Friday, June 10, 2011

FFB: The Broken Gun by Louis L’amour (1966)

The recent passing of James Arness has me thinking about westerns, and for whatever reason I could feel a Louis L’amour book tugging at the back of my brain. I only recalled a few things about the book. It was set in the 1950s, the protagonist was a western writer, who is lured to a ranch and ends up hip deep in a mystery, the nature of which I don’t recall..

I turned to Google and came up dry with my searches for about an hour. Finally I was able to triangulate enough information and discover that the book I was thinking of was…. The Broken Gun!

From Amazon:

Ninety years ago the Toomey brothers, along with twenty-five other men and four thousand head of cattle, vanished en route to Arizona. When writer and historian Dan Sheridan is invited to the missing brothers’ ranch by its current owner, he jumps at the chance. The visit fits right in with his plan to solve the century-old mystery—but it turns out that his host isn’t a fan of books, writers, or people who don’t mind their own business.

Soon Dan is living the dangers of the Old West firsthand—tracked through the savage wilderness by vicious killers straight out of the most violent pages of his stories. However, his enemies have made one serious mistake: Sheridan is no pencil-pushing greenhorn, and killing him won’t be as easy as they think.

Now to be honest, here is what I recall from the book… a daring escape from a canyon by our 1950s hero. Yep, that’s it, an escape. That’s not to say that it’s not worth checking out, but to say that like the airwaves of the 50s and 60s there was so much western story telling that much if it seems to bleed together. L’amour of course became the dominate voice in the genre for those decades, just as Gun Smoke and Arness did for the TV Western. I don’t think I have my copy of this book any longer, I am sure that I purchased it at a local used shop…. which I have left unnamed in hopes that it will pass from this earth as it should ….. and devoured it during a time when no one else that I knew was reading westerns. However, as I still could recall the book, even in a small way, it must have meant something to hangout in the back of my brain.

more Friday Forgotten Books can be found HERE


Anonymous said...

Quite an entertaining review - opinion piece. There's enough here that should I come across this book I'll pick it up and give it a try.

pattinase (abbott) said...

MY husband's grandfather loved his books. I should try one in memorial.