Friday, November 1, 2019

Sophia Rose Reviews Lost Treasures V2 by Louis and Beau L'Amour

It's always fun when Sophia Rose puts on her chaps and and cowboy hat and reviews one of the king of the west's classic titles. Today she's reviewing Lost Treasures Volume Two.

Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures Volume Two by Louis and Beau L’Amour
Historical Fiction, Non-Fiction
Publisher:  Bantam
Published:  11.19.19
Pages:  576
ISBN:  0425284921
Rating: 4
Format: eARC
Source:  Net Galley
Sellers:  AmazonBarnes & Noble
Add To: GoodReads

More unpublished works from the archives of Louis L'Amour: complete short stories, partial novels, treatments, and notes that will transport readers from the Western frontier to India, China, and even the future.

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

In this second volume, Beau L'Amour examines how his father made the transition from struggling pulp writer to successful novelist and uses his father's notes, journal entries, and correspondence to continue the process of seeking out how and why many of these never-before-seen manuscripts were written as well as speculating about the ways they might have ended.

These selections include the beginnings of a post-apocalyptic science fiction tale, a proposal for a nonfiction project based on the life of Renaissance era traveler Ibn Batuta, and two chapters of a historical novel set in India about the origin of L'Amour's well-known Talon family.

At the other end of the spectrum are classic adventures, such as "In the Measure of Time," a chance encounter set on the high seas, and a science fiction film treatment set in Mexico, as well as seventeen chapters of a novel that reappears throughout Louis's journals and letters and speaks to his fascination with post-revolutionary 1950s China, leading him so far as to correspond with the Dalai Lama.

With rare photographs and commentary, this book further maps the journey L'Amour embarked upon to become one of our greatest storytellers and the diverse realms to which his imagination traveled, making him a true American pioneer.

Sophia Rose's Review:

What do you get the Louis L'Amour fan who has read all his books, seen all the movies and TV series, and read all the poems, short stories and biographies on their favorite author?  Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures, of course. 

When I saw the blurb on volume one and now, this volume two, in my mind's eye, I imagined this would be like getting the distinct pleasure of sitting at the author's desk, perusing the finished unedited manuscript pages set on one side of the typewriter, the page in the typewriter, and the bundle of notes and clippings in folders and note pages on any available surface close at hand.  And, then, getting to pull open the drawers of the desk, nearby filing cabinets, notebooks on shelves, and loose files precariously piled for a good long snoop.
After reading this volume, I think my imagination was just about right except I didn’t take into account that this lovely volume comes complete with lots of candid photos of the author, his family, his travels, and people he encountered as well as photos of original letters and pages.

Lost Treasures Volume Two opens with Beau L'Amour sharing thoughts on growing up with Louis as a father, the history of his dad shifting with the times in the writing industry, and encounters with the people along the way.  Beau then introduces each story fragment, movie notes, TV show story, and also follows up with more of his thoughts on where his dad was going with it.

For instance, he provides two opening sets of chapters for the Bastard of Brignogan and then his dad's planning notes for how this would fit in as his earliest, chronologically, Talon novel and where it would intersect with his Chantry and Sackett family series as well as notes for other novels in the series.

Now, I knew Louis wrote some sci-fi and mystical elements into his novels, but it was fun to discover in this batch of intriguing historical adventures, modern adventures, frontier and westerns fragments, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi.    So many of these weren't much and Beau had to use his dad's notes to speculate on where it was going, but some had a good chunk of story that was more a big tease to fans who will mourn not getting that complete story.

As to the audience appeal of this book and the earlier volume one?  Honestly, I think it's limited.  I think huge L'Amour fans will be fascinated by this glimpse inside L'Amour's writing world as well as some who like to study the mechanics of an author's writing process through their raw work and notes.  However, someone looking to try L'Amour's books should definitely start elsewhere.

All in all, this Louis L'Amour fan enjoyed flipping through this volume, picking and choosing places to stop and read more, leaping far forward, and jumping back to earlier bits using the well-organized and helpful index to guide me in my non-linear reading of this one.  It sure made me wish Louis could have lived longer and kept writing some of these though I further appreciate the amazing written legacy he already has.

I rec'd this book through Net Galley from Penguin Random House to read in exchange for an honest review.

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".

Author’s Bio:
BEAU L’AMOUR is the son of novelist Louis L'Amour. Beau grew up among the writers, actors, beatniks, Apache Indians, FBI agents, and members of the Hollywood Ten who were the denizens of his West Hollywood neighborhood and his parents’ friends. He graduated from California Institute of the Arts. Over the years, L’Amour has written and produced a series of more than sixty audio dramas and worked in the radio and magazine business, then as a screenwriter and television producer. In the world of book publishing, he has been an art director, literary editor, and ghost writer.

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. Oh, how cool and perfect for fans. This would make a lovely holiday gift.

  2. I've seen you talk about his books before and I always find it interesting because I've never read anything by him.

    1. I've always felt the same when I know a series/author is someone's fav and I haven't picked one up. We booklovers do get a bit crazed. LOL