Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Walking Drum

In his lifetime (1908-1988), Louis Dearborn L'Amour wrote 105 works (all still in print and wide circulation): 89 novels, 2 non-fiction works, 14 short story collections, and dozens of pulp novel pieces. None of them is like The Walking Drum, which IIRC, was about his fourth to last novel.

One of the worst things about his death four years after its bestselling release, is the fact that there would never be a sequel. Because 468 pages in the first one just wasn't enough. It's nothing like the dozens of western tales and stories he wrote, being instead a late medieval/early renaissance historical novel. And given his total mastery of the history, as well as the craft of writing, one of such breadth and scope as to be a masterpiece epic.

If I had to pick three books to take with me (in the H.G. Wells challenge from The Time Machine) this book would make the cut. If I hit the Powerball, and could make five novels into movies, this one would be at the top of that list. I could spin it into three feature-length pieces without much effort, and put even Lord Of The Rings and the Indiana Jones serials to shame. Without even breaking a sweat.
(Beau L'Amour, call me, we can talk it over at lunch.)
It's that good.

If you haven't read it, you need to. Unless a great story bores you to tears. This thing has everything you could ever want, and it's crying for being put onto the big screen. It's only been out now for thirty three years; beat the rush, and read this book.


jim rock said...

Exellent. Haven't read it in years. Need to find mine to read again. Last of the Breed is also very good.

Anonymous said...

I have most of his books and read this one just last year. It is all you say it is. He is a great writer.

Anonymous said...

I loved Last of the Breed. I'll read The Walking a Drum on your strong recommendation.

Anonymous said...

Hard to say which of the two books is my favorite by Louis. I've read both copies enough times the pages fell out. I have "Last of the Breed" in a limited edition hardback with faux leather cover, have to do some digging for "The Walking Drum".

Brian said...

I really enjoyed the book, but the Sackett sagas are still my favorites.

Anonymous said...

read everything Louis wrote as soon as I could get my hands on it. As you say, walking drum wasn't typical of his work but it was on the high end in quality. Not that he ever wrote anything boring.

A.B. Prosper said...

That was the first book I ever read by him funny enough.

In my recollection L'Amour didn't know swords but he knew history, fighting and people and it was a great story