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Last of the Breed: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1987

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers of L'Amour's Westerns and his recent medieval saga The Walking Drum will not be disappointed by this contemporary epic. Proving that he is above all a great raconteur, the prolific L'Amour sets his latest in Siberia where a downed American test pilot, Joseph "Joe Mack" Makatozi, has been taken after his capture by the Russians. Part Sioux, Joe Mack escapes prison only to face the seemingly impossible odds of getting across Siberia to the Bering Strait, where like his ancestors, he can cross into North America. Joe Mack is a classic American hero, thrown back into the wilderness and forced to rely on his wits and his ancestral skills to survive the deadly cold and elude his Soviet pursuers, including his nemesis, a Siberian tracker. L'Amour brings the same colorful realism to this sweeping adventure that has made his Westerns so beloved. 350,000 copy first printing; Literary Guild main selection.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Once again demonstrating his versatility, the prolific L'Amour has written a contemporary adventure novel set in the "Wild East" of Siberia. U.S. Air Force Major Joseph Makatozi"Joe Mack"is shot down by the Russians, who intend to wring secret information from him before executing him. The catch in their plans is that Rambo-like Joe Mack is part Sioux, part Cheyenne, and a nearly Olympic-caliber athlete. Still, it takes all his native skills and endurance to survive and overcome Soviet Colonel Arkady Zamatev and his Yakut henchman Alekhin as they track the American across the Siberian wilderness. L'Amour's latest novel will be requested in most public libraries. Literary Guild main selection. William C. McCully, Park Ridge P.L., Ill.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; New edition edition (June 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553280422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553280425
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (507 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,379 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

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H Pierre on June 17, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The late Louis L'Amour wrote mostly Westerns--specifically about the 'Old West'--for which he is justly famous. I may have read them all, but I hope not. I hope there are a few more out there, somewhere.

This book, however, is different. This is the kind of authentically detailed story that is his hallmark, but it is more modern. It is about U.S. Air Force Major Joe Mack, whose forbears were Sioux Indian. When his experimental aircraft is forced down in the USSR, he is captured, and no one but he and his captors know he is a prisoner. He escapes a prison camp, and is forced to survive the Siberian wilderness in an effort to make it to the Bering Strait, which he will have to cross to get back home. He is pursued relentlessly by a Yakut scout who knows the land intimately. Joe Mack must think like a Sioux to escape.

Louis Dearborn L'Amour (originally Lamoore) lived the lives that he portrayed. He was a roustabout, merchant seaman, boxer, cowboy, logger, miner, and an army officer during WWII in tank destroyers. He was shipwrecked in the West Indies, sailed a dhow on the Red Sea, and circled the earth on merchant ships. He wrote a hundred books, and had more million copy best-sellers than any other author. I was personally desolated by his death. What a glorious man! He was a true troubadour in the original sense.

Joseph H. Pierre
Author of The Road to Damascus: Our Journey Through Eternity
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Kali on April 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback

Louis L'Amour has never been one of my favourite authors because most of his books are Westerns but "Last of the Breed" is an exception to my rule simply because it isn't a Western. This is a brilliant novel that is both suspenseful and creative and it is a real shame that a sequel was never done.

Set during the hostilities between the Soviet Union and the USA Joseph "Joe Mack" Makatozi is a man trapped in enemy territory. He is a downed test Pilot who has been captured by the Russians and is seemingly at their mercy in the inhospitable landscape called Siberia; the only inhabited cold Hell in existence.

However Joe Mack isn't your ordinary test pilot. He is part Sioux and in his blood is the will to survive a savage land that was once home to his ancestors. He escapes his prison with the goal of crossing Siberia and making his way across the Bering Straits and into America, something that has not been done by modern man.

Joe Mack finds himself slowly merging with the wilderness, forced to rely on his ancestral abilities to survive the killing cold and elude the constant danger of his determined Soviet pursuers, including a man who is to become his nemesis, a Siberian Native Yakut tracker called Alekhin who knows that in order to trap his quarry he must think and act like a Sioux.

As we follow Joe Mack across the deadly landscape we become aware that he is changing, he is becoming what his ancestors once were thousands of years ago, trackers, hunters, killers, but ultimately survivors.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "j_a_scales" on July 16, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Louis L'Armour is an author of rare quality. His words seem to flow straight from the heart of the wilderness. He can place his readers in the midst of heated gun-fight, or on the icy arctic tundra. He can describe a situation with skill that few authors have mastered.
Out on the cold, desolate plains of Siberia there stood a boy, filled and surrounded by the incredible writing of a man who is close to the ways of the wild. This boy stood watching a Soiux warrior in his journey home. This boy was me. When I read Last of the Breed by Louis L'Amoure, I experienced a feeling I had never felt before. It was a feeling of lonliness, comfort, joy and sorrow. I could feel the cold that Major Joe Mack felt. I could feel his hunger as well as my own as I feverishly read through the last minutes of class before the bell rang for me to go to lunch.
This is a book of capture and escape, a cat and mouse game between a man and his enemies. It has a quality about it that makes you want to keep reading, yet not want to know what imminent danger lies around the next rock, or hillside, or bend in the stream. I loved this book from beginning to end and have read several times as I hope you will too. If you enjoy the outdoors, suspense, survival, or if are just a Louis L'Amour fan, I highly suggest you give this book a try.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By E. S Winskill on August 5, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a good story, deserving neither the overly fulsome praise nor the sour dismissals found in some of the reviews here. I've read it a couple of times over the years, and for many years it was the only L'Amour book I'd read. It's a good survival adventure tale, very servicably written.

Here's a tip: for those who liked this story, check out Dersu Uzala, a Kurosawa movie set in Siberia; the protagonist is an old Siberian hunter and trapper, and you'll get a real flavor of the country and way of life described by L'Amour in Last of the Breed.
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