Louis L'Amour Westerns, Short Stories, Novels and other genres

With These Hands

scanned from my own library
scanned from my own library

More than Westerns

Louis L’Amour

Best known for Westerns or Frontier fiction, such as the Sacketts series, as he prefers to call it, Louis L’Amour wrote in other genres in his early days contributing to the pulp magazines. In the Louis L'Amour  book “The Hill of Homicide” his detective stories are collected. “With These Hands” is a collection of his short stories with only one western. The rest are stories originally published in the pulps about boxers, detectives, pilots, and sea captains, not to mention damsels in distress. The “Haunted Mesa” qualifies as Science Fiction.

Born Louis Dearborn L. LaMoore on March 22, 1908 and died of lung cancer on June 110,1988. The youngest of seven children of Dr. Louis Charles LaMoore and Emily Dearborn LaMoore, he spent his early youth in Jamestown, North Dakota. His father was a veterinarian who also sold farm machinery and held city and state position.

At 15 he left home and traveled the country. Besides working at various jobs he fought in boxing matches and then became a merchant seaman. No doubt, mush material for his later stories came from these activities.

He wrote and sold some poetry and articles in the early 1930’s for small circulation magazines. The last half of the 1930’s he wrote and sold pulp fiction.

In 1940 he published his first in the New Western Magazine.

In World War II he served in the United States army as a transport officer with the 3622 Transport Company. He was discharged in 1946. He continued to submit stories to magazines. In the 1950’s it was suggested that he write four Hopalong Cassidy novels.

“Hoppy” as the Cassidy character was known to us in the 1950’s, was very popular on Early TV. They were really recycled movies which star William Boyd retained the rights to and sold to a medium hungry for material at the time. This led to more demand for more stories.

L’Amour’s first novel published under his own name Westward The Tide in 1951. It became Hondo and a hit movie for John Wayne. His real breakthrough was when Bantam books hired him to write western novels on contract. He eventually wrote 89 novels with sales of 225 million copies. He has been translated into numerous languages.

He won the Congressional Gold Medal in 1982. President Reagan awarded L’Amour the Medal of Freedom. He also received North Dakota’s Roughrider Award. Jamestown College gave him an Honorary PhD.

Last of Breed

from my own library
from my own library

L’Amour brings much personal experience plus research and reading to his stories. There is a tendency to pass off writers like him and others who write “popular” fiction as being insignificant. Much the same attitude displayed toward Mark Twain in his day. As one reviewer says, however, “Each story is a tight, fast paced well-researched narrative.”

The author has lived much experience but can be passed off as writing stock westerns. However, what many overlook is that the Western and the Detective are the folklore of our country. The job of the writer isn’t to change it or reinvent it. Myths are told and retold with the object of retelling it better and with new insights.

Another reviewer compared one of his stories to “something Jack London would write.”

Comments 18 comments

eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

I used to read L'Amour all of the time. I especially loved the Sackett's series in book. The movie did not do it justice. Every young man should read a couple of his books to learn about respect and dignity.

Keep on hubbing!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for the input. I don't read much in the way of westerns but I do like L'Amour.


Barbara_tenBroek profile image

Barbara_tenBroek 6 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

Thank you for the reminder of an old favorite author.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Thank you for a fine Hub about one of my favorite writers. I read his books all the time.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Barbara_tenBroek

Thank you for reading my hub.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Ken R Abell

Thanks for reading. He wass very prolific and well researched.


randslam profile image

randslam 6 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

What a great research job on one of my favourite popular writers. When I was 8 years old the first attempt at reading a novel all the way through was none other than Hondo. I had no idea this was Lamour's first novel published under the name Westward the Tide...thanks for the great info.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for the complimentary comment. I always try to get the essential information without making the article so long aas to be hard to read.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

I have a set of Louis L'Amour books from my mother that I have yet to read. I used to really enjoy the Jack London books...so if they are at all similar as someone thought, I know I'll like them.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Peggy W

There are certain similarities in the writers, both have an authenticity that comes with having experienced life that they write about. They both write about the outdoors. London seemed to have a pessimistic side that I don't see in L'Amour.In London, as I recall, nature often defeated the humans in his stories, such as "Call of the Wild" and "To build a Fire."


Mr. Smith profile image

Mr. Smith 5 years ago from California

Try "Conagher", and "Crossfire Trail". Two of my favorites.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

It's been a long time but I think I did read these but I may take second look.


Wayne 4 years ago

Hello

Could you tell which of L'Amours short stories became movies. Thanks


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

This link should provide that information.

http://www.louislamour.com/movies/filmography.html


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago

Louis L'Amour is my favorite western writer. The Sackett series was my favorite. I discovered Louis L'Amour by accident. I was in dire need of a book and Louis's book was the only one around. I was working in the woods at the time and borrowed it from a friend. Prior to reading one of his books I always labeled westerns in the same category as romances, cheesy and lame. Man, was I surprised. Not only are his books well written but the history is quite accurate. I was addicted from then on and read all his work!

Thank you for sharing such wonderful info. Voted up for interesting and awesome.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi mechechier,

Your opinion on westerns were pretty common as was the case with much genre fiction. In some cases writers from the pulp fiction era are jsut starting to be recognized. In my day they were scorned. Thank you for commenting.


Kevin 23 months ago

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dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 23 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for reading and commenting.

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    billyaustindillon profile image

    billyaustindillon 6 years ago

    Hondo what a classic that was. Thanks for the review of his work and tribute to Louis L'Amour. I always thought he was from New Orleans - thanks for steering me right.


    dahoglund profile image

    dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

    Billyaustindillon

    Thanks for commenting.He is one of the few western writers I read. I haven't tackled the Hopalong books. The Bill Boyd movies were popular when I was in High school.

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