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The Broken Gun Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1984


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (August 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553248472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553248470
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Begin with the massacre of twenty-seven innocent men. Follow it with two brutal murders almost ninety years later. Add two curious, hard-bitten veterans of guerrilla fighting and a beautiful, terror-stricken girl. Mix with a pack of vicious killers who would have been more than a match for the most notorious gunmen of the old West, and you have Louis L'Amour' blistering novel of action and adventure in the new West.

From the Inside Flap

Begin with the massacre of twenty-seven innocent men. Follow it with two brutal murders almost ninety years later. Add two curious, hard-bitten veterans of guerrilla fighting and a beautiful, terror-stricken girl. Mix with a pack of vicious killers who would have been more than a match for the most notorious gunmen of the old West, and you have Louis L'Amour's blistering novel of action and adventure in the new West.

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

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
I thought it was a fast-paced adventure with a great story.
Carolyn Hone
If you are a western fan in general, or a Louis L'Amour fan in specific you will find much in this book to enjoy.
Kay's Husband
Some of the early ones are pretty feeble potboilers and I never got very far in them.
John E. Davies

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kay's Husband on August 1, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
According to Louis L'Amour's book 'The Broken Gun' a massacre of 27 innocent men with their cattle herd stolen happened 90 years ago. The time setting of this book is 90 later as page 51 states: "This is not the nineteenth century, the day of the rustler and gun-fighter; this was the day of satellites and moon voyages."

This book has Louis straddling both the 19th and 20th centuries, with the hero, Dan Sheridan, living out his life a few years after the Korean conflict. Part of the experience and knowledge from that armed conflict will help him and another man with whom he served in Korea face the people now trying to kill both of them. Since Louis taught survival courses during his years in the Army, much of that survival training is embedded in this story taking place in the Verde River Valley, Yavapai County, Arizona. This is an area laying just east of Phoenix, Arizona.

The narrative continually swings back and forth from the present to the year 1872 when two men, Clyde and John Toomey, met their murderous ends. Decendents of the people who bushwhacked the Toomeys now without deed live on the land they stole from the Toomeys. In the process of writing his book, author Dan Sheridan seeks not only to save several lives in this outdoor adventure, but also seeks justice for the 27 men killed 90 years previous, by seeing the rightful heirs get their property back.

Within this story a Bisley colt has part of a diary in the barrel of the gun, and this helps get Dan Sheridan's interest, plus it gives him information about the Toomeys. This is interesting to me too, for in a 1937 William Colt MacDonald story published in Western Story Magazine (3/6/37), entitled "Skelton Gold", a Texas wrangler buys an old .45 in Paso City with a map to hidden treasure in the barrel.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Louis L`amour writes in a manner that places you in the story and holds your attention, you just can`t put it down untill you have read the entire book. Then it draws you back to read it again and again. You read of a man in the desert and you get thirsty. I have been reading L`amour books since about the age of seven and have read them untill the covers fall off and the pages crumble. I have allways wanted to meet Louis L`amour but never had the opportunity. All I can realy say is there shall never be another. May the legacy of Louis L`amour as the worlds greatest story teller live forever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 30, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
THE BROKEN GUN combines the best of the Old West and the New as Dan Sheridan, a western historian and author, seeks to solve a ninety-year-old western mystery. Finding several pages of an old journal, rolled up and stuffed in the barrel of a broken gun, a Bisley Colt, Sheridan seeks to uncover the secrets spoken of in the journal. As he proceeds he finds that the account deals with events that, while seemingly forgotten and settled history, have spilled over into the present with frightening consequences.

Louis L'Amour's THE BROKEN GUN is a sensational read that reminds us that, in the West, some things change while others remain alarmingly the same.

THE HORSEMAN
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mike on September 2, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
this is the first L.L. book i had read now ive read about 3/4 of them and im only 11 he is a great author
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John E. Davies on July 31, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read perhaps sixty L'Amour books. Some of the early ones are pretty feeble potboilers and I never got very far in them. I managed to get most of the way through The Broken Gun, but gave it up toward the end.

Stupid plot twists, stupid hero, lame premise.... Like his science fiction novel "Haunted Mesa", his modern stories just don't satisfy the way his excellent historical works do.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F. J. Harvey on February 4, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This 1966 novel is unusual ,but not unique ,in L'Amour's work in having a then contemporary setting .Its hero is Jim Sheridan a Western novelist ,a veteran of both Korea and Vietnam,who discovers then eponymous gun and more importantly a portion of a diary concealed inside it.The diary dates fromthe 1870's and is partial account of a trail drive from Texas to Arizona .At the end of the drive the cattle owners,John and Clyde Toomey, had simply vanished along with 27 men and 4000 head of cattle.Sheridan has always been fascinated by the Toomey case and sets out for Arizona to do further research in the hope of turning it into a novel.He makes no secret of his intention to do so.
A man named Manuel Alvarez sends Jim a note saying he has information that might help but is murdered before he can pass this on.Not only that but one of his brothers has died in mysterious circumstances and Pio his other brother,a skilled guerilla fighter ,has gone into hiding .
Also involved is a powerful local rancher Colin Wells who is keen to get his hands on the diary to prevent the exposure of a family scandal and who does not scruple to try to kill Jim when he cannot buy him off.Jim and Pio join forces against Wlls and his henchmen.

The book is in essence a traditional Western with a land dispute plot that has served in several genre titles but L'Amour has tried to give it a contemporary twist which does not quite cut it for my taste .The women -Wells' calculating wife Doris and his neighbour whose land he covets,Belle,are particularly sketchilly done .

Its a tad Rambo-ish in places when Jim and Pio display their militarily honed fighting skills

The book is a solid read but the auithor was at his best when at his most ;raditional in Western settings and eras This is not his best but a reasonable quick read for action lovers all the same
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