Well, I’ve taken the plunge.
I don’t know why I did it, exactly. I guess it was to broaden my horizons a little. I went to the library with LOML last week, and I picked up a Louis L’Amour novel.
It’s called The Haunted Mesa. A paranormal investigator — apparently before the title was formally coined — is researching a mesa where native American people come and go between our world and another. A doorway between dimensions, if you will.
I expected it to be a western, what with being a L’Amour and all.
It’s set in the (then) modern day (the novel was published in 1987). The first few pages enamored me; clean, tight prose, precise and sparse without being shy of descriptions or setting. Nice stuff.
Then I kept reading and that was probably a mistake. I should’ve quit while I liked it.
The story fell apart. The research is outstanding, and if he’s making it all up, he sure fooled me. But the story itself is falling apart with trite, cliched sort of stuff. It’s sort of weak in a lot of ways. There’s a bit of contrivance, and a lot of me rolling my eyes. The dialog is wooden and forced, not to mention stereotypical (think Tonto from The Lone Ranger TV series).
How ’bout you? What are you reading? And can you recommend a better L’Amour? I mean, he can’t be a legend for nothing, right?
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