43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
SPOILER ALERT!!!! One of my all time favourite books,
This review is from: Last of the Breed: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
!!! MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!!!!
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.
It is a slow transformation, and along the way we watch him struggle to hold onto his humanity, finding love in the guise of a woman who helps him and a fragile but brief friendship with a crippled furrier but all the time he is in the cruel wilderness Joe Mack is changing into something that can never revert back to what it once was.
He hungers for revenge against Alekhin and the jovial but brutal Soviet Commander who imprisoned him and the book ends on an eerie haunting note when the Soviet Commander receives the scalp of Alekhin and a gentle warning from the wilderness that he will be next...
This is a truly magnificent book about a man's ability to transcend his environment and upbringing and descend into savagery in order to survive.
Once you start reading this book you won't be able to put it down, this is no run of the mill pot boiler about the noble savage. There nothing remotely noble about Joe Mack, but you find yourself admiring him for his ability to survive against all the odds.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 20, 2007 12:51:19 PM PDT
F. Matson says:
Posted on Jul 3, 2007 12:55:14 PM PDT
drew cheatwood says:
seriously why say the end of the book, if this is a reportable offense it should be, needs a spoiler alert label before the review text
Posted on Jan 6, 2013 10:31:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 6, 2013 10:33:10 PM PST
S. Hayes says:
It is pathetic that this reviewer revealed the ending of the story. I can't imagine why he would do such a thing. Very, very poor taste.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013 4:34:18 AM PST
This review was done in 2004 when I was very new to reveiwing. I should have put spoiler alert on it but at the time I did not do this. I will of course do this right now. I have done many reviews over the years and I realise that I should go back and look at all the old reviews and either revamp them or put Spoiler Alert.
I loved this book and I totally appreciate that revealling the ending should not be done but we all were novices once upon a time but we learn from our errors. All the best. R
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2014 1:49:52 PM PST
He never meets the fur buyer at all. Their closest tie are the furs that he has cured that other people bring to the buyer. But it was enough in those times for the authorities to go after the old man.
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