What are you reading Mondays is hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog
I’ve just finished reading :
1. The Lonesome Gods
I’ve never read anything by Louis L’Amour who is one of the most prolific writers I’ve run into, and seems to be “THE” name in Western fiction. My dad used to read a lot of books by L’Amour. He’s been gone eleven years so I thought it was about time I investigated those books that were always around the house when I was growing up.
Based on this book, I won’t be wasting my time on any more L’Amour fiction. I finished this one only because I thought some clever coming plot twist would reveal the reason why his work is popular. Alas, I read to the bitter end without finding any such thing.
Perhaps L’Amour’s earlier writing was better. After all, one doesn’t churn out 89 novels & 14 short-story collections over 40 years and maintain quality. I had chosen this novel because, according to Google, it was one of his best-selling books.
I found the writing to be uneven, and L’Amour’s phrasing repetitive. Where in the world were his editors?
His characters were overdrawn, either being completely good, intelligent, kind to animals, well-and-widely-read (in the Wild West where many were illiterate), world-wise, strong, resourceful, astute in business, knowledgeable about their surroundings and on & on OR evil, smarmy, unkind to all creatures, not as smart as the good people and so on.
The plot was formulaic and predictable. You know that the hero will live, get the girl & get rich and the bad people will lose their land & money, and die (all but perhaps one or two that might make for a similarly formulaic sequel).
L’Amour’s setting in 1850s California–definitely the frontier–may well be historically accurate although I found his manner of dropping in semi-relevant facts (some with a century’s perspective) awkward and irritating – much like talking to a social-climbing name-dropper.
If this was a full review, I’d go into greater detail. I’ll save us both from that. Sorry, Dad.
I’m currently reading:
1. Strength Training for Seniors
Subtitled: How to Rewind Your Biological Clock
My chiropractor has recommended core strengthening for me. Since I don’t have the strength to do planks, I thought I’d better get in shape.
2. A Settlement of Memory
A Novel by Gordon Rodgers
From Books in Canada: Rodgers has written a complex and compelling narrative using the history of the labour movement in Newfoundland as his historical anchor. William Coaker and the Fishermen’s Protective Union are paralleled by Tom Vincent and his FC Union based in the outports of the coast and islands of Bonavista Bay. Rodgers’ novel is backed by extensive research; which is the skeleton for a consistent and authentic narrative.
Technorati Tags: Louis L’Amour, The Lonesome Gods, Strength Training for Seniors, Michael Fekete, A Settlement of Memory, Gordon Rodgers, Tom Vincent, Fishermen’s Collective, William Coaker, Fishermen’s Protective Union, Newfoundland fiction