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End of the Drive: A Novel (Sacketts) Mass Market Paperback – March 2, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

L'Amour may be the best-selling author of all-time, and a collection of his never-before-published stories is sure to delight his millions of fans. Included here are six short stories and one novelette. The settings and themes are typical L'Amour--human drama and struggle juxtaposed against the grandeur of the West. For example, in "Caprock Rancher," a headstrong young man earns new respect for his father, and in "The End of the Drive" a young man confuses beauty, love, and opportunity with drudgery until a looming confrontation forces him to revise his priorities. These stories were found among L'Amour's papers after his death, and although they do not represent his best work, they contain the elements that made him beloved: sure-handed characterization, a reverence for western settlers, and an ability to dramatize the perennial problem of good people confronted with hard choices. An unexpected and entertaining treat for L'Amour fans. Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

The late, great, vastly prolific L'Amour (Jubal Sackett, 1985, etc.) rides again, with a recently discovered never-before-seen novella and sheaf of stories. Most of the tales feature Homeric diction and wonderful hooks. ``Caprock Rancher'' begins: ``When I rode up to the buffalo wallow, Pa was lying there with his leg broke and his horse gone.'' ``Desperate Men'' opens with: ``They were four desperate men, made hard by life, cruel by nature, and driven to desperation by imprisonment. Yet the walls of Yuma Prison were strong and the rifle skill of the guards unquestioned, so the prison held many desperate men besides these four. And when prison walls and rifles failed, there was the desert, and the desert never failed.'' That's a big, gritty voice at work, lifting melodrama to the heavens of storytelling. And, for the most part, these stories cleave to that voice throughout. ``Caprock Rancher'' tells of a 17-year-old who must rescue $20,000 from three toughs who have found it, although it belongs to several poor ranchers back home who've trusted the boy and his father to take their cattle to market. ``Desperate Men'' follows four prisoners who escape from Yuma Prison during an earthquake and flee into the desert with an Army payroll. Their greed is as much against them as the sun. In the title tale, a young man who heads a cattle drive finds wooing a beautiful woman to be more fraught with difficulty (and danger) than life on the trail. And in the superbly burnished novella, ``Rustler Roundup,'' the Laird Valley cattle war pits some smart rustlers, who want to grab Finn Mahone's herd and acres, against an even smarter hero. As ever, L'Amour's characters distinguish themselves from run-of-the- mill westerners by the hard thud of their boots on soil and the worn leather ease of their dialogue. Awesome immediacy, biting as creosote slapped on a fencepost. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Sacketts (Book 7)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (March 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553578987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553578980
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"I think of myself in the oral tradition--as a troubadour, a village tale-teller, the man in the shadows of a campfire. That's the way I'd like to be remembered--as a storyteller. A good storyteller."

It is doubtful that any author could be as at home in the world re-created in his novels as Louis Dearborn L'Amour. Not only could he physically fill the boots of the rugged characters he wrote about, but he literally "walked the land my characters walk." His personal experiences as well as his lifelong devotion to historical research combined to give Mr. L'Amour the unique knowledge and understanding of people, events, and the challenge of the American frontier that became the hallmarks of his popularity.

Of French-Irish descent, Mr. L'Amour could trace his own in North America back to the early 1600s and follow their steady progression westward, "always on the frontier." As a boy growing up in Jamestown, North Dakota, he absorbed all he could about his family's frontier heritage, including the story of his great-grandfather who was scalped by Sioux warriors.

Spurred by an eager curiosity and desire to broaden his horizons, Mr. L'Amour left home at the age of fifteen and enjoyed a wide variety of jobs, including seaman, lumberjack, elephant handler, skinner of dead cattle, and miner, and was an officer in the transportation corps during World War II. During his "yondering" days he also circled the world on a freighter, sailed a dhow on the Red Sea, was shipwrecked in the West Indies and stranded in the Mojave Desert. He won fifty-one of fifty-nine fights as a professional boxer and worked as a journalist and lecturer. He was a voracious reader and collector of rare books. His personal library contained 17,000 volumes.

Mr. L'Amour "wanted to write almost from the time I could talk." After developing a widespread following for his many frontiers and adventure stories written for fiction magazines, Mr. L'Amour published his first full length novel, Hondo, in the United States in 1953. Every one of his more than 120 books is in print; there are more than 300 million copies of his books in print worldwide, making him one of the bestselling authors in modern literary history. His books have been translated into twenty languages, and more than forty-five of his novels and stories have been made into feature films and television movies.

The recipient of many great honor and awards, in 1983 Mr. L'Amour became the first novelist to ever to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Congress in honor of his life's work. In 1984 he was also awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Reagan.

Louis L'Amour died on June 10, 1988. His wife, Kathy, and their two children, Beau and Angelique, carry the L'Amour publishing tradition forward with new books written by the author during his lifetime to be published by Bantam.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Daniel R. Baker on September 12, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A little while ago I compared another western writer unfavorably with Louis L'Amour, and found myself thinking, "I haven't read L'Amour since my teens. Is he really better than that hack, or do I just remember him as being that good?" So I picked up End of the Drive, and I found that L'Amour is actually better than I remembered!

This book of previously unpublished short stories puts its best foot forward. The opening four tales, "Caprock Rancher, "Elisha Comes to Red Horse," "Desperate Men," and "The Courting of Griselda" are as good as any in the genre, and could easily stand next to more "literary" short stories in your English class. "Elisha Comes to Red Horse," in particular, is reminiscent of Mark Twain's "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg" and is every bit as funny. "Desperate Men," in turn, is just as gritty and beautifully written a story of men against environment as Crane's "The Open Boat."

L'Amour's heroes are strong, but have nothing of the superhuman about them. They are made from the same flesh and bone as the villains, and the villains invariably succeed in dealing setbacks to the heroes, making the heroes' eventual triumph all the sweeter.

L'Amour could be accused of writing purple prose, but if so, it is such a deep, rich shade of purple that anyone ought to love it. Furthermore, L'Amour is a true stylist who adapts his voice to the story that he wants to tell. If the folksy, bantering tone of "The Courting of Griselda" were not encountered in the same book as the sublime, desolate prose of "Desperate Men," it would be hard to guess that the same man wrote them both.

The remainder of the book has a hard act to follow, and is a bit of a letdown.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 1997
Format: Hardcover
The short stories are beautifully written, intelligent and to the point. The novella, however, drags and loses focus. Shorter is better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sylvain Gallais on December 11, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
You cannot be wrong when you buy a Louis Lamour book. He told stories about many situations, many periods of time, many places. His characters are so lively, the settings perfect and descriptions never boring.The structure of the plots makes the book a page turner. Once you read one of Lamour's books, you get addict. Be careful! :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Nigh on October 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
End of the Drive by Louis L'Amour is a series of short stories, with a longer story towards the end of the book. As with all of Louis L'Mour's books, it is well written and keeps a reader interested. Even though it is fiction, it is based on stories realistic of the old west. I throughly enjoyed the book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 21, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is a collection of eight previously unpublished Louis L'Amour previously unpublished short stories - or perhaps I should say, seven short stories and one novella. Mr. L'Amour's son had found these stories in a box of his papers, and here they are. Now, some of the stories were rewritten and became other, more well-known, stories, but each one is sufficiently different that you will enjoy reading this story, even if you are familiar with the other one.

The stories range in subject from cattle drivers, to outlaws, to lawmen, to ranchers, giving the reader a while sampling of the Western genre. I definitely enjoyed the stories and was very glad that I read them. I don't hesitate to recommend this book to everyone who likes Westerns, and even just those who like a good story!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Richardson on May 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good collection of short stories from Louis L`amore. I started reading this authors novels back in the seventy`s. Second or third time for some books you get used to the common theme of his westerns. But as I read my way through the extensive number of novels written by L`amour there is something that keeps me coming back to him. Well worth the read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A most splendid collection of short stories from America's premier storyteller. Reading these newly discovered stories made me realize how sad it is that we will never again be rewarded with his true brand of genius. The novel at the end "Rustler Roundup" was superb. I truly hope his spirit and love of the Old West will forever live on
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caroline Harp on September 28, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who loves Louis L'Amour will treasure this collection of short stories. In my opinion there is no other greater author than Louis. He can write westerns as well as modern day stories. If you haven't read "Last of the Breed" you should read it. I have read it three times and each time enjoyed it more.
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