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Louis L'Amour 10 greatest novels

Updated on June 14, 2015

Louis L'Amour

How I was introduced to Louis L'Amour

I started reading Louis L'Amour for the first time when I was about 10 years old and my Grandpa Ed gave me "The Man Called Noon" from his Louis L'Amour collection in Garden City Kansas to shut me up one summer afternoon. I was immediately drawn into a Mr. L'Amour world of the western frontier. I was so captivated I finished the book within 24 hours and for that hot summer afternoon from the Kansas prairie and I have never stopped reading. I have read every novel and most of his short stories that Louis L'Amour ever wrote. There are perhaps no days of my childhood that I lived so fully as than those I spent with a Louis L'Amour book in my hand.

Louis L'Amour a brief history of a storyteller

Louis Dearborn L'Amour (March 22, 1908 - 10 June, 1988) was an American author. His books consisted primarily of Western and Frontier novels, however, he also wrote historical fiction "The Walking Drum", science fiction "The Haunted Mesa", as well as poetry and short-story collections. Many of his stories such as Hondo were made into movies. Louis L'Amour's books, even still today remains popular and most have gone through numerous printings. At the time of his death almost all of his 105 existing works (89 novels, 14 short-story collections, and two full-length works of nonfiction) were still in print, and he was considered "One of the world's most popular writers".

Movies adapted from Louis L'Amour Books

What is your favorite movie adapted from one of Louis L'Amour novels or short stories

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1. The Walking Drum

WALKING DRUM, THE: A Novel:Amazon:Books

From the Inside Flap

Here is a historic adventure of extraordinary power waiting to sweep you away to exotic lands as one of the most popular writers of our time conquers new storytelling worlds. Louis L'Amour has been best known for his ability to capture the spirit and drama of the authentic American West. Now he guides his readers to an even more distant frontier -- the enthralling lands of the 12th century.

At the center of The Walking Drum is Kerbouchard, one of L'Amour's greatest heroes. Warrior, lover, scholar, Kerbouchard is a daring seeker of knowledge and fortune bound on a journey of enormous challenge, danger and revenge. Across the Europe, the Russian steppes and through the Byzantine wonder of Constantinople, gateway to Asia, Kerbouchard is thrust into the heart of the treacheries, passions, violence and dazzling wonders of a magnificent time. From castle to slave gallery, from sword-racked battlefields to a princess's secret chamber, and ultimately, to the impregnable fortress of the Valley of Assassins, The Walking Drum is a powerful adventure of an ancient world you will find every bit as riveting as Louis L'Amour's stories of the American West. is Kerbouchard, one of L'Amour's greatest heroes. Warrior, lover, scholar, Kerbouchard is a daring seeker of knowledge and fortune bound on a journey of enormous challenge, danger and revenge. Across the Europe, the Russian steppes and through the Byzantine wonder of Constantinople, gateway to Asia, Kerbouchard is thrust into the heart of the treacheries, passions, violence and dazzling wonders of a magnificent time. From castle to slave gallery, from sword-racked battlefields to a princess's secret chamber, and ultimately, to the impregnable fortress of the Valley of Assassins, The Walking Drum is a powerful adventure of an ancient world you will find every bit as riveting as Louis L'Amour's stories of the American West.

2. The Last of the Breed

Last of the Breed: A Novel:Amazon:Books - Amazon.com

From the Inside Flap

Here is the kind of authentically detailed epic novel that has become Louis L'Amour's hallmark. It is the compelling story of U.S. Air Force Major Joe Mack, a man born out of time. When his experimental aircraft is forced down in Russia and he escapes a Soviet prison camp, he must call upon the ancient skills of his Indian forebears to survive the vast Siberian wilderness. Only one route lies open to Mack: the path of his ancestors, overland to the Bering Strait and across the sea to America. But in pursuit is a legendary tracker, the Yakut native Alekhin, who knows every square foot of the icy frontier--and who knows that to trap his quarry he must think like a Sioux.

3. Fair Blows the Wind

Fair Blows the Wind:Amazon:Books - Amazon.com

From the Inside Flap

Shipwrecked on the coast of North Carolina, his companions killed, Tatton Chantry is alone--and ready for action. In the old world he fought wars, skirmishes, duels. Now, in the wilderness of America, this swashbuckling hero takes up against pirates, Spanish fortune seekers, savage Indians. Aided by a beautiful Peruvian woman, he braves the fierce challenges of the New World--always, like a true Chantry, with his expert hand on the hilt on his faithful silver sword.

4. The Man Called Noon

The Man Called Noon: A Novel:Amazon:Books - Amazon.com

From the Inside Flap

In one swift moment, a fall wiped away his past. Now he was up and running for his life--into a tangle of lies and deceit. His memory lost, the man had only a name and a few clues. Where did his skill with a gun come from? What was the link between his past life and half a million dollars' worth of buried gold? He didn't have the answers, but he needed them soon. Because what he still didn't know about himself, others did--including the men who wanted him dead.


5. The Key Lock Man

The Key-Lock Man: A Novel:Amazon:Books - Amazon.com

From the Inside Flap

A hanging party rules the badlands and a lone rider races for his life. Falsely accused of back-shooting a man as he stood sipping whiskey in a saloon, Matt Keelock takes on a posse of angry men with no more backup than his smoking Colt and a sure-footed horse. It's one against many--but there's a hundred twists to every trail as the posse suddenly finds the hunters have tumed into the hunted.

6. Hondo

Hondo:Amazon:Books - Amazon.com

From the Inside Flap

Two men. One woman. A land that demanded courage--or death...

He was a man etched by the desert's howling winds, a big, broad-shouldered man who knew the ways of the Apache and ways of staying alive. She was a woman raising a young son on her own on a remote Arizona ranch. And between Hondo Lane and Angie Lowe was the warrior Vittoro, whose people were preparing to rise against the white men. Now the pioneer woman, the gunman, and the Apache warrior are caught in a drama of love, war, and honor.

7. Mustang Man

Mustang Man (Sacketts, No. 13):Amazon:Books - Amazon.com

From the Inside Flap

Filled with action, adventure, mystery, and historical detail, the Sackett saga is an unforgettable achievement by one of America's greatest storytellers. In Mustang Man, Louis L'Amour tells the tale of a man who lived by his own law-even if it meant being branded an outlaw.Lost gold on the Santa Fe trail.

Nolan Sackett was running ahead of a posse when he stopped to help a wagon stuck on the plains.But why was it stranded in the middle of nowhere with a beautiful-and murderous-young woman?Nolan was trying to find out when he ran into Penelope Hume, another attractive lady.She was the key to a cache of gold hidden in the mountains.But to get the rightful heiress there first, Nolan would have to help her beat out jealous relations, paid assassins, and a killer without a conscience...all maddened by gold fever.

8. The Lonesome Gods

The Lonesome Gods:Amazon:Books - Amazon.com

From the Inside Flap

The Lonesome Gods is Louis L'Amour's biggest and most important historical novel to date, a sweeping adventure of the California frontier. Here is the fascinating story of Johannes Verne, a young man left to die by his vengeful grandfather, rescued by outlaws and raised in part by the Indians of the desert. Strengthened by the love of two women -- Miss Nesselrode, whose mysterious past fires her ambitions for the future and Meghan, a willful young beauty -- Verne grows to become a rugged adventurer, a man strong enough to embrace the awesome power of the Palm Springs desert, and bold enough to stake a claim in the bustling world of opportunity that was early-day Los Angeles.

9. The Lonely Men

Lonely Men at Amazon - Amazon.com‎

From the Inside Flap

Tell Sackett had been lured into the Apache's mountain stronghold by the icy beauty of his brother's wife. He didn't go alone. John J. Battles, Spanish Murphy and the half-breed Tampico rode beside him. Each was driven by his past to test his speed and cunning against an enemy who could smell a white man a mile away-and then shoot his eyes out at a dead gallop. It was a contest few men could enter-and fewer still could hope to win.

10. The Warriors Path

The Warrior's Path: The Sacketts: A Novel:Amazon:Books

From the Inside Flap

Filled with exciting tales of the frontier, the chronicle of the Sackett family is perhaps the crowning achievement of one of our greatest storytellers.In The Warrior’s Path, Louis L’Amour tells the story of Yance and Kin Sackett, two brothers who are the last hope of a young woman who faces a fate worse than death.

When Yance Sackett’s sister-in-law is kidnapped, he and Kin race north from Carolina to find her. They arrive at a superstitious town rife with rumors—and learn that someone very powerful was behind Diana’s disappearance. To bring the culprit to justice, one brother must sail to the exotic West Indies.

There, among pirates, cutthroats, and ruthless “businessmen,” he will apply the skills he learned as a frontiersman to an unfamiliar world—a world where one false move means instant death.

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    • kurtreifschneider profile imageAUTHOR

      Kurt James 

      3 years ago from Loveland Colorado

      Jodah, The walking Drum is one of my favorite books that I have ever read and in fact have read it about 5 times in my life. I think you will enjoy all 3 of the books you mentioned in your comment.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great hub Kurt. I have read a couple of Louis L'Amour western a child, but some of his other stories particularly "The Walking Drum", "The Lat of the Breed" and "Fair Blow the Wind" sound like my kind of adventures. I will have to check them out. Great tribute and review. Voted up.

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