I guess it's more because they survived than anything else. I am still unclear on Call's underlying motivation for the way he treated Maggie. It was arbitrary and cruel although it makes his personality in LD more understandable. Also these books were significantly more violent than Lonesome Dove. By orders of magnitude. The tortures the Indians employ and the general misogyny were painted in vivid detail and plausibility. I found that to be very uncomfortable, even gratuitous, at times. In contrast to what I said about the decent entertainment value of the violence in The Hunger Games (post 4590) the violence in these books were far more difficult to read simply because they have a basis in reality unlike The Hunger Games. If you're a fan of the series, they are worth a read but don't expect to recapture the magic of Lonesome Dove. I still haven't read Streets of Laredo but I'll get to it at some point soon. Streets is as grim as the others. I'm with you as both are so bleak, they're hard to read. The writing itself is great, but damn I winced a bunch reading 'em. I originally read them in the order published, then did a reread a few years ago in chronological (for the story) order. Man oh man, McMurtry must have either been going through some crazy stuff he needed to bleed out or he's just a seriously messed up dude.Also agree that they don't match up to Dove but, then again, no other novel does either. The more I read (& I ain't hard to please), the more I'm convinced it's the Great American Novel. I got to meet him. I spent about 15 mins talking with him. He comes across as a cranky old man. He has a rep of being an ###. Others that have had any interaction with him were surprised I lasted as long as I did.I just read "Empire of the Summer Moon", it is a good read and tells of the rise and fall of the Comanche Nation. It tells the story from the Fort Parker raid, captive Cynthia Parker and how her half-breed son Quanah Parker rose to prominence. A good look at the Texas Oklahoma Indian wars. There is some mention of the Texas Rangers and Charles Goodnight.