Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hanging Woman Creek

No Matter how many times I read a Louis L'Amour book from my "to be read" pile (or shelves in my case) I seem to still have about 5 left to read.  I'm beginning to think they are breeding.  Nevertheless, I always seem to enjoy them and really tend to use them as breaks between larger novels.  With over a hundred novels and short story collections published I am constantly amazed when I read one of his books and discover a whole new actual story and not just a repetition of something he's done before.

Hanging Woman Creek, is yet again an original western story.  This is one of his shorter ones, coming in at exactly 150 pages in my copy.  It's the story of Baranbus "Pronto" Pike who, for a change, is no gun fighter and not really much of a fist fighter either although he has found himself in many such scraps over the years.  He meets up with Edie, a boxer, who also happens to be black, and together they look to survive a rugged Montana winter while making plans to start their own horse/cattle ranch.  Edie teaches Pike the finer arts of boxing which come in handy at the end of the story.  But they come across an old friend of Pike's who apparently, has gotten mixed up with the bad side of the law and before you know it, Pike and Edie are in the fight of their lives.  As always with a L'Amour book, good triumphs over evil and there is a happy ending.

Pike is an unusual protagonist for L'Amour in that he is not the quiet, reserved gunfighter that we often see.  The story is told from the first person perspective and it becomes obvious very soon in the story that Pike is not cut from the normal hero mold of so many westerns.  That's probably what I like most about this book.  The way in which the author weaves historical elements of life between the Little Big Horn and the Powder Rivers in 1885 with the action of cattle rustling, bar fights and, of course, a blossoming romance, makes for a great western read.

And I still have 5 more L'Amour titles to read...

"A Greek Tragedy" was the next title in Jeffrey Archer's short story collection, Cat O' Nine Tales.  This one was very different, not a jail-related story at all but rather a true tragedy whereby a wonderful, much loved elderly man is in the wrong place at the wrong time and unknowingly sacrifices himself, saving several other lives.  It is difficult to describe without giving away spoilers so I won't attempt it.  Suffice it to say it was an enjoyable story but with a sad ending.

Next up:  William Gibson's Pattern Recognition.


  1. I'm a big Louie L'amour fan and have not read this one. I'm legally blind so I wait until my local library gets audio books. They have a lot of L'amour. I ran across your website because I'm trying to start a blog (titled WomanCreek).Yours is a terrific website, Benjamin Thomas. Thank you. I can see from the authors listed I will be visiting it again and again. About your website, i'm using Blogspot .com from Google and though it says it's easy, it has very few templates, doesn't allow me space for two photos, rearrangement, etc. I would not want to copy yours, but can you tell me how you set it up? I used Google Bloggler because it was free, but it seems to have its drawbacks. I have submitted a book for publishing and said I need a Blog. Well, I'd just love to, but am stymied. Thanks for listening.

  2. Majel, Thanks for your kind comments. I find blogging to be its own cartharsis. I'm certainly glad I don't rely on the number of comments I get or the number of followers I have in order to keep on going (Hint: Please, please, please become a follower of my blog, lol).

    I also started using blogspot for my blog because it was free and supposedly easy. I just live with the templates it gave me and only insert one picture of each book I talk about. Everything else is adding gadgets which you can rearrange on the page somewhat (although not as free form as I would like). I would keep looking around at other blogs by writers. I've seen some very good ones out there.

    Best of luck with your book.


Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire