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The Key-Lock Man Kindle Edition

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Length: 178 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A hanging party rules the badlands and a lone rider races for his life. Falsely accused of back-shooting a man as he stood sipping whiskey in a saloon, Matt Keelock takes on a posse of angry men with no more backup than his smoking Colt and a sure-footed horse. It's one against many--but there's a hundred twists to every trail as the posse suddenly finds the hunters have turned into the hunted.

From the Inside Flap

A hanging party rules the badlands and a lone rider races for his life.  Falsely accused of back-shooting a man as he stood sipping whiskey in a saloon, Matt Keelock takes on a posse of angry men with no more backup than his smoking Colt and a sure-footed horse.  It's one against many--but there's a hundred twists to every trail as the posse suddenly finds the hunters have tumed into the hunted.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1719 KB
  • Print Length: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (March 30, 2004)
  • Publication Date: March 30, 2004
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1GA6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,776 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Pooh Guy on February 1, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read constantly, but had never read a Louie L'Amour book (or any Western novel) until I was given Keylock Man by my father-in-law. Tore was a gun-runner for the Finnish Underground in WW II, among other amazing things, so when he gave me this book as a gift, I figured I better at least scan it that night before going to sleep.
Big mistake! The book grabbed me from the first sentence, and I could not go to sleep until I had read it all the way through. It was rivetting.
Now, you have to understand that my first college degree was in English, so I have read ALL of the "classics" and most of the almost classics. And, like most of my fellow students, I generally detested them because most were just plain boring. L'Amour books have a better plot, interesting characters, and are just plain written better. They move you right along so you can't put them down.
Keylock Man is my favorite L'Amour book. Keelock is an honorable, honest man who is must rely on his own toughness, wits, cunning, and skills to stay ahead of a posse who is, for the most part, comprised of good men who do not themselves realize that their task is unjust. He does not want to hurt them, he simply wants to be left alone. Although unjustly persecuted, he shows remarkable restraint, and the posse members begin to waiver as they begin to realize that the Keylock Man is not acting like they think he will. In some ways, the interactions of the posse over the time of the chase remind me of the classic movie "12 Good Men," as the facts they discover force them to confront their own preconceptions.
Now, some people, including me until I had read this book, think that Westerns in general are trash novels, or L'Amour books are not good literature because they are enjoyable to read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kay's Husband on April 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This Louis L'Amour dates back to December, 1985, when Bantam issued it in paperback, but the genesis of the story goes back much farther, first seeing light of day as a short story. As with several of Louis' longer writings they started out as short stories in a magazine. Some suffer from that, but this one certainly does not.

The location of this western novel is in the area of Utah and Arizona between the Painted Desert and Black Mesa. This is Indian country known as the Navajo Mountain Region with both the Navajo and Hopi peoples living in the area.

I've read this one several times down through the years, and each rereading holds up very well. The other reviews here pretty much regurgitate the contents of the book, so no need for me to do that.

Essentially it is a chase western, a posse wants to hang Matt Keelock from the highest tree, after they catch him. Problem being, they can never catch him. In fact, several times he saves their 'bacon' which makes them not only feel sheepish, but forces them to reflect on just what type man they are chasing. He can't be that bad, can he?

As with all Louis L'Amour's writings the hero eventually comes out on top. And that is one thing I admire about Mr. L'Amour's books he stood for good against evil. Pragmatic justice with no in between, as Em Sackett said in RIDE THE DARK TRAIL, always ride with the law, never against it.

This ranks very high as one of my personal favorite Louis L'Amour books. So if you have never read this book, or just want to read it again, you will not find the book lacking.

Semper Fi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Here's an odd happenstance - that Louis L'Amour's The Key-Lock Man (1965) holds back on the action beats. Instead, the story is allowed to develop on the strength of dialogue and characterization. If you'd read up on Mr. L'Amour's catalogue, then you know the man writes the most galvanizing drag-out, battered-knuckle brawl and shoot-'em-up sequences. Mostly, he dabbles in archetypes. His hero is frequently laconic and clings to an unshakeable code of honor and exhibits an abiding appreciation for the untamed land he inhabits. His lady love is often given short shrift, written in broad strokes, caged in that damsel-in-distress stereotype. And yet I still got mad love for Louis L'Amour, a born storyteller.

From the frontier town of Freedom, northern Arizona, six of its doughtiest citizens form a posse to sally forth into the desert, fueled by righteousness and supposition. They're hankerin' to catch the Key-Lock Man and gift him with a neck noose. Seems the Key-Lock Man has shot a man in the back... twice, never mind that there never was a witness to say it was so.

And deep in the Arizona badlands, falsely accused born survivor Matt Killock - a.k.a. the Key-Lock Man - falls in a mood to mess with his pursuers. So goes the cat-and-mouse game, Killock leaving behind a trail of bread crumbs, and there's even a taunting scrawled message he makes sure the posse comes across: "That was a fair shooten. Anyway six ain't nowhars enuf. Go fetch more men. Man on the grey better titen his cinch or heel have him a sore-backed hoss."

Matt Killock is a born survivor. Doesn't mean he can spell for crap.

See the men on the posse get more and more frustrated. Note that the fella on the grey horse does tighten up his cinch.

These opening chapters tantalize you.
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