Another e-book of the “Reader’s Digest” variety that obviously is aimed at the “limited” reader. Limited as in not feeling like they have the time to peruse a “proper” book versus these watered down versions. As in the American Legend series I just reviewed on Duke Wayne, this book will not break the bank and just under 2 pounds, but it is fairly limited in the amount of information that is related about this iconic author.
I was going to include this book review with my John Wayne review because it was Wayne’s role of Hondo in the picture of the same name that propelled L’Amour even further into the limelight as the film was adapted pretty faithfully from his book. He was not unknown at the time that Hondo was made (as a 3D film yet!) but the public reception of the film was such that L’Amour became even more popular as the preferred storyteller of America’s west.
I grew up reading both Louis L’Amour westerns and those of Zane Grey as well. My father was a huge fan of both authors (with a definite preference to Grey’s novels) and because he had plenty of these books around the house I read them as well. L’Amour’s life, as chronicled by several interviews and articles over the years could have stepped whole out of one of his stories.
He left home and “rode the rails” to find work and an education. He had left school at an early age to “round” out his learning as he felt the academic system used in the formal setting of his school was lacking. Coming from a family of readers and teachers, he already knew everything that he considered important from a scholastic viewpoint and was eager to learn more than what he had current access to.
For a really great source of information on Louis L’Amour read his autobiographical novel Education of a Wandering Man. While the book is not all-encompassing, it does relate a lot of facts from the man himself. It is a fascinating inside look at the man who created such iconic sagas with the feudal and familial Sacketts.
During his lifetime, L’Amour was: A boxer, miner, merchant seaman, naval officer, skinner and lumber man. All these on top of being a top-notch writer of western and adventure novels. He was also an accomplished poet and his daughter Angelique has published a collection of these in Smoke From This Altar.
This biography does touch on a lot of information about L’Amour and it appears to be, again, aimed at the commuter market. For those who do not know who this fascinating man is, it is a good introduction. Sadly the only other biographical information out there is the Education of a Wandering Man and assorted interviews and magazine articles. If you are lucky enough to have access to some of his audio-books you can hear the man himself providing background and information on each of the books.
If you have had the pleasure of reading any of his books you’ll know that the “About the Author” preamble states that he was, amongst other things, shipwrecked, stranded in the Mojave Desert, and was a world traveller. This book doesn’t really relate more than the most basic of information with the odd bit of information that delves a bit deeper.
A 3 out of 5 star book just because it did tell me a few things that I did not know already, quite a feat considering that I have spent years in my spare time trying to learn as much as possible about this writer.
- Barton Admits Getting Gun-Toting Students Story from Louis L’Amour, but it’s OK Because L’Amour Said it Really Happened (freethoughtblogs.com)
- BS – Louis L’amour, Galileo and the Pope (thecordovatimes.com)
- My Classic Movie Pick: Hondo (portraitsbyjenni.wordpress.com)