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Book Review of The Lonesome Gods

The Lonesome Gods
The Lonesome Gods
Author: Louis L'Amour
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
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Helpful Score: 2

I discovered this book through another, "A Thomas Jefferson Education" by Oliver Van DeMille. "The Lonesome Gods" is a story of an education, a story of survival, a story of vengeance, and a story of the desert. Johannes Verne's grandfather wants him dead, and he very nearly kills six-year-old Johannes, after murdering the boy's father. But Johannes survives and learns to thrive in the desert. In the process, he meets a number of interesting people (many of whom becomes mentors), learns about his family's past, unravels a mystery or two and always takes what he can from a situation, stashing away knowledge for future reference.

I've read this book twice, two of my kids have read it more than once, my husband has read it. It's a well-written story that is much deeper than a simple, rustlers-steal-cattle-cowboy-makes-them-pay tale. L'Amour obviously knows his subject matter; he creates wonderful, multi-faceted characters; and, with the first sentence or two, immediately draws you into the life of Johannes: "I sat very still, as befitted a small boy among strangers, staring wide-eyed into a world I did not know. I was six years old and my father was dying."

My one negative comment is this: L'Amour gets a little heavy-handed with the didactism. That, however, is a very small price to pay for such a compelling story.