Last Updated on December 01, 2011 by Tomas Hood
| Book List and Reviews |
(The Sacketts, Hopalong Cassidy, and more )
| Movies | Some Observations |
| My Mentor, My Friend | Letters | Get a book! |
| What's New | Features and Links|
"I think of myself in the oral tradition - as a troubadour, a village tale-teller,
the man in the shadows of the campfire. That's the way I'd like to be remembered - as a storyteller.
A good storyteller." -- Louis L'Amour (1908 - 1988)
This is my "fan's Louis L'Amour Tribute WebSite"
(On-line since 1995!)
Don't forget to check out
The Official Louis L'Amour Website
Come travel into the past and into Adventure! This is the celebration of American History and the Wild West. Specifically, I present this site as a Tribute to America's great, very well-loved story teller: Louis L'Amour.
Louis L'Amour, who passed away on June 10, 1988, is the recipient of many great honors and awards. In 1983 Louis became the first novelist ever to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Congress in honor of his life's work. In 1984 he was also awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Reagan. Louis was also a native of North Dakota, the State which honored him with the Roughrider Award. His portrait, along with excerpts from Hondo, is displayed in the Capitol's Great Hall.
Louis L'Amour is one of America's most prolific and bestselling authors, writing more than one hundred novels in a thirty-year career. His novels of the old west have sold hundreds of millions of copies, and made him well-known and appreciated around the world.
Louis L'Amour wrote with a clean, flowing style that made his work a fast reading journey into the world of the old west. Some have criticised his style, but it served his goal well: He is a story-teller. Imagine yourself sitting around a campfire, listening to a seasoned Cowboy telling you the tale of adventure and courage. With this style, he gave us, in explicit detail, a history of our country. His detail of historical settings resulted from years of research and firsthand observation. He did not present the old west in the common, shoot-em up style that is evident in so many pulp western novels, but instead examined the often brutal effect of white culture on that of the natives, and created characters who endure conflicting feelings about the Native Americans' struggle.
His heroes were often recurring characters from the Sackett, Talon and Chantry families, who held strong loyalties to family and had straightforward views on right and wrong. The L'Amour hero consistently showed great respect for the environment, and an ingrained desire to pursue what they believed to be right and just, and to stand and fight for their values regardless of the odds against them.
L'Amour's skill as a storyteller and chronicler of Early Pioneer and Native American Western lore won him an amazing following of loyal fans. The high moral standards, the ideals and respect for all that he wrote of in his stories, were a great part of the attraction. The creation of the Sacketts and other families that appear throughout his books, brought the reader into the heart of early family life in North America, and the reader quickly becomes attached to these respectable characters, looking forward to their next appearance.
Louis Dearborn LaMoore was born in Jamestown, North Dakota, the seventh and youngest child in the family, on March 22, 1908. His parents were Louis Charles and Emily Dearborn LaMoore, both of whom schooled Louuis in family and western lore. They unknowingly built a strong foundation for his literary career.
His father, Louis Charles LaMoore, carved out a living in many diverse jobs, including police chief, veterinarian, political leader and Sunday school teacher. He was a lover of horses and dogs, and a sturdy athlete who taught his three sons to box.
Louis' mother, Emily Dearborn LaMoore, herself a skilled storyteller, was trained as a teacher before her marriage, and so the environment was a great one in which the children learned and grew intellectually. She kept up the family home, tended a garden and was known as an avid reader and a great storyteller.
Young Louis L'Amour read at every opportunity, and dived into the family's 300-book library. He also frequented the city library. He read books ranging from Shakespeare to Zane Grey, from Charles Dickens to Jack London. He loved to read, to explore the world of ideas and cultures.
In the 1920's, the family fell on harder times, and moved to Oklahoma. At the age of 15, Louis left home, not wanting to be a burden to the family.
It was then that L'Amour decided to end his formal education to pursue self-education by way of work and travel. From that time on he went through an amazing string of jobs and experiences, all valuable for the future writer. He skinned cattle in Texas, went to sea and lived in the Far East, served on an East Indian schooner, was a professional boxer, longshoreman, lumberjack, elephant handler, fruit picker, gold prospector, and a tank officer in WWII.
His love of traveling took him up and down the west coast, and soon he embarked on a sailing trip to the Orient. One well-circulated story claims that he used the proceeds from a sunken treasure he discovered in Macao to pay his way to Paris and other European cities. L'Amour's writing was greatly influenced by these early years of freedom and wandering. He of course gained great knowledge as a result, but as well, his male hero's would often have conflicting feelings towards settling down.
In the late 1930's Louis L'Amour returned to Oklahoma to pursue the writing career which he had always intended to do. He published a book of poetry in 1939, but then his career was interrupted by World War II. In 1942 he entered the army, serving as an officer in tank destroying and transportation units in France and Germany. Upon the end of the war he resumed his writing pursuits, and published stories in pulp magazines of all types, from detective and adventure magazines to sports. Initially he did not plan to focus on westerns, but he began to write mainly in that genre as he sold more work to Western magazines than the others. In 1953 he published his first novel, Hondo, and thereafter L'Amour consistently produced three novels a year until his death in 1988. He gained steady popularity throughout his career, to the point where hundreds of millions of copies of his books were sold.
He published many short stories in the years 1946-1950. In 1950 he published his first novel, Westward the Tide. He published four Hopalong Cassidy books between 1950 and 1954 under the pen name Tex Burns. He used the pen name Jim Mayo to publish two other books Yellow Butte in 1953 and Utah Blaine in 1954. In 1953 he published Hondo, which became his best-selling novel. It was quickly made into a movie, starring John Wayne. By 1983 sales of Hondo had reached 2,300,000 and still going. L'Amour became America's most popular author. All of his novels, and he wrote over 100, are still in print. Total sales have topped 225,000,000. Between 1953 and 1971 thirty of his novels were turned into movies.
Although Louis L'Amour is best know for his westerns, he did step out of that field occasionally, writing books such as 'The Walking Drum', (1984) which is set in medieval Europe, and 'The Haunted Mesa'. Never did he lose his passion for travel and researching his books firsthand. He would search out people who knew the area he was interested in the best, and delve into their knowledge of it.
Louis L'Amour was the only novelist in America to accord the Congressional Gold Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, both of which were awarded to him by President Ronald Regan. In 1982 he was awarded the Congressional (National) Gold Medal by Congress and in 1984 the Medal of Freedom. In 1972 he had been awarded an honorary doctorate in literature by Jamestown College in his hometown.
Being of the mind that education is the key to success and a good life, and because of his passion for history and knowledge, Louis L'Amour belonged to many organization, including:
Louis L'Amour always considered himself to be "just a storyteller, a guy with a seat by the campfire." His novels are known for their authenticity and accuracy, their descriptions, their wide-ranging lectures, particularly about Western American history, their endless tidbits of advice, their excitement, and their entertainment. Readers ignore the haphazard composition and flaws that demonstrate his claim of never revising his stories. Check out the list of books that he wrote.
Louis L'Amour (a non-smoker) passed away in Los Angeles, California, on June 10, 1988. He died of lung cancer.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004:
I am working on cleaning up this site. A lot of changes have taken place since I first put up this site in the mid-1990's. One of the new additions is the on-line Louis L'Amour Book Shop.
I was diagnosed as a diabetic, Type-II. This was a shock, as I was taken to an Emergency Room while going through an Insulin shock. I stayed three days in the Hospital. The journey since has been very educational, but rough. I have had to relearn a lot about nutrition, and have had to change my whole life.
Please, take the time to have a physical. You might not feel that you need it. Or, you might be scared to find out what mysteries will be revealed. But, I am telling you from experience: You do not want to end up in the hospital, or dead, just because you avoided the doctor to get a health check-up. I avoided the doctor. I paid the price. If I had gone much earlier, I could have avoided this trauma and condition. GO TO THE DOCTOR AND GET A PHYSICAL!
Friday, January 23, 1998:
I wish to thank Tucker Smith, the creator of the other site known as "The UnOfficial Louis L'Amour Home Page", for allowing me to carry on his work on this site. He has forwarded all of his pages to me, so that I could use them as needed on this site. His site is no longer online. He was very much appreciated by the many Online fans of Louis L'Amour.
One of the pages is My Mentor, My Friend... check it out!
Thursday, October 24, 1996:
I GOT IT! The new newsgroup has been formed! Check out the alt.books.louis-lamour newsgroup that I started.
Journey with us!
Please have your ISP or your system administrator turn ON for you the group: alt.books.louis-lamour. This is our official newsgroup, that replaces the listserv mailing list we have been running!
Why did I originally call this website, Hell's Canyon Trail - a tribute to Louis L'Amour? The name, Hell's Canyon Trail, was chosen with several things in mind. First, the name was formed out of the memory I had from Hell's Gate, in East Missoula, Montana. There's a Hell's Gate High School, as well, in Missoula, Montana. The canyon one of five valleys that hub Missoula. It was my desire to find a name that was not any particular place, but typified someplace in the West. I chose the word "trail" to signify that this site leads to many others, and is a journey into history and education.
However, now I have discovered that there really *is* a place called, Hell's Canyon, the US Wilderness Area of Hell's Canyon