The caste for classic Western Novels has been successfully set in stone and established by Louis L’Amour paperbacks. This particular short story is all about cattle rustlers, corrupt sheriffs, killings, campfires and quick draws. What more do you want?
Louis L’Amour was essential reading in my childhood and somehow I’ve forgotten him for a long time. His yarns still appeal and entertain huge audiences regardless of age. A good Western is not only timeless but can cut across many generations. This author had the gift to consistently make that happen; for example
In 85’ my Brother Don, our Uncle Don and I went out on an impromptu motorcycle ride through the States. Our ages were 42, 70 & 25 respectively. The only real destination, in our Uncle Don’s mind, was the mythical town of ‘Shalako’ a recreation of an authentic Western town that was to be commissioned by Louis L’Amour. Louis’s fabled settlement was ordained to be situated on the crosshair borders of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico & Colorado. Uncle Don sub-consciously chose to disregard the ‘fabled’ part and was adamant we had to find it. Uncle being the elder we respectively, and merrily, acquiesced to the hunt. We never did find it, but that’s another story
This particular short story was plucked from one of the many ‘volumes’ of Louis L’Amour ‘Short Stories’. He has penned hundreds of full length novels as well as short stories over the span of his literary career.
Although I will be reading many of Louis L’Amour Western classics, this review shall stand for all the upcoming short story adventures. Each is about 100 pages and takes you far away, if only for a few hours. You will be immersed in Wyoming sunsets or Arizona dust bowls with all the rootin tootin you can handle.
By John Archibald, November 2012
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