- Pre-order Price Guarantee! Order now and if the Amazon.com price decreases between your order time and the end of the day of the release date, you'll receive the lowest price. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Hardcover – November 20, 2018
|New from||Used from|
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The title is a nod to Shakespeare, a quote from the “Undiscovered Country” dialogue, from which “no traveller returns.” The plot development is far from formula—it takes surprising twists and turns, reminding me of How the West Was Won or The Haunted Mesa in its unique approach (the plot design is different than either of these or any other L’Amour novel). It’s not a memoir like Yondering or Education of a Wandering Man; it’s a full-length novel and a great read. It has the mysterious energy of books like The Walking Drum and Bendigo Shafter—you know something big is coming, but it’s enjoyable to experience it as events unfold.
For those who haven’t read L’Amour before, I’d recommend starting with a different book—probably one of those listed in the first few sentences of this review (above). But for the avid L’Amour reader, it’s a great addition. While it takes place in the WWII era, or just prior to it, and may at first make you think of Hills of Homicide or Night Over the Solomons, this isn’t a collection of short stories at all. Also, like Comstock Lode, it contains a powerful event at the beginning of the book that foreshadows what’s coming and keeps the reader on his/her toes watching for things to be revealed in the end. Some are; some aren’t.
The romances, interestingly, are in my opinion more mature than those in most of his books (don’t get me wrong, I like the way L’Amour does romance, but this one is different than usual—kind of like Heller With a Gun or Brionne; with a more literary twist). Like many of L’Amour’s other books, No Traveller Returns contains lots of literary and philosophic content—discussing Shakespeare, Voltaire, Plutarch, SciFi with technology and “the singularity”, and many others.
Finally, one thing that really struck me about this book is how frequently I felt pulled into the story—like I was there on the open sea living it, not simply reading about it. L’Amour is skilled at creating this effect in many of his books, but mostly in fight scenes or times of very high conflict like Tell Sackett on the ridge under siege in The Sackett Brand or Joe Mack on the Tundra. In this book, however, I felt this way even in normal, everyday scenes—a powerful effect. To tell the truth, I wasn’t expecting much from this book, after being disappointed with most of what’s been released posthumously in the short story and Lost Treasures volumes. I think I was disappointed mostly because I like the novels much better than the short story collections. This book, however, took me back to feelings of the eighties—reading a newly released novel and finding it truly excellent. If you’re a L’Amour fan, you’re in luck! No Traveller Returns is great reading. Now, if we can only get the sequel to The Walking Drum!
We join people during World War I rather than on the trail or ranch. This is a character study and far more literary than you think of when talking about his writing. It shows his overall talent and writing ability and that was present when he started.
I am usually unwilling to look into those books by successful authors that didn’t get published when they were written relying on authors having fans who will buy them instead of their being bought because of the book itself. This is a time when I’m glad I broke my own rules.
If you are a fan of L’Amour then grab this. If you aren’t familiar with him, you might start with one of his westerns.
But, looking back, I realize that the westerns barely scratched the surface of L'Amour's real talent. In fact, although I found great comfort in his formulaic novels, my ultimate favorites were the books that seemed a little deeper. The ones like "The Walking Drum" that didn't quite fit the formulaic mold.
"No Traveller Returns" fits that category. This novel is one of creativity rather than formula. The framework is fascinating - glimpses into the lives of various men on board the SS Lichenfield, lives which seem individual and unconnected. But, in reality, each one is strangely intertwined in unexpected ways.
It is obvious in "No Traveller Returns" that L'Amour began as a creative writer. Those who read later books (like the aforementioned "The Walking Drum") will see that his writing did mature, develop, and deepen over the years - and his style changed. This novel is unlike any of his others that I have read (with the admission that I have not read his work exhaustively). But, this novel definitely reveals his storytelling skill. While the style of writing might not have resonated with readers if it had been released when written, it definitely fits the style and preferences of many modern readers, making its 2018 release a timely one.