Friday, September 18, 2015

Louis L’Amour. Galloway (1970)

     Louis L’Amour. Galloway (1970) A well done potboiler of a Western, with three narrative strands coming together in a satisfying resolution. Fagan Sackett narrates one of them, the other two tell of his brother searching for and finding him, and a distant cousin wandering onto the set because he’s heard some Sacketts are in trouble. The nub of the conflict is a struggle with the Dunns, a lawless bunch who’ve lived off rustling, but now want to settle down and ranch in the same good country that Fagan and Galloway Sackett have selected. But they want it all, and hire an assassin to pick off the Sacketts one by one. Simplified characters, the usual L’Amour sense of place, and of course the unattainable woman as the prize for the hero.
     The book reads like an adaptation of a scenario. The switching from Fagan to other narrators feels like “Meanwhile, back at the ranch”, Fagan’s story is told in a series of set pieces, etc. It’s L’Amour’s ability to  put you into the scene that saves this book from mere formula. **½

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