Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sophia Rose reviews Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures Vol. 1: Unfinished Manuscripts, Mysterious Stories, and Lost Notes by Louis L'Amour with Beau L'Amour

Today Sophia Rose takes over the blog reviewing an icon in Western Fiction Louis L'Amour
Sophia Rose take it away!

Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures Vol. 1: Unfinished Manuscripts, Mysterious Stories, and Lost Notes from One of the World’s Most Popular Novelists by Louis L’Amour with Beau L’Amour
Fiction, Non-Fiction
Publisher:  Bantam
Published:  10.24.17
Pages:  544
Rating: 5
Format: eARC
Source:  Net Galley
Sellers:  Amazon B&N  - Kobo
ADD TO: GoodReads 

GoodReads Blurb:
The first of its kind, a unique volume of twenty-one unpublished gems from one of the twentieth century’s most popular and prolific writers

Exploring the creative process of an American original, the Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures project will uncover the hidden history behind the author’s best known novels . . . and his most mysterious and ambitious unfinished works.

In this first collection, Beau L’Amour presents many never-before-seen manuscripts. Using his father’s handwritten notes, journal entries, and correspondence, along with his own memories, Beau uncovers how and why they were written, as well as speculating about the ways they might have ended.

These selections celebrate L’Amour’s vision and virtuosity, including the first seven chapters of a powerful novel about the Trail of Tears, a chilling Western horror story, and a tale of the American Revolution featuring a character related to L’Amour’s well-known Sackett family. At the other end of the spectrum are classic adventures, such as The Golden Tapestry, set in 1960s Istanbul, as well as several uniquely different attempts at what would have been the most profoundly intimate of all of L’Amour’s novels, a saga of reincarnation that stretches from a time before time, to the period of Alexander the Great, and on to Warlord-Era China.

Illustrated with rare photographs and copies of handwritten notes, this book reveals the L’Amour you have never known, his personal struggles as a writer, and the contest between mortality and a literary legacy too big for one life to contain.

Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures is a project created to release some of the author’s more unconventional manuscripts from the family archives.

In Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures: Volumes 1, Beau L’Amour takes the reader on a guided tour through many of the finished and unfinished short stories, novels, and treatments that his father was never able to publish during his lifetime. L’Amour’s never-before-seen first novel, No Traveller Returns, will also be released as a Lost Treasures publication, followed by Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures: Volume 2.

Additionally, many beloved classics such as Last of the Breed and Bendigo Shafter will be rereleased with an exclusive Lost Treasures postscript featuring previously unpublished material, including outlines, plot notes, and alternate drafts. These postscripts tell the story behind the stories that millions of readers have come to know and cherish.

Sophia Rose's Review:

I think I've been in love with Louis L'Amour's storytelling for nearly forty years.  It began the moment I swiped my dad's paperback when I ran out of my own books and was immediately engrossed in the historic western mystery I had in my hands.

I learn now that being immediately engrossed was no accident.  In this fantastic revealing of the behind the scenes to the life and stories of a beloved writer, Louis' son, Beau shares that L'Amour believed in the opening lines packing a punch even over the finale of his stories.

Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures Vol. 1 was a feast for a fan like me.  First there was a fantastic discussion and trip back into the past where I got to meet the writer through his son's eyes.  This included his early years, his thoughts on writing, his fails and successes.  Then, Beau L'Amour shares samples of the stories that didn't make the cut for one reason or another, the outlines and interest letters with story outlines to publishers and movie makers, and drafts.  Along the way, there are photographs, notes, letters to pour over...

This book may seem to be aimed at L'Amour's readership, but I saw plenty for authors to glean from about the man's writing craft, habits, and samples.  There is advice here though it is not written as such.

I was enthralled to be welcomed behind the curtain.  Even these incomplete and shelved stories managed to pull me in and make me groan when they ended.  I do appreciate Beau including any notes from Louis or his own surmises about the direction of the stories so I wasn't left hanging too badly.  Speaking of being left hanging, I must share that there are no plans to complete these stories post-humorously.  I get why, but man I am greedy and would not be upset if some talented writer were to take up the task.

So, all in all, I found this quite the gem and was grateful for a glimpse at what was piled on shelves, in boxes, or on the writing desk of a favorite and endearing author who excelled at western, historical, adventures, contemporary, or any other genre he set his mind to write.

Author’s Bio:
Louis L'Amour was an American author. L'Amour's books, primarily Western fiction, remain enormously popular, and most have gone through multiple printings. At the time of his death all 101 of his works were in print (86 novels, 14 short-story collections and one full-length work of nonfiction) and he was considered "one of the world's most popular writers".

Sophia’s Bio:
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
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  1. I've never read anything by this author but I'm not sure it's really my genre.

    1. Yeah, Westerns are a niche read and not for everyone. Thanks for visiting, Mary. :)

  2. This sounds like it packed full of so much history. A lot of which I don't much about, but it would interesting to read about for sure. Great review Sophia. This sounds amazing.

    1. It was neat to get more of Louis L'Amour's background, but I had so much fun reading these 'discard' and unfinished stories. :)

  3. My Dad was a great fan of Louis L'Amour although it was his Zane Grey books I swiped to read! The Sacketts in particular were a love of his. Nice to get some treasures long after the author is gone.

    1. I really need to read some Zane Grey, too, Kathryn. Oh my yes, I adored the Sacketts, too.

  4. Sophia Rose thanks for the fantastic review, I'm sharing this with my friend from my in person book club who loves Louis' work.

    1. If she's a fan, you are doing her a huge solid, Debbie. :) Thanks!