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Extended Audio Sample Sin Killer: A Novel Audiobook, by Larry McMurtry Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,899 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Larry McMurtry Narrator: Alfred Molina Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Berrybender Narratives Release Date: May 2002 ISBN: 9780743567152
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It is 1830, and the Berrybender family—rich, aristocratic, English, and fiercely out of place—is on its way up the Missouri River to see the American West as it begins to open up.

Lord and Lady Berrybender have abandoned their palatial home in England to explore the frontier and to broaden the horizons of their children, who include Tasmin, a budding young woman of grit, beauty, and determination, her vivacious and difficult sister, and her brother.

As they journey by rough stages up the Missouri River, they meet with all the dangers, difficulties, temptations, and awesome natural scenery of the untamed West.

At the very core of the story is Tasmin’s fast-developing relationship with Jim Snow, frontiersman, ferocious Indian fighter, and part-time preacher. Known up and down the Missouri as “the Sin Killer,” he’s the handsome, silent Westerner who eventually captures her heart.

Against the immense backdrop of the American West, Larry McMurtry tracks this engaging family as they make their way up the great river, surviving attacks, discomfort, savage weather, and natural disaster. Sin Killer is an adventure story full of incident, and suspense, as well as a charming love story between a headstrong and aristocratic young Englishwoman and the stubborn, shy, and very American Jim Snow. As big as the West itself, this is the kind of story that only Larry McMurtry can write.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With prose that flows as naturally as the Missouri, McMurtry weaves together a large cast and vast setting into a thoroughly exciting, hilarious adventure novel.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • One of the 2002 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 2/17/2014

    " This is the second or third time I've read this novel since it was first published, but for the first time I have all four of The Berrybender novels. I'm generally not a fan of westerns, but McMurtry brings realism and a sense of humor to all of his work. Sin Killer benefits not only from the author's eye for detail and authenticity but also an undercurrent of sexiness. Sin Killer is also a fast read, and I mean that in the best possible sense. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gwyn | 2/15/2014

    " Enjoyed the read. Another good book my McMurtry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley | 2/12/2014

    " It's no 'Lonesome Dove,' (I doubt anything ever will be), but I thoroughly enjoyed this - giant cast of characters, quietly hilarious. Can't wait to read the rest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mom Vasek | 2/4/2014

    " This is the first in the Berrybender Narratives and they are all entertaining and informative of the history of the West. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 2/3/2014

    " As much as enjoy McMurtry, this was a silly overblown dime novel. Perhaps that was what McMurtry was trying to create but that doesn't make this first book especially engaging. I'll read more of the series only because I already bought them. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joseph Street | 1/31/2014

    " McMurtry's stab at "western-by-numbers", but without a lick of obvious humor and strangely flat characters. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Katie | 1/22/2014

    " We have one brief moment on this planet, and we spend most of it sad and alone, wondering if anyone likes us or remembers who we are; or preparing ourselves to meet the day, to put on our professional faces and walk into our work environments and have the gumption to pretend like we know what we're talking about. We are shamelessly nostalgic for past selves, past moments of our lives where we felt so assured that life was an ever-widening tree-lined avenue, and that the avenue led to contentedness, success, happiness, a near-ecstatic sexual and psychic connection with our partner, or at the very least the ability to keep ourselves well supplied with Hamburger Helper. How disappointing that the avenue led only to more life, to more sweaty anticipation of a glorious future that never quite arrives, and even more disappointing: that the avenue, rather than widening, continuously narrows to a point, options falling away, revealing that the feeling of endless choice was only an illusion propped up by the optimism of a past you, that teenage shit-eater, whose essential teenageness (a mixture of scorn and naivete) you now lament with bitter, alcohol-enabled tears. The folly of youth! And the Hamburger Helper only makes it increasingly more difficult to button your pants. After all this misery and regret have been numbed by cable television, there remain only a few short hours of the day in which to attempt to forget ourselves, our growing bodies, the feeble flutter of our uncertainties and fears. This time, we allot to fiction. And the time is so small, so besieged by our nervous social media habit, our emails, our tumblr accounts. It is precious time, it is a small amount of time, and it must be protected! And here I urge you: turn away from this story of the much beleaguered Berrybender clan and their infinitely rape-able party of females. Think not of the upsetting preoccupation of the eldest, the "smart" one, with her growing role of "prairie wife" and her abandonment of books and bookish things for a dim-witted hairy idiot of a man who slaps her on their first "date," thus setting off her growing carnal preoccupation with him, because everyone knows, nothing inflames desire like a good, hard, unasked for slap across the face. Disavow the brutal depiction of Native peoples in this book and pick up a Sherman Alexie book instead. Yes, it's true, everyone in this book is an idiot and isn't it funny how useless the British are? (If you're looking for good satire of the British, why not try Noel Coward or Oscar Wilde?) But no character is an idiot in the book like the women are idiots in this book, and for their trouble, they all get brutally raped or beaten until Mcmurtry can pair them off with the next less brutal man who comes along and says something kind to them. Or they're rewarded for their critical thinking skills with a hairy illiterate frontiersman for a mate! The gifts of the prairie are copious and phallic indeed! Life is too short, too full of misery and sadness and the briefest of joys. Read a good book instead! Don't be like me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kellie | 1/16/2014

    " story explodes with the harshness of the old wild west... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber Dickinson | 1/2/2014

    " I didn't like it at first because I didn't like the voice reading to me. After a few chapters, after the lengthy, monotonous descriptions of the family and their companions and servants, the story gained momentum and became very funny and absurd. I can't wait to read the next in the series! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joleen | 1/1/2014

    " This book, the first in the Berrybender Narratives is a return to top form for McMurtry. Gorgeous, hilarious, exciting, and tragic, you cannot ask for more from a series. I have read it twice, and just thinking about it makes me hunger for round 3! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 TOTO from Kansas | 12/31/2013

    " Love the Berrybender!!!! Laugh out loud characters! Cried at times.Some very graphic violent scences, but needed for the story line.MUST READ ALL four books IN ORDER!!! LOVED them ALL "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jespera | 12/16/2013

    " Though none of the characters are extremely likable, I was still compelled through the book and ended up liking it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny Toler | 12/15/2013

    " Pretty good, but still not as good as Lonesome Dove. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Iamabibliophile | 12/3/2013

    " Although vulgar at times and filled with as many characters and tribes as McMurtry could fit, I really enjoyed it and can't wait to pick up Berreybender Narrative #2. The narrator did and amazing job with his innumerable voices. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robynn | 12/1/2013

    " Loved it! The characters cracked me up! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cristine | 10/18/2013

    " Loved the humor and the descriptions of early American life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dale | 9/22/2013

    " Excellent farce - but with very real characters. McMurtry remains one of my favorite authors for a reason. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shonnie | 8/9/2013

    " A historical western comedy? Somehow it works in this unique and funny series by the author of Lonesome Dove. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christi | 7/3/2013

    " I love Larry McMurtry. This one was interesting and good to listen to on CD. Lot's of crazy characters! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan Piette | 5/30/2013

    " Old west (1832) about a crazy English family "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 4/15/2013

    " Sometimes reading McMurtry is like eating a nice warm dessert. . .a guilty pleasure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 3/28/2013

    " A great read. This book is the first in a 4-part series detailing the misadventures of the Berrybender family (English noblefolk) on the early American west. While the Berrybenders are fictional, events and minor character are real, and McMurtry gives life to these forgotten folk. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daryl | 11/10/2012

    " Humorous book and a fun read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mmmjay | 10/22/2012

    " My brother-in-law gave me this book to read. He loved it. Must say, it was kind of a western on psychedelic drugs. The characterizations were spot on and the story had very funny scenes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nic | 7/13/2012

    " I really liked some of his other works, but these characters were awful. I would give this series a pass unless someone says the later books get better. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tom | 6/28/2012

    " This book made me wish I was illiterate. I would prefer to watch cartoons. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wende Hernandez | 5/31/2012

    " i loved tasmin barrybender. what a great character she was to read. i really like westerns...especially larry mcmurtry. read the set...it's great "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edward | 2/1/2012

    " I love Larry McMurtry. He seems to get how tough the old west was. Not clean often with a chance of death at any moment. This is the first of a series. Good thing to read on the train or an airplane. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randy | 9/4/2011

    " story of the Berrybender family's wandering through the west. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 8/28/2011

    " Very insightful novel looking at the early American continent and the exploration of the west by europeans. Nice 4 book examination of how cultures adapt to duress and new environments. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leigh | 5/17/2011

    " Very interesting story line. The characters are quite odd, sometimes to the point of absurdity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 4/27/2011

    " Old west (1832) about a crazy English family "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber | 2/7/2011

    " I didn't like it at first because I didn't like the voice reading to me. After a few chapters, after the lengthy, monotonous descriptions of the family and their companions and servants, the story gained momentum and became very funny and absurd. I can't wait to read the next in the series! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diane | 1/16/2011

    " British family travels in the American west with their whole entourage. Sin Killer is the name of a boy raised by the Osage Indians and later rescued. Lots of physical violence. Romance, Adventure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles | 10/26/2010

    " I liked the whole series. Larry has a special knack of making his characters not perfect. After all, who is in this life. I highly recommend that everyone read the whole series but start at the beginning. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randylee | 8/19/2010

    " This is a very good book about the old west. Larry does a wonderful job telling a story about the old West. This is part 1 of a 4 part series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daryl | 5/26/2010

    " Humorous book and a fun read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 5/10/2010

    " the family in this book was ridiculous... i despised all of the berrybenders. however, the book was engaging and i easily finished it in a week. "

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About the Author
Author Larry McMurtry

Larry McMurtry is an award-winning novelist, essayist, Oscar-winning screenwriter, and avid book collector. His novels include The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment, and Lonesome Dove, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Archer City, Texas.

About the Narrator

Alfred Molina is a three-time Tony nominee. His many films include An Education, Abduction, Spider-Man 2, Frida, Magnolia, Chocolat, Boogie Nights, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Prick Up Your Ears, Enchanted April, and Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes. On television he portrayed Deputy D. A. Ricardo Morales on Law & Order: LA and Eric Sanders on Harry’s Law. Molina’s audiobook narration has won eight AudioFile Earphone Awards.