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To The Far Blue Mountains (1977)

To the Far Blue Mountains (1977)

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4.08 of 5 Votes: 4
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0553276883 (ISBN13: 9780553276886)
bantam books

About book To The Far Blue Mountains (1977)

My expectations were high when I picked up my first L'Amour novel. Higher than they ought to have been, it turns out, as I was fairly disappointed. First, the mitigating factors: I listened to this as an audio book. I find that I tend to rate some audio books lower than I might have had I read them in the traditional manner. Reading aloud - which at a rough estimate takes 3 to 5 times as long as my silent pace - often exacerbates if not exaggerates problems in pace, dialog, and etc. A bad narrator can also ruin an otherwise decent book; in this case the fellow was perfectly competent, and I had no real difficulty with the undefinable accent (Mild Scot mixed with British?!) he used for the first-person character, although I occasionally groaned at his Indian and Arab accents. His pacing wasn't great, and there were times when it was clear he hadn't read ahead in the paragraph far enough to provide the appropriate nuance to a statement. (Contrast the narrator of Terry Pratchett's novels for a counter-example: Pratchett is amazing to begin with, but the narrator probably Adds a star to any book he reads.) All that said, here's why I still really believe this book deserves only two stars1) I could never buy the main character. By his actions, a swashbuckling hero of legendary proportions, capable of commanding men, wooing fair maidens, sailing a ship, shooting an Indian, and building a log palisade as the situation dictates. But by his internal dialog, an incurable romantic prone to long bursts of (bad) poetic observations and flights of angsty introspection that go no-where ("Would I ever see England again? Oh well, now it's time for pirates") Clearly the author is attempting to convey the deep and conflicting emotions associated with leaving one's homeland and building a new life. He just doesn't pull it off for me. 2) The dialog is frequently stilted and unbelievable - again, the characters seem to speak out loud as if they think they are poets. It grated a lot. 3) For all the adventure - much of it a wee bit unbelievable - there was shockingly little detail on mechanics. How a colony was supplied, what tools were needed, what they could make, what they had to carry. How they believed that 3 or 4 on their own could maintain acres of crops and defend a palisade. Where the heck all those single men *thought* they were going to find wives, for goodness sake. Admittedly, my preferences lie towards books in the vein of the "Cross Time Engineer" series, or perhaps David Weber's Safehold series, where one is practically buried in detail on pretty much everything from the manufacture of gun powder to the mechanics of a water wheel. Still... There were a few redeeming factors for me. The adventure was occasionally compelling. And I appreciated the main character's commentary on the inevitability of conquest, territorial expansion by the strongest, and whatever. L'Amour clearly does not subscribe to the Disney's Pocahontas-style "Oh I am so ashamed to be White" school of historical fiction. :} But overall, it was a disappointment. I can't say I'll be eagerly seeking out more L'Amour novels (and certainly not audio-format ones), at least until my reading list gets Really low!

To the Far Blue Mountains is the second book in the saga of the Sackett family as told by Louis L'Amour. This book has it all—adventure, intrigue, romance, mystery.... There are pirates, Indians, villains, heroes, damsels in distress, sword-fighting, broadsides, etc. L'Amour covers a lot of ground in this novel and quickly. What I mean is this is one of those books you don't want to put down. When you get to the end of a chapter, you want to read more, so you go on to the next chapter and the next....If you've read Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, and recall when the hobbits were being chased by the black riders, then you'll feel right at home with this book. I often recalled Fellowship as I read this book—it has that element of the chase and mystery about it.If, like me, you've read the Lonesome Dove quartet and were disappointed when it ended and were looking for another "saga" to replace it, then look no further than the Sackett saga. There are 18 novels in the Sackett story:*Sackett's Land*To the Far Blue MountainsThe Warrior's PathJubal SackettRide the River*The Daybreakers*SackettLandoMojave CrossingMustang ManThe Lonely MenGallowayTreasure MountainLonely on the MountainRide the Dark TrailThe Sackett BrandThe Sky–LinersThe Man From the Broken HillsI've starred the titles that I've read—I've got a lot of reading ahead of me!As one reads through a L'Amour novel, and this is one of my favorite things about him, one discovers little gems of dialogue or narrative that speak so true to life. Here are some examples from To the Far Blue Mountains:...for pride of title or family is an empty thing, like dry leaves that blow in the cold winds of autumn." many men in Britain today would sail for America? How many do you know that have lurked in the towns, hiding or moving from place to place rather than try a new land? They hide from change. They fear it. We do not."Yet each move one makes is a risk, and if one thinks too long one does not move at all, for fear of what may come, and so becomes immobile, crouched in a shell, fearful of any move."You don't think marriage is serious?""Of course, I do. It is the ultimate test of maturity, and many find excuses for avoiding it because they know they are not up to the challenge, or capable of carrying on a mature relationship."For land beyond the mountains is ever a dream and a challenge, and each generation needs that, that dream of some far–off place to go.It was a serious fault, and I'd worked hard at controlling myself, for giving away to anger is a weakness in a man.I won't go into the plot and those kind of details, as they can be found elsewhere, including Amazon.I will say that it was with a bit of sadness that I finished the book. It was the same feeling I had when I finished the Lonesome Dove series as described above. Kind of like an old friend leaving and you're not sure when he will return.In other words, I recommend this book. It was a worthy successor to Sackett's Land and I'm sure that The Warrior's Path will be just as fine, if not better. Happy reading!

Do You like book To The Far Blue Mountains (1977)?

I do love almost all of Louis L'Amour's books. They've helped me understand one of my brothers in particular and all men in general. Not that all men are like his heroes, but he does include all kinds of men in his books, and he is not wrong in his portrayal of their varying differences. I beg to differ with some readers who say that all of his heroes are the same, they are not. The hero in this particular story is like none other, vastly different from his own sons, he is the quintessential masterpiece hero, bar none. I think I love him so much, because I see qualities in Barnabas Sackett that are in my brothers, my father, my grandfathers and my sons. If you took all of my male relatives and put them in a blender, you would probably end up with something very similar to Barnabas Sackett. Well,and only if I dropped off my blended relative into the great unknown of the Northern part of America before there was much colonization.The story itself can get boring at times, personally I like Sackett's Land better than this one. I just don't like so much descriptive filler that goes on and on. I admire the author for he sure knows his terrain and it seems he even knows every single tree on a first name basis, but it is just too much for me. I end up skipping a lot of it in order to get back into the story.As I said before, I give this book the full 5 stars because of Barnabas Sackett. I would not think twice about following him anywhere he wanted to take me. Please, no derogatory comments about him not wanting to take me anywhere. That's the beauty of fiction, a person gets to fantasize a little.
—Aslaug Gørbitz

I have started the Sackett series because I know so many people that have enjoyed L'Amour's extensive writings. Since he has sold over 300 million books there can't be much that I can say in the way of support. This is the second of the series about his journeys to the new world around 1600. They are fun books to read when you just need a break from a series of long, tedious, but worthwhile books. I get a kick out of some reviews however, with their revisionist history, sitting at their computer typing away, but they don't have a tomahawk flying by their head. I don't condone the Huns, or the Vikings, or Uganda, or Kosovo, or North Korea, or Somalia, or the Crusaders or the Anglo-Saxons or some of the sins of this country. However, people being unfair to others happened and continues to happen. You can write a book of fiction about it or you can write a review and make yourself feel better.

My dad loves all his books and I read over a hundred while staving off the night terrors when growing up.It is a strange fact about the old west, Indians, and the genocidal take over of the land now called the United States that fiction writing about them is often taken for truth (see Ward Churchill's Fantasies of the Master Race). The back of almost every L'amour novel lauds his knowledge of "how it really was" and the fact that he could've been one of the tough, honorable, lonely fighting men he wrote about. This is complete crap. L'amour was a seller of fantasy, of lies, and of ideals that white men like to think they possess. He uses Indians simultaneously as "noble warriors" and "bloodthirsty savages" and justifies the take over of their land with the old "their time was passing..." illogic--as if there wasn't an agent behind their passing. Reading one of his novels, one gets the feeling he never did any research required of historical novels. Details are always vague. Little reference is made to historical events, ways of doing things, or period details that would lend credence to his imaginings. His stories could just as easily been set on Mars for all the research that shows through his writing. But Americans are already disposed to believing all this romantic Old West bullshit, so you don't have to try very hard. When a writer taps into our national myths, they don't have to be accurate or true, because most of our national myths are lies already believed.
—Ryan Mishap

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