Monday, April 20, 2020

Sophia Rose Reviews Down The Long Hills by Louis L'Amour

Once again Sophia Rose graces us with another western by the king of westerns himself Louis L'Amour.
Take it away Sophia Rose

Down the Long Hills by Louis L’Amour, Narrated by Michael Crouch
Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Penguin Random House Audio
Published:  4.14.20
Time:  4 hours 56 minutes
Rating: 4.5
Narrator: 5
Format:  MP3
Source:  Penguin Random House Audio
Sellers:  Amazon /Barnes and Noble /Kobo

Everyone was dead. Indian raiders massacred the entire wagon train. Only seven-year-old Hardy Collins and three-year-old Betty Sue Powell managed to survive. With a knife, a horse, and the survival lessons his father taught him, Hardy must face the challenges of the open prairie. Using ingenuity and common sense, he builds shelters, searches out water, and forages for food. But as he struggles to keep them alive, he realizes that their survival will depend on his ability to go beyond what his father was able to teach him. Hardy bravely presses on, fighting off the temptation to give up, until a howling blizzard and a pack of hungry wolves force him to make decisions that no seven-year-old boy should ever have to make.

Sophia Rose's review:

A young boy is coming west with a wagon train to meet his pa at Ft. Bridger.  A Cheyenne raid leaves the young boy with a three-year old girl, no supplies, and winter setting in.  All he has is a big red horse and the wilderness knowledge he learned from his pa.  A perilous journey begins...

Down the Long Hills is not a typical western frontier story because the main character isn't even in double digits yet.   It's Survivor- western frontier style.  Hardy Collins steals the listener's heart as this sober young guy tenderly looks after a girl who just lost her folks even while fearful with the knowledge that they are all alone in the middle of nowhere and in the middle of rough country with dangers on all sides.  He's scared to death, but just keeps on plugging along.  Beyond his efforts to keep them alive, they are being trailed by more than one person after Big Red the magnificent stallion that belongs to Hardy's pa, Scott Collins.

The narration is split between Hardy and Scott as the son journeys to find his pa and pa leaves out from Ft. Bridger to find his son hoping he survived the raid on the wagon train and can hold out until Scott gets there with his mountain men buddies.

Now, did I have several moments when I kept thinking Hardy was older because of how he thought about things and the canny way he went about keeping himself and Betty Sue alive?  Yes, it’s highly improbable.  But, I didn't care.  I swallowed the story whole and loved what I was getting.

The setting is Wyoming in the late 1840's just before gold was discovered in California and the frontier began much further east.  I love how this author can paint in a historical setting and yarn about the times like he was there.

The narrator, Michael Crouch, is already a favorite.  He did great for Hardy's young voice and even Betty Sue's.  He has a way of getting a reader to settle in and lose themselves in his storytelling.

All in all, this was a fabulous western adventure from a favorite author and narrator.  I can highly recommend it for those who want an exciting western adventure that isn't your typical shoot 'em up.

My thanks to Penguin Random House Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Author 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. Sounds so interesting! Glad you loved it!

    1. I was really taken with having a child hero for this one. :)

  2. Sophia Rose thanks so much for taking us back to the wild wild west :)

  3. Glad to see you enjoyed another installment on audio. I know you love this author.

  4. I remember reading his books when I was in high school. I think I need to revisit his work.

    1. I first read them in high school, too, Nadene. :)

  5. Sounds really good, and I wouldn't care how improbable it was either, its such a good sounding story.

    1. He was just so plucky and brave that I wanted him to beat the odds. :)