Archive for the ‘louis lamour’ Category

The Sackett Brand

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009


This book is one in Louis L’Amour’s series about the Sackett family.  It was one of my favorites as a kid.  It chronicles the story of William Tell Sackett and his revenge on his wife’s murderers.  The Sackett Brand follows the pattern of many of L’Amour’s stories (which I will not ruin for you here).  Needless to say, it is sweet!

Recommendation Level:

Five Stars (out of five), one of my favorite ‘Louis’ ever.


It was still cold … bitter cold.  I tried not to think of that, but just kept inching along.  Sometimes I pulled myself along by grasping branches or clutching at cracks in the rock.  Cold as it was, I started to sweat, and that scared me.  If that sweat froze, the heat in my body would be used up fighting its cold and I’d die.

Once I broke a hole in the ice and drank, but most of the time I just kept moving because I’d never learned how to quit.  I was just a big raw-boned cowboy with big shoulders and big hands who was never much account except for hard work and fighting.  Back in the Tennessee hills they used to say my feet were too big for dancing and I hadn’t any ear for music; but along about fighting time I’d be there – fist, gun, or bowie knife.  All of us Sacketts were pretty much on the shoot.

p. 10, The Sackett Brand, Louis L’Amour


Cover, Bantam Books, 1965

Cover, Bantam Books, 1965

Louis L’Amour

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

The first posts on Art Wednesday (any creative ideas for a different, more exciting name can be submitted through the comments) are going to deal with some of my favorite authors of ‘dime-store’ fiction.  My favorites dime-store genres are mystery, science fiction, spy and western (bonus points to people who can guess an upcoming author, use the comments).  Today, I will start with Louis L’Amour.

If someone totaled up all of the time I have spent reading, Louis L’Amour’s books would easily be at the top of the list (as long as you did not count the internets, then it would be  I have been reading Louis L’Amour since I was no taller than the wheels on a buckboard (hmmm, considering my late growth spurt, that is not a very definite time span. let us go with since first grade).  If you think it is an indictment  of L’Amour’s writing that I have been reading and understanding it since I was a wee first-grader, know first, that I was a precocious youngster and second, these are dime-store westerns here, not literature.

My dad put me on the track to reading Louis L’Amour, just like he was introduced to him by his father.  We used to comb the flea-markets in South Carolina for another battered copy of Sackett’s Land, for only a quarter.  Ever since, I have loved to read his simple stories about the West.  As my brother and I have often joked, his ‘frontier stories’ seem to use a formula, albeit a good one (perhaps on par with the Pythagorean Theorum?).  I can burn through one of Louis’s books in a night, and I often have.

Most of Louis’s books deal with life in the West.  One of his favorite lines was that it was a place where men went to find themselves.  I have always felt that his stories are like a perfect daydream for a little kid who wants to be a cowboy.  As many of you know, I fancy myself a cowboy, a pansy cowboys, but a cowboy nonetheless.

Another sweet feature of a ‘Louis,’ as I affectionately call them, is that many of his short stories have been dramatized.  These cassettes were constant companions on many Thomas family roadies. From our trip from California to North Carolina or our summer ventures to Colorado, nearly every trip featured classics like ‘Rain on the Mountain Fork,’ ‘McQueen of the Tumbling K,’ and ‘Bowdrie Follows a Cold Trail.’  Look for more detailed Art Wednesdays that focus on specific ‘Louis’ in the future.