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jerry9491

Louis Lamour - What has he taught us?

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Since I've read pretty much all of his...I did like 'Last of the Breed'. But I don't know if I could say its my favorite.

 

Small fires

Move after you cook your meal

Bees will lead you to water <or to honey, depending>

Don't mess with the Sackets :P

 

 

sorry, couldn't resist

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Jerry,

thank you for starting this thread. My favorite author - I'm ashamed I didn't think of it!

 

VB,

dog gone right - don't mess with the Sacketts! (or any other clannish folks for that matter) There may be one out there I haven't read at least once but I haven't found it yet! There are a lot of good things there - favorite book? Wow, THAT is tough. I think that one of my favorite stories is the short story 'The Lonesome Gods' but my favorite book may well be 'The Haunted Mesa' which is a modern western.

 

There are many things to learn from his works but I think there are two that are very important:

1) Never dismiss the stories of the 'old ones' as being of no use. They contain much knowledge in them about the area.

2) If you have to fight, do not waste time talking! Start first and violent and get it done quickly. The faster you end the fight the less shot/cut/hurt you get!

 

Lessons to live by, literally.

 

Just my not so humble opinion.

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Okay, that's it... I'm finally going to buy some Louis L'Amour for my Kindle. I remember my grandpa ALWAYS had at least a couple of his paperbacks by his recliner when I was a kid, and so many people have talked about his work so favorably here that I can no longer resist. That, and this quote from the author himself really sold me: "I think of myself in the oral tradition--as a troubadour, a village tale-teller, the man in the shadows of a campfire. That's the way I'd like to be remembered--as a storyteller. A good storyteller."

 

But the question is... Where should I start? I've literally never read a single book of his, and it's obvious that some or all of them are multi-novel series. Any recommendations for a total L'Amour newbie?

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Do you like western OC? If you prefer more modern plots, then try Haunted Mesa to get started or Last of the Breed. This will introduce you with a time era you prefer. You can also do a chronological listing of the Sackett novels and start with the "first" Sackett books (not necessarily the first written) and follow that family from England to the Rockies.

Warning tho, once you get started, you may have an addiction.....lol.

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I'm not really a big fan of westerns, which is why I have avoided Louis L'Amour so far. So I've started out by buying two books: Last of the Breed and Sackett's Land.

 

There's a whole explanation of the Sacketts' saga and the chronology of the books here, which is why I picked that one:

http://www.louislamour.com/sackett/

 

Thanks for the recommendations! Now I'm anxious to have the thread return to the "what did I learn...?" theme that it started out as. (Sorry for the hijack!)

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If I remember right 'The Walking Drum' is the first Sackett story, that is its the first in the chronology of the Sacketts.

Really? I wasn't aware of that. I thought it was Sackett's Land. Anyway, I think my favorite, other than the Sackett series, is probably "The Man Called Noon", maybe because he had some pretty cool hideouts and was VERY prepared. Other favorites are - Flint, Tucker, To Tame a Land, Hondo etc. Coincidentally these are also the first Louis Lamour books I ever read, they made that much of an impression. OC, I don't think you can make a bad choice in whatever one you read first. They're all pretty good.

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I'm not really a big fan of westerns, which is why I have avoided Louis L'Amour so far. So I've started out by buying two books: Last of the Breed and Sackett's Land.

 

There's a whole explanation of the Sacketts' saga and the chronology of the books here, which is why I picked that one:

http://www.louislamour.com/sackett/

 

Thanks for the recommendations! Now I'm anxious to have the thread return to the "what did I learn...?" theme that it started out as. (Sorry for the hijack!)

Excellent choices. Both great adventures.

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OC, no hijack, you at least stuck with the author.... myself and rick rarely even stay in the same state...lol.

 

Ok, since alot has been mentioned by others like the small fires; if need to be violent, do so quickly and extremely; move your bedroll after your cooking fire dies down; and the "old ones" lessons.

I think he also helped cement my strong family ties (as mentioned by vonBayern), the "flat" plains have lots of hiding places, never skyline yourself, always watch your backtrail (as even if no danger, the land looks different when going the other way), drink as much as you can hold and fill your canteen at every watering hole, and take care of your horse (transportation) before yourself (your life depends on being able to get away from trouble/danger).

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OC,

The Sackett's Land is first: the first five Sackett titles are set in England and early America. As such I was less interested in them than in some others. There is a home page for him

http://www.louislamour.com/

that contains complete listings.

 

He has some decent sea tales and non-western stories but I prefer his western stuff. He also has several collections of short stories. Many of them were 'fleshed out' and became novels but they might give you a feel for his style.

 

For a good first book with some prepper applications, you might try "The Quick and The Dead". It is one of several stories of his made into a movie. Not the Sharon Stone/Gene Hackman movie (YUCK!) but the Sam Elliot move from 1987 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093811/. Other movies from good books, Shadow Riders (was supposed to be a Sackett book but copyright problems made it about the Travens instead), Hondo, Crossfire Trail, The Sacketts (a blend of Sackett and Daybreakers), and Conagher just to mention a few. The movies are good, the books are better!

 

Good luck and enjoy the reading.

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...The movies are good, the books are better! Good luck and enjoy the reading.

 

Isn't that almost always the case? I'm thinking if part of the appeal of Mr. L'Amour's work is his prepping info, then relying on Hollywood to get the details right would be incredibly foolhardy. LOL Thanks for the advice about the Sackett saga - I may not be all that interested in stories set in England myself, so if that turns out to be the case, I'll skip a few books ahead and/or try The Quick and the Dead or Hondo.

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I liked Jubal Sacket. It is set in the "beginning" of the Sackett saga in America. It's probably one of my favorite fiction books. The "early" Sackett books set in England helped fill the avid Lamour reader in on the details of the Sacketts and how they ended up where they did. I thought they really helped flesh out the family. I also thought they did a good job of pointing out how tyranny and the elitists thought of and treated the "little People" and way before it was a common theme, JMO. I'm a history nut tho, so they fell in line with that interest.

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I liked Jubal Sacket. It is set in the "beginning" of the Sackett saga in America. It's probably one of my favorite fiction books. The "early" Sackett books set in England helped fill the avid Lamour reader in on the details of the Sacketts and how they ended up where they did. I thought they really helped flesh out the family. I also thought they did a good job of pointing out how tyranny and the elitists thought of and treated the "little People" and way before it was a common theme, JMO. I'm a history nut tho, so they fell in line with that interest.

 

They did absolutely fill out the 'back trail' on the family and had some really good object lessons about the justice and fairness of government anything!

 

Decent reads, glad I read them but the Sackett stories didn't lose anything by not reading them in order. I eventually went back and did read them in order but it isn't necessary. I'm in the process of getting all of them on my Kindle.

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I agree Capt, especially with so many of the branches having story lines taking place at the same time. Of course, I wish I had me a "Tinker made knife"....lol. But of course having Tinker and his People wouldn't hurt if the chips were down.

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Okay, I just finished Last of the Breed. Wow! He wasn't joking about wanting to be a good storyteller, and he seamlessly weaves in present action, history, and folklore/cultural tales into his work. And while part of me was disappointed that there wasn't some "and they all lived happily ever after" epilogue, I actually liked the way it ended, with various characters having gotten through the major trials, and a hint of likely struggles but also likely triumph in the future. Fantastic.

 

What I learned about survival from this book:

  • Acting in haste rarely pays off. Take time to assess the situation, your own capabilities, the terrain. Survival isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.
  • Yes, you need to keep long-term goals in mind, but most of your energy and attention should be spent dealing with the here-and-now. What do you need to get through the next hours, this day, overnight? It saps your energy and makes you less effective to worry about what you might encounter days, weeks, or months from now.
  • Be realistic. If you have run out of places to hide and ways to flee, then your options are to fight, or to surrender. Make the best choice that you can given what you know about your opposition.
  • Setting traps for pursuers can have three purposes: 1. to cause injury/death, 2. to force them to slow down for safety while you put as much distance as possible between you and them, and 3. to force them to take a certain route so you can avoid it.
  • Trusting a body of water to be fully iced over is dangerous at best. Do NOT trust ice that is under snow, which is known for warming the upper layers of ice and may cause you to fall through if you step on it.
  • If you find yourself alone in the wilderness remember that you cannot wage a war against nature and win. Nature will always win out. Your ONLY choice is to learn the rules of the terrain you are in, and to adapt to them.

 

Thank you for convincing me to try Mr. L'Amour!

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I've read them all, most more than once.

 

A few of my favorites

Haunted Mesa

To Tame a Land

Jubal Sackett

Last of the Breed

Sackett's Brand

Bendigo Shafter

 

Bendigo Shafter, Jubal Sackett, and Last of the Breed are some of the best for wilderness and civilization building skills. To Tame a Land's last page is one of the best and truest pieces I've ever read.

 

A couple things not mentioned

 

Be aware what you use for cover or shelter. Caves or similar hard surfaced enclosed areas can become deathtraps with ricocchets.

 

A really tough man doesn't need to prove how tough he is, he already knows what he is capable of and is confident in his abilities. He won't be the one bragging or showing off.

 

When in a fight, always identify the most dangerous opponent and take them out first.

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lets not forget zane grey....luke short...max brand....

 

Not forgetting them, I just don't think they are quite as good as L'Amour's work. Zane Grey does good stuff but I read somewhere (and completely agree) that the scenery is the main star of his work. Some of the best descriptions of the West I've ever read but that weakens the narrative some. Short and Brand are not bad, I just prefer L'Amour for style and accuracy. I've found factual errors in their work, Grey and L'Amour are more reliably accurate.

 

Still, for an "Oat Opera" fan, they aren't at all bad and there are no new L'Amour books. At least not until I find that rock alter in 'The Californios' (I think it was) that does the dimension shift thing.

 

OC,

I am pleased you liked the book. You picked up some of the most important survival attitudes. Being realistic, not planning so far ahead you don't live to get there, etc. are all important things. I find I even pick up new stuff on the re-reads. Enjoy the books.

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I am pleased you liked the book. You picked up some of the most important survival attitudes. Being realistic, not planning so far ahead you don't live to get there, etc. are all important things. I find I even pick up new stuff on the re-reads. Enjoy the books.

 

Oh, yes, and I dove right into Sackett's Land, which is a great read, but I'm skipping ahead after that to Jubal Sackett because I don't really care so much about sailing or about escaping Queen Bess.

 

The survival tip from Last of the Breed that I was surprised by was the one about not trusting ice when snow is on top of it. I would look at that and think, "Oh, frozen stuff layered on top of frozen stuff. Must be extra-cold!" LOL Once Louis L'Amour actually explains the problem (snow insulates and heats up the ice, weakening it), THEN it all makes sense. But that's the sort of thing I wouldn't want to have to learn the hard way!

Edited by oregonchick
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But that's the sort of thing I wouldn't want to have to learn the hard way!

 

Completely agree. Sometimes learning things the hard way is the LAST lesson you ever learn. In a couple of his stories people learn such lessons AFTER it is too late to help them.

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Just FYI, I have been on a Louis L'Amour binge now, thanks to you all. I have read The Last of the Breed and most of the Sackett novels by now, including:

 

  • Sackett's Land
  • Jubal Sackett
  • Ride the River
  • The Daybreakers
  • Lando
  • Sackett
  • Mojave Crossing
  • The Sackett Brand
  • The Skyliners

 

Some tips that I have picked up:

 

  • Never trust a black-eyed woman, especially if you are a homely man.
  • Bees can lead you to water - if you're parched, pay attention not only to animal tracks but to the buzzing of insects.
  • Horses can also sense nearby water, so if you're on horseback, let a thirsty horse have its lead.
  • If you're in the cold, avoid sweating. It can freeze to your skin and deplete you of needed body heat.
  • Unless you are certain you have no enemies about, never use the same trail out of a place as you did going in. You're just asking for an ambush.
  • Along those lines, any well-traveled trail is a temptation to travel, but if you're being pursued or if you want to remain undiscovered, choose indirect routes - and even look for the least likely, most difficult terrain as an option.
  • Keep a handful of shavings or tinder with you so that you can get a fire going in a hurry if you need one.
  • Candles can be used for more than light; they can also spark a little heat and be used to boil water if you can't afford to have smoke seen/smelled.
  • Frequently look behind you. This not only allows you to see if you're being followed (a must), it also gives you landmarks/reference points for traveling through the same area again if you are heading in the opposite direction. Landscape doesn't look the same coming as it does going.

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