clavell, All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, Robert B. Parker’s Appaloosa, and Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. We know it can be tough to find the right book that compares to your favorite Western, but hopefully one of these will do the trick.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of our list of books like Lonesome Dove? Let us know in the comments below!