Louis L'Amour 2023 Shared Read Challenge

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Louis L'Amour 2023 Shared Read Challenge

Jan 8, 8:15 pm

I thought that this year we could simply have a thread where we say which L'Amour book caught our attention. Then anybody else can read it also.

Jan 9, 8:07 am

I've added this to the group wiki!

Jan 9, 5:32 pm

Editado: Jan 12, 8:31 pm

One L'Amour book that I plan to read soon is The Lonesome Gods. I'll probably also read Flint.

Editado: Jan 13, 7:47 pm

>1 SilverWolf28: thanks!

My first planned read is a reread of Jubal Sackett.

Editado: Jan 27, 4:37 pm

I finished Flint. I'm going to read Utah Blaine soon. It was a kindle recommendation after I started Flint.

Jan 31, 8:23 am

>6 SilverWolf28: Oh, I really like Utah Blaine! My paperback copy is falling apart.

I finished Jubal Sackett, my first L'Amour read back about 1987. The only thing that detracts from the story is a lot of introspection by the main character, which the author seemed to include more in his later works. Still, a ripping good yarn!
Jubal heads west from North Carolina for the far blue mountains that fascinated his father, Barnabas. On his journey he meets friend and foe, and overcomes numerous physical obstacles.

This was my first L'Amour read, and remains one of my favorites.

Jan 31, 9:22 am

I think I've come upon a L'Amour challenge for myself. I have most of his books, and about 99% read, BUT not all have been reviewed.

My plan is to pick an unreviewed L'Amour, reread it and then review it for LT.

Since AlphaKIT is F and J, I have chosen Fallon as my February L'Amour read.

Jan 31, 8:01 pm

>7 fuzzi: I love Utah Blaine as well! This was my first time reading it.

Editado: Jan 31, 8:03 pm

I also finished Silver Canyon and am about to start Showdown at Yellow Butte.

Editado: Fev 1, 8:43 am

>9 SilverWolf28: woo! Glad to hear it.

When we moved from Connecticut to the Carolinas I donated most of my L'Amour collection to the local (little) library. Utah Blaine was one of only a few that I kept for the long trip south. It's kind of worn, but I still love it.

I additionally kept a copy of The Man Called Noon, another favorite.

>10 SilverWolf28: I don't recall the last time I read those two, but am pretty sure they're in the 3 or 3 1/2 star range, good reads. They don't have reviews by me here on LT, oh well.

Fev 1, 10:37 am

Silver Canyon is one of the unread L'Amour books I have and was thinking of reading it later this year.

Fev 3, 10:53 am

Fallon by Louis L'Amour

Fallon is a swindler, gambler, looking for a way to score some money to head for San Francisco, but gets entangled in his own web, and winds up questioning his motives.

Started a little slow, but became more interesting as I continued reading. Not L'Amour's best, but fine for fans and completists.

Editado: Fev 3, 10:54 am

>12 RBeffa: let me know when you decide to read Silver Canyon, I might join you.

Mar 8, 6:24 am

Currently rereading The High Graders, and so far it's an above average L'Amour.

Mar 11, 5:39 pm

And it's done!

The High Graders by Louis L'Amour

A story of mining, cattle, and how easy it is to look the other way when there's gold for the taking. Good read, better than average L'Amour.

Mar 11, 9:05 pm

>16 fuzzi: Very good. I think I read that many years ago.

Mar 15, 7:40 am

Where the Long Grass Blows by Louis L'Amour

Slow-starting but eventually this was a fairly good read. I did like a few unusual plot twists but they didn't lift the story above average for me. Don't judge the author's body of works by this one.

Note: this is a novel length retelling of The Rider of the Ruby Hills.

Mar 16, 11:55 pm

I've been taking a break from book reading and did not want to start a novel but saw that my library had an ebook short story collection available. It is a large collection of 19 stories which I started tonight The Chick Bowdrie Short Stories Bundle. I liked the first story 'McNelly Knows a Ranger".

Mar 24, 12:10 pm

>19 RBeffa: I will probably finish the Bowdrie stories today/night. I found the collection quite enjoyable and better than I expected. 3 1/2+ stars for the genre. I am uncertain if I had read any of these 19 stories before, but suspect I have. Some memorable stories in here. Some forgettable ones too! I believe I already have all of these stories in one of those larger L'Amour collections in the pretend leather-bound editions of Frontier stories.

I'm glad I read this.

Abr 4, 9:14 am

>20 RBeffa: somehow this thread got unstarred, so I just read your posts.

Bowdrie is one of my favorite L'Amour characters, and I can't recall one short story about him that I didn't like.

Editado: Abr 4, 9:15 am

I read this one years ago, but didn't recall much about it.

Hanging Woman Creek by Louis L'Amour

Slightly different take on the usual Nester vs. Cattle Baron plot, with enough action and less introspection to keep the reader happy. I also really enjoyed the addition of Eddie Holt, who had an interesting background and more dimension than is common in this genre. I might just keep this one for another read later on.

Abr 4, 9:59 am

>21 fuzzi: I ended up rating the Bowdrie collection 4 stars. I agree that there wasn't a single story I didn't like. 19 stories.

Abr 5, 12:10 pm

I was planning on rereading Dark Canyon, another Louis L'Amour that I've read but not reviewed. Now I can't find it! It should be on my L'Amour shelf, nope.

Maybe my dad borrowed it and didn't return it. Oh well. I can probably find it at the library or used book store. I won't spend money on it as I have a lot of credit at the latter.

Abr 19, 9:48 am

Not yet found a copy of Dark Canyon, and I refuse to pay $7 for an ebook that I will read once.

In May the AlphaKit letters are "C" and "U". Here are my options for rereads:

The Californios
Trail to Crazy Man
Crossfire Trail
Off the Mangrove Coast
Silver Canyon

I've already read and reviewed Utah Blaine so I won't need to reread it.

Abr 19, 6:31 pm

I could do California or silver canyon in May. My ready pace is awful this year.

Abr 20, 9:02 am

>26 RBeffa: Want to do a joint read?

I will probably reread Silver Canyon, then I'll pick another one from my list.

Abr 20, 10:19 am

>27 fuzzi: A joint read of Silver Canyon should work for me.

Abr 24, 7:16 am

>28 RBeffa: Great! I usually start the month with a L'Amour, so next week sometime.

Maio 2, 5:16 pm

I'm about 2/3 through Silver Canyon - it is a quick read. I think the Chick Bowdrie stories spoiled me because this story isn't impressing me. Especially the start. L'Amour is always good with landscape descriptions however.

Maio 3, 7:25 am

>30 RBeffa: agreed. The Bowdrie books are examples of some of L'Amour's better stories.

I've not read anything the last couple days, RL has been very busy.

Maio 14, 5:44 pm

>30 RBeffa: I'm finally starting Silver Canyon. So much for a shared read, sorry!

Maio 15, 7:55 pm

>32 fuzzi: no problem. I put a few notes on my own thread. I was a bit underimpressed with Silver Canyon. https://www.librarything.com/topic/347292#8133035

Maio 15, 8:05 pm

>33 RBeffa: I'm about halfway through, and it appears to be one of L'Amour's formula westerns, mid 1950s. I'll finish reading this book, and review it, but will probably rehome it afterwards.

In my opinion most of L'Amour's better novels are from the 1960s and 1970s. The first Sackett novel came out in 1960.

Maio 15, 8:47 pm

>34 fuzzi: It is very formula. My copy has already been donated to the friends of the library.

Maio 16, 3:24 pm

>35 RBeffa: I certainly wouldn't recommend it as a first read for someone who's not experienced L'Amour at his best.

I almost finished it last night, but was too tired to continue reading.

Maio 17, 7:34 pm

Silver Canyon by Louis L'Amour

An earlier novel by L'Amour that is mostly a formula Western, though I thought it picked up towards the end. Not one of his better novels, but still superior to other westerns as a whole, and worth a read if you like the genre.

Maio 23, 1:38 pm

Currently reading (rereading?) Callaghan.

So far it's okay.

Maio 27, 10:48 pm

Done, and out the door!

Callaghan by Louis L'Amour

A story of cavalry and Indians, a professional soldier, his nemesis, and a lady who is admired by both men.

The author has done this type of story before, but much better. There were several subplots that disappeared, and the ending was rushed and disappointing. Not L'Amour's best, barely gets that third star.

Jun 3, 9:13 pm

The Key-lock Man by Louis L'Amour

Average L'Amour offering. There was little background story for the main character, which I found unusual. Also, in this story I felt the love interest was better sketched out than anyone else, and truly strong as a person. Worth reading, but I'm rehoming this one.

Jun 6, 8:11 am

Brionne by Louis L'Amour

At first I wasn't sure about this one, but it grew on me. No typical lone gunman or cattle rustlers, or baron/nester wars, just a man and his son trying to start over again after tragedy strikes. Yes, there's a gang out to kill him, but it's entertaining and pretty good L'Amour, almost worth that extra 1/2 star.

Jun 20, 8:52 am

Killoe by Louis L'Amour

Fairly standard story of pioneers heading west, meeting danger not as one might expect from native tribes but from Comancheros and outlaws. Good read.

Jun 23, 8:06 am

And another one's gone, another one bites the dust! 😁😁😁

Showdown at Yellow Butte by Louis L'Amour

This story is about a military veteran hired to ramrod an eviction of squatters. He quickly discovers he's on the wrong side of the equation. Another good L'Amour, enjoyable.

Jul 8, 10:26 pm

Rereading Passin' Through. So far it's good.

Jul 11, 8:44 am

Passin' Through by Louis L'Amour

Better than average story that has some twists but also a couple more obvious threats that the protagonist doesn't see coming. A little different, enjoyable, but I'm not sure if I want to keep it for a reread.

Jul 11, 8:46 am

I started Off the Mangrove Coast last night, but as I'm not a fan of L'Amour's non-western adventure stories I'm not sure I'll finish it.

Jul 11, 3:04 pm

>46 fuzzi: I have enjoyed some of the nonwesterns in the past. I picked up three used books a few days ago, a Sackett novel and two short story collections. I might have read the skyliners years ago. One of the short story collections is a mixture, May there be a road. I hope to get to some of them later this year.

Editado: Jul 14, 7:16 pm

>47 RBeffa: oh, May There Be a Road is a good collection, I gave it

I should have qualified my comment that I'm not a fan of MOST of L'Amour's non-western stories.

I gave up on Off the Mangrove Coast. I didn't finish the first story about boxing, and I did read one western story, but it was meh.

ETA: Beyond the Great Snow Mountains was another non-western collection that had some really good stories. See my review for more information.

Editado: Ago 8, 8:15 am

Monument Rock by Louis L'Amour

This collection contains the last of L'Amour's unpublished short stories, and it's a pretty good bunch. There are some familiar characters within, including Utah Blaine, the Cactus Kid, Chick Bowdrie, Kilkenny, and it even has a new Talon family member. I can't recall any of these tales not being at least a three star. Not going to rehome this one, yet.

Ago 8, 10:38 am

>49 fuzzi: Good. That is one of the collections I picked up last month.

Ago 11, 9:55 pm

Matagorda by Louis L'Amour

A cattle drive, a feud, and a hurricane bearing down upon a town that was facing extinction...all contribute to an above average, nay, very good adventure told by a master storyteller. I believe I'll keep this one.

Ago 20, 7:50 pm

The Man from Skibbereen by Louis L'Amour

Fairly standard L'Amour, with a little bit of everything: Confederate renegades, outlaws, fisticuffs, bison stampedes, train robbery, and some young women inserted in the mix. Worth a read, but headed out the door.

Ago 21, 3:18 pm

I am about due to read another Louis L'Amour. So far this year, I've read two of them. Silver Canyon and To Tame a Land.

I'll look at your reviews since you've read far more of them than I have. Off the top of my head, that Matagorda looks good.

Ago 21, 9:20 pm

>53 lindapanzo: thanks for the reply.

It's encouraging to me when someone decides to read a book based upon my review.

And you can read any of my L'Amour reviews safely, I do not *spoil*.

Ago 27, 9:57 pm

The Iron Marshal by Louis L'Amour

A young Irish orphan arrives in New York, finds work as a smith and assisting the shoulder-strikers of Tammany Hall. One day while facing enemies in overwhelming odds he hides in a freight car and eventually winds up in a Kansas town in need of a sheriff.

I liked this story, quite a bit, probably as it's a slightly different plot in the Western genre.

Set 25, 6:32 am

The Empty Land by Louis L'Amour

An interesting premise about a newly formed town turned bad, and what it takes, WHO it takes, to bring law and order to a place of anarchy. The story was uneven at times, but I liked some of the plot twists, and eventually decided it did deserve that extra half star.

Set 25, 6:33 am

Anyone out there reading L'Amour?

Set 25, 11:39 am

>57 fuzzi: Not right now but I have a couple set aside to read by year's end

Set 27, 11:34 am

I started reading The Sky-liners yesterday. It is possible I read it years ago, but since L'Amour tales are a bit heavy on the vernacular at times and have common elements and themes, reading one will almost always seem familiar. I realize I've come to prefer L'Amour's short stories. Sky-liners seems OK so far (about 30 pages)

Set 27, 11:46 am

I've got two Louis L'Amour books and will probably get to at least one of them in Oct or Nov. Matagorda and Guns of the Timberlands.

Set 27, 10:48 pm

The Sky-liners was a pretty quick read. I'd give it a solid 3 stars, maybe a nudge higher, but there were a few elements that detracted and the end of it all came pretty quick after seeming to be really drawn out. Until the last couple quick pages I thought we'd end with a cliffhanger, but it is more left open for the story to continue if the author chose to at a later date. I liked how the story touched base with other characters from prior novels that I recognized.

This is #12 of 17 in the Sackett series. I've read 6 or 7 of them, but none later than this one.

Set 28, 9:20 am

>59 RBeffa: I enjoy most of the Sacketts' stories, but I also believe that L'Amour's short stories are his best work.

>60 lindapanzo: both good, but Guns of the Timerlands is one of L'Amour's better stories, imo.

I've got several of his novels on my October read list (reread), not sure yet which one I'll tackle first. I'm going on vacation on Sunday and will definitely bring at least one in case I get tired of staring at the ocean.

Set 30, 10:34 pm

Amazon has Bowdrie available on Kindle for $1.99. I have the book in paperback, but it's a very good collection, so I bought it.

Out 16, 7:37 am

High Lonesome by Louis L'Amour

A young man has crossed the line into the outlaw life but when he meets a special young lady his worldview shifts. Is it too late?

I like how L'Amour takes the standard Western plot and adds something more to make it better. I've not yet decided if this one goes to the used book store or stays on my shelves for a reread.

Note: this is a novel length retelling of the short story In Victorio's Country. And in this instance of L'Amour "novelizing" a short story the result is pretty good!

Out 17, 7:26 am

I am not counting this one for my 2023 total as I only reread two stories within:

With These Hands by Louis L'Amour

I've read this collection before, kept it on my shelves for several years and recently decided upon a reread. The title story is very good, and there's a rustling/cowboy story that was okay, but the rest of the collection is made up of boxing, detective, and adventure stories which I didn't feel like rereading, not my favorite genres.

I might keep the book just for the With These Hands story, it's that good.

Editado: Nov 2, 8:09 am

Currently rereading Taggart. It's been a looooooooooong time since I first read it...it's sort of familiar but almost like a new-to-me read.

Aaand it's done, a quick read!

An absorbing story of a man being pursued unjustly by a posse. He discovers a miner and his family hiding from an Apache war party. A little of everything, fun read!

Note: there are echos here of Trap of Gold, one of L'Amour's most riveting short stories.

Nov 4, 7:18 pm

The Tall Stranger by Louis L'Amour

Settlers heading west listen to a slick sales pitch, and soon find themselves in a land grab war. Standard L'Amour tale, worth a read but far from his best work.

Nov 6, 8:46 am

I'm stuck in a rut, don't feel like reading anything but comfort reads, old friends, rereads that don't require a lot of introspection.

So I'm working through the L'Amours on my shelves that I have read in the past but didn't review. And then, POOF, out the door they go!

To Tame a Land by Louis L'Amour

A youth is orphaned after he and his father are abandoned by a wagon train, but is befriended by a gunman. He learns to survive and eventually becomes a gunman himself. Can he escape his reputation and find the girl he loves?

This was actually a pretty good story, worth the reread. I'm rehoming it but would pick it up again in the future.

Nov 6, 1:06 pm

>68 fuzzi: you are really going to town on these. They are certainly good comfort reads. I have been nibbling away at the monument rock collection which I have really enjoyed as quick reads in between longer works. I just have the long title story novella left which I will get to when I get to.

Editado: Nov 6, 3:10 pm

>69 RBeffa: I've read them all before, but for some it's been a long time.

My goal is to reread and review those books I've not yet reviewed.

Once I read and review them I'm letting most of them go to a new home.

I think Monument Rock is one I'm keeping.

Nov 14, 9:06 pm

Tucker by Louis L'Amour

Young man finds himself hunting those who killed his father and stole money entrusted to him. Lots of action, less retrospection, good read.

Nov 16, 4:01 pm

Monument Rock: Stories by Louis L'Amour, finished Nov 16, 2023, 3 stars

These were stories unpublished at the time of L'Amour's death and were part of a group that were put out a decade later by son Beau. There were no duds in this group of six short stories plus a short novel (the title story). I read these stories over a period of time and just finished the title story, which was the one I liked the best, but felt it could have been written better and I thought the same of one of the short stories. Overall this was an enjoyable read.

Nov 16, 6:06 pm

>72 RBeffa: glad you liked it. I have kept most of my L'Amour short story collections, though I decided to rehome With These Hands.