Friday, March 26, 2010

The Outlaws of Mesquite

The Outlaws of Mesquite by Louis L'Amour
Mass market paperback, 224 pages
Bantam Books, 1991 edition
Synopsis:
Meet the frontier bad men—like Leo Carver—a man so hated that everyone in the town of Canyon Gap planned to turn up for his hanging. Then meet those who dared to challenge them—like Marshal Lou Morgan, who tried to save his citizens from a goldmine swindler, only to learn that his own code of honesty made him the biggest sucker in town. There's champion rodeo rider Marty Mahan, called a coward because he was afraid of the bronc Ghost Maker—until he showed them the true color of his courage. Here are classic tales of the West from the storyteller who brings to vivid life the brave men of women who settled the North American frontier.
My Thoughts:

My best friend in high school was a Louis L'Amour fan. I can remember quite distinctly rolling my eyes at her, behind her back, at a book store as she browsed through his books, looking for one she hadn't yet read. I knew, even then, that westerns, much like romances, were not my book of choice. Naturally, my 7th and last Critical Monkey book needed to be a western. It was either that or Just Me was going to thrust another romance novel at me, one in which a Viking is set loose in Scotland where he has to deal with a fiery beauty and haggis. I quickly took matters into my own hands and literally snatched up the first western I saw.

The Outlaws of Mesquite is a collection of short stories from the famed Western writer, Louis L'Amour. On the back of the book it says that these are "classic tales of the authentic West." Really? In them tall, muscular men, who are experts at shooting and horses, save women, ranch owners, and towns from evil doers. There are illustrations. All the stories are painfully predictable. The elements are simple: A hero, a villain, a horse, a girl. I really didn't see the appeal, at all. Perhaps his novels are better but I'm glad this was just a collection of short stories. I don't know if I could have fought my way through a whole western novel. The writing is simple, though, so I'm going to see if my young nephews want to read this one.
Oh, man.... no rating

If I manage to continue, the remaining Don't be a Hatin' Amendment books are going to perhaps run beyond the time limit (packing to move, again) and include books like War and Peace and Jane Eyre. (Just Me was horrified when she discovered that in high school I had read an abridged version of War and Peace.)

Quotes:

Milt Cogar was at the corral catching the paint when Thacker walked down from the shore. "You'd better get out of this town, boy. They are fixin' to make trouble for you." pg. 5

He was slick. He was slicker than blue mud on a side hill, only he didn't look it. pg. 6

He was, unfortunately, in love, and the male animal in love is an abject creature when faced by the tyranny of his beloved. At the time he should be firm, he is weak. pg.30

Marty Mahan, tall in the saddle of his black gelding, rode in the Grand Entry Parade of the Wind River Annual Rodeo, but beside him rode fear. pg. 57

An instant, Johnny Garrett hesitated. He could always quit. He could draw his time. But how long would forty dollars last? And where else could he get a job at this time of the year. Moreover, if he left the country he would never see Mary Jane again. pg. 81

The bat-wing doors slammed open as if struck by a charging steer and he stood there, framed for an instant in the doorway, a huge man with a golden beard and magnificent shoulders. pg 105

Red Clanahan, a massive man with huge shoulders and a wide-jawed face, was no longer in a hurry. The energetic posse which had clung so persistently to his trail had been left behind on the Pecos. pg 125

3 comments:

Corey Redekop said...

I've never read a L'Amour either, but I've never been a huge fan of oaters. Except for McMurtry's Lonesome Dove saga. Man, what a great series.

Scrat said...

You are a brave one! I considered the dreaded L'Amour but didn't want to be bucked off that bronco!

Lori L said...

Corey and Scrat - I'm feeling a real sense of accomplishment in finishing the Critical Monkey contest - and knowing I need never read another romance or Western again.