Flavor of the week – Westerns

This week’s read for “Mixed-up Monday.”

[Although I write fantasy, I read many different genres. Suffice it to say my reading tastes are varied.]


It has been years (about thirty) since I read a western so I dipped my hand, or rather the eyes and mind, in the genre again. I went to Amazon and searched for westerns and randomly picked a book. It arrived this week so I read Law of the Desert Born a collection of short stories by Louis L’amour. Although I wasn’t enamoured of the book, I finished it in pretty short order. I suspect my love for westerns, which was strong when I was much younger, still lives and is going strong.

The short stories broke many of the “rules” espoused in the writing/critique group of which I’m a member, but that didn’t make them an “un-enjoyable” read. Makes one wonder about all those “rules” that one must supposedly follow to be published by one of the “big houses”. They did seem to be, in some ways, very similar to one another, but then it was a themed collection so that may have been intentional. Once again my recent return to the genre hinders a real evaluation on plot. Perhaps that is the norm in the genre – especially in that type of collection. 

I was told by a long-time reader of westerns that this was NOT one of L’amour’s best because it was thrown together by his heirs to publish what had not been published and, well, cash in so to speak. Dunno if that is accurate. So I’ll have to continue sampling and include more modern samples also.

If my memory serves, and one can never count on that, I don’t believe these stories to have been nearly as enjoyable to read as some of the western novels I read when I was much younger. Now, to decide if that is true, I’ll have to read all those old Zane Grey books that, to save bookshelf space, I have packed away in a box somewhere and determine if my memory was correct or not.

Would I read it again? No.

If life provided a “do-over” (still knowing what I know now), would I buy and read this book? Probably not.

Anyone have any book/reading recommendations for Westerns?