Written in the 1940s and '50s, the 10 stories in this collection, none previously published in book form, come complete with curvy Hopper-like heroines ""shaped to please"" whose ""eyes you could lose yourself in."" The heroes--boxers, detectives and gunslinging cowboys--sleuth, shoot and slug their way valiantly through plots that seem like dress rehearsals for the full-blown L'Amour novels. Surprisingly, there is just one true western, a melodramatic horse opera loaded with cattle rustlers, gunfighters and hayseed dialogue. ""Meeting at Falmouth,"" an unconvincing historical fiction, imagines a proud and tragic Benedict Arnold on a rainy night in 1794. ""The Money Punch"" and ""Sideshow Champion"" make prizefighting (an early occupation of L'Amour's) the theater for drama, suspense and moral conflict as ambition calls the loyalty and honesty of two young boxers into question. The collection's most successful story, ""Under the Hanging Wall,"" is a clever whodunit with a chiseled gumshoe investigating a murder in a California mining town. Smart foreshadowing and snappy plotting reveal L'Amour to be a skilled mystery writer. Though not sophisticated psychologically, L'Amour's brassy women and dusty men keep the action of these cinematic stories hot. Entertaining and of interest to the devotees of L'Amour's 100-plus books, these adventure tales offer their share of the high drama L'Amour is famous for. Three more collections of yet-unpublished work will follow. (May) FYI: Louis L'Amour, who wrote 90 novels, was the only novelist to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. There are more than 260 million copies of his books in print.
Reviewed on: 05/03/1999 Release date: 05/01/1999 Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 240 pages - 978-0-553-58041-9
Hardcover - 978-0-553-66481-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-66535-2
Hardcover - 978-0-553-66483-6
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-7862-2041-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-553-66808-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 4 pages - 978-0-553-52619-6
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.