Monday, August 13, 2012

'Hondo' by Louis L'amour

I’ve been searching for a good western for a while now.  I’ve been asking real friends, FaceBook friends, dead friends, and Twitter friends, but they either couldn’t give me a good title OR they would recommend something I’ve already read.  Booklover, heal thyself; I took that research magnifying glass that I use for my bookstore customers and turned it on myself and I went on a lion hunt .  Now, I’ve seen Louis L’amour’s books and I’ve heard very good things about them, but I’ve never read anything by him.  Until now.  While Mr. L’amour has about a million books, I wanted to start with one of his “best”.  And to be honest, even his “best” was up for debate.  I’ll get to those later, because this go round I chose ‘Hondo’.  

Based on this one book… I see why people adore this man so.  He can tell a story and THAT (at least for me) is the single most important thing that endears this book hound to authors.  Louis obviously has that with his fans.  This book was written wwwaaaayyyy back in 1983 so (thankfully) political correctness hadn’t fully reared its ugly head, so Louis uses words like “white man”, “brave”, and “squaw”.  Nothing wrong with these words mind you, but we both know how the cowardly passive-aggressive PC crowd can be.  My assessment?  I really enjoyed ‘Hondo’.  I mean I really, really enjoyed ‘Hondo’.  The only… weird… part for me was the interaction between Hondo and Angie.  At times as I was reading about them it almost felt like a romance.  Right up until Hondo has to fight a brave, then it gets back to the burly, sweaty, dusty, and violent West that I love reading about.  Not sure if it was just this book but I’d be curious to see if this is how he writes about relationships between a man and a woman.

That being said, this book is 99.9% wonderful western and .1% crazy booklover probably reading too much into nothing.  If you’re looking for a good western, don’t take as long as I did, choose this one.


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