My First Louis L’Amour

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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).

Still, I’m going to finish it, because I’ve never read a western.  But darn if I don’t wish I’d picked up Stephen King‘s Dark Tower instead.  *Sigh*

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?

God bless,


6 thoughts on “My First Louis L’Amour

  1. This is an official “You Need to Read This Book” recommendation coming from me targeted solely to you. Get it from your library. DO EET!

    The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss. Here’s an excerpt from it.

    I really think that you’ll enjoy it because the writing is sound, the storyline is excellent, and it’s not too ‘fantasy.’ As with most great novels it starts a little slow in order to build the great story. I got sucked into this book and immediately looked for the sequel, which was slated for April 2009.

    I would recommend you read this over the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan – you know how much I flipped out that you hadn’t read that one yet 😉

    Well, thanks! An Official Book Recommendation! I don’t know if I’ve ever had one before! I’m honored, and will see if our local (not great) library has it.

  2. Well, right now I’m reading Planet Simpson, a book about the “pop culture approaching some new religion” that is America’s favourite disfunctional family.
    Sure, the book at times feel like leftist propaganda and at times, it is leftist proganada. But I sure love reading about The Simpsons.

    Nice to know there’s a book out there for Simpsons fans — who’da thunk it? The leftist propoganda has always been the most comedic part of that show anyway; they don’t realize how ridiculous they make themselves sound doing it.

    • It’s not that the show is the propaganda. The book is. I read a bit at lunch and noticed another subtle “yeah left” in there. And in the situation where the book had the opportunity to go “yeah right” it didn’t.

      The show itself has done a nice job of not taking sides and making fun of everybody.

      I haven’t seen the show in years, but when I did see it, they bent left pretty obviously. But the book sounds like a much bigger bend.

  3. Shirley Jackson short stories right now, but just finished Hill House. Good but not the kind of haunted house stuff you might read today (although Stephen King stole shamelessly from this book for his Rose Red thing).

    It’s gotta be tough to be original with ghost stories anymore. There are SO many of them.

    My husband is reading L’Amour’s short stories right now. He would agree with the trite comment and the fact that the plots are thin and sometimes tear like tissue.

    I put it down. Just … can’t handle any more cliched contrived stuff.

  4. OH for all that is holy and right WOULD YOU PLEASE just go get a batman comic and a bag of doritos a mountain dew….when dad tells you to go to bed get a flashlight and lose your self in the lastest of bruce wayne and his alter ego..oh wait thats me…..Zman sends

    Ha! Batman comics would be as well written — maybe better, I say!

  5. “tight prose, precise and sparse without being shy of descriptions or setting.”

    You mean the author spends most of the time describing things? lol. I remember reading a book that is so detailed I’m afraid I didn’t even get to the half. Book I’m talking about? Cold Mountain. I’m not even sure why it was a bestseller! The first 20 pages are enough for me to put it down!

    I had an experience like that too; it was kind of startling.

    I just finished Cecelia Ahern’s Thanks For the Memories. It’s a chick literature so one wouldn’t expect much but cheesy and mushy stuff. But it was all good as there was a fairytale ring to it! It’s not bad to get lost in fairy tales and make believe worlds, right? I’m planning on reading Song Yet Sung by James McBride or re-reading Aravind Adiga’s White Tiger.

    Much Love,

    Yeah, I’m not doing any chick-lit. But my wife is reading one she’s really happy with and thinks I’ll enjoy, so I’m going to give it a shot.

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