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The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour, Volume 2: Frontier Stories

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With more than 120 titles still in print, Louis L'Amour is recognized the world over as one of the most prolific and popular American authors in history. Though he met with phenomenal success in every genre he tried, the form that put him on the map was the short story. Now this great writer – who The Wall Street Journal recently compared with Jack London and Robert Louis With more than 120 titles still in print, Louis L'Amour is recognized the world over as one of the most prolific and popular American authors in history. Though he met with phenomenal success in every genre he tried, the form that put him on the map was the short story. Now this great writer – who The Wall Street Journal recently compared with Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson – will receive his due as a great storyteller. This volume kicks off a series that will, when complete, anthologize all of L'Amour’s short fiction, volume by handsome volume. Here, in Volume Two, is a treasure-trove of 35 frontier tales for his millions of fans and for those who have yet to discover L'Amour’s thrilling prose – and his vital role in capturing the spirit of the Old West for generations to come.


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With more than 120 titles still in print, Louis L'Amour is recognized the world over as one of the most prolific and popular American authors in history. Though he met with phenomenal success in every genre he tried, the form that put him on the map was the short story. Now this great writer – who The Wall Street Journal recently compared with Jack London and Robert Louis With more than 120 titles still in print, Louis L'Amour is recognized the world over as one of the most prolific and popular American authors in history. Though he met with phenomenal success in every genre he tried, the form that put him on the map was the short story. Now this great writer – who The Wall Street Journal recently compared with Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson – will receive his due as a great storyteller. This volume kicks off a series that will, when complete, anthologize all of L'Amour’s short fiction, volume by handsome volume. Here, in Volume Two, is a treasure-trove of 35 frontier tales for his millions of fans and for those who have yet to discover L'Amour’s thrilling prose – and his vital role in capturing the spirit of the Old West for generations to come.

30 review for The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour, Volume 2: Frontier Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Werner

    Note, Dec. 8, 2020: When I read short story collections intermittently over a long period of time, my reactions are similarly written piecemeal, while they're fresh in my mind. That gives the reviews a choppy, and often repetitive, quality. Recently, I had to condense and rearrange one of these into a unified whole because of Goodreads' length limit; and I was so pleased with the result that I decided to give every one of these a similar edit! Accordingly, I've now edited this one. I consider the Note, Dec. 8, 2020: When I read short story collections intermittently over a long period of time, my reactions are similarly written piecemeal, while they're fresh in my mind. That gives the reviews a choppy, and often repetitive, quality. Recently, I had to condense and rearrange one of these into a unified whole because of Goodreads' length limit; and I was so pleased with the result that I decided to give every one of these a similar edit! Accordingly, I've now edited this one. I consider the three volumes of the Frontier Stories to be a single large work., and have read all three. This volume contains 29 stories, and is very similar in style and outlook, and in the consistently high quality of the storytelling, to the first volume; most of my general comments in my review of that one (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ) would be applicable here as well. It can also be said that a number of these stories involve hidden culprits, with plots that make use of very real mystery genre elements (L'Amour also wrote some mystery fiction, such as The Hills of Homicide, although his Westerns are the best-known part of his corpus); so the hero's task often may be much more cerebral than simply to out-draw and out-aim his opponents in a gun fight. Of the 29 stories here, 18 feature one of L'Amour's series characters, the straight-shooting Texas Ranger Chick Bowdrie; these include Bowdrie's origin story, "McNelly Knows a Ranger." So we get to know Bowdrie pretty well here. An appealing feature of many of the stories are that the author's characters on the wrong side of the law may be nuanced figures --they're not necessarily one-dimensional incarnations of evil. Another element of the appeal is the note of clean, low-key romance there often is in many of these yarns, as in Vol. 1 (though not in the Bowdrie stories; Chick considers his occupation a disqualifier for marriage and family life, although he sometimes regards the fairer sex wistfully), with worthy men and women sizing up each other's mettle quietly and unobtrusively, and then following up straightforwardly. L'Amour handles action scenes effectively, but action is subordinate to the human element in the tales, as it should be; and he writes at times with a note of dry humor that doesn't take over the book, but leavens it a bit. As usual, it wasn't easy to pick a favorite here; the stories are too uniform in quality for that. But mine would probably be the lead story of the volume, "Law of the Desert Born." That was also one that had one of the most unpredictable denouements; and "Horse Heaven" was another tale that went in a direction I didn't anticipate. "Strawhouse Trail" is perhaps the Bowdrie story that's most effective in surprising the reader. My reaction to this volume was just as positive and enthusiastic as it was to the first one; these are excellent tales, crafted by a master!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    After reading two volumes of these stories to my father in law, I'll admit I'm becoming a bit fatigued with the Louis L'Amour cookie cutter. He loves each and every story we read though, so full speed ahead to Volume Three! After reading two volumes of these stories to my father in law, I'll admit I'm becoming a bit fatigued with the Louis L'Amour cookie cutter. He loves each and every story we read though, so full speed ahead to Volume Three!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Dearden

    Addictive The short stories remind me of the hard-boiled detective novels and short stories. It makes me want to wander into the desert of Texas and build a cabin.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Bruni

    L'Amour was a very reliable writer. While he rarely did anything above-and-beyond, he never did anything that was merely par for the course. However, almost all of these stories are about Chick Bowdrie, and I really can't get into his character. He didn't connect with me on any level. Aside from his name, he's too bland, a cowboy hero like any other in the world of fiction. Of course, the stories are very well written. It was just that I couldn't get past the plainness of the main character. L'Amour was a very reliable writer. While he rarely did anything above-and-beyond, he never did anything that was merely par for the course. However, almost all of these stories are about Chick Bowdrie, and I really can't get into his character. He didn't connect with me on any level. Aside from his name, he's too bland, a cowboy hero like any other in the world of fiction. Of course, the stories are very well written. It was just that I couldn't get past the plainness of the main character.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chuck

    To put it simply, not Mr L'Amour's best effort. Most of these stories lacked the vivid description of the western locales that he is so good at bringing to life and were simply short stories about a lone cowboy that was either quicker or smarter than the rest of the crowd. To put it simply, not Mr L'Amour's best effort. Most of these stories lacked the vivid description of the western locales that he is so good at bringing to life and were simply short stories about a lone cowboy that was either quicker or smarter than the rest of the crowd.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Norman Felchle

    I'll admit this was no better or worse than the other volume I gave four stars. It's still everything I wanted from the book ( simple, to the point dusty, sun baked cowboy yarns)...but...I have to admit to the limitations of the stories. A lot of clichés . Most are harmless and...actually kind of fun...but some are cringe inducing , like dangerous Indians and half-breeds who always seem to be bad guys. It wasn't so all pervasive that it killed the stories...but, it's here and there, seldom , if e I'll admit this was no better or worse than the other volume I gave four stars. It's still everything I wanted from the book ( simple, to the point dusty, sun baked cowboy yarns)...but...I have to admit to the limitations of the stories. A lot of clichés . Most are harmless and...actually kind of fun...but some are cringe inducing , like dangerous Indians and half-breeds who always seem to be bad guys. It wasn't so all pervasive that it killed the stories...but, it's here and there, seldom , if ever , the focal point of the story...but...still there.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael Reilly

    Another entertaining collection of L'Amour stories, although the variety isn't as broad as in the first volume. Many of the stories are tales featuring Texas Ranger Chick Bowdrie – unfortunately, a number of them feature similar set-ups and plotlines, and a few are a little bland. Bowdrie is an interesting character but he's not the most charismatic western hero, and only the better of his tales were genuinely memorable. Regardless, the best here is still worthy of your time, and I'm certainly k Another entertaining collection of L'Amour stories, although the variety isn't as broad as in the first volume. Many of the stories are tales featuring Texas Ranger Chick Bowdrie – unfortunately, a number of them feature similar set-ups and plotlines, and a few are a little bland. Bowdrie is an interesting character but he's not the most charismatic western hero, and only the better of his tales were genuinely memorable. Regardless, the best here is still worthy of your time, and I'm certainly keen to read more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark Pasquini

    Bulk of the stories had Chick Bowdrie as the main character. He is L'Amour's Texas Ranger detective. A combination of the traditional western and clue-finding Philip Marlowe-type investigator. Enjoyed the change from the traditional Shoot-em-up. These are some of his early stuff, I think, but readable. Recommended. Bulk of the stories had Chick Bowdrie as the main character. He is L'Amour's Texas Ranger detective. A combination of the traditional western and clue-finding Philip Marlowe-type investigator. Enjoyed the change from the traditional Shoot-em-up. These are some of his early stuff, I think, but readable. Recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Lee Wood

    CHICK BOWDRIE IS IN TOWN Great 👍 Great stories of the Western Frontier. Chick Bowdrie, Texas Ranger and other aliases Chick Bowdrie used carrying out his assignments. Again another GREAT FAST MOVING NOVELLAS, that everyone will enjoy.. Louis L'Amour's western adventures are great. They draw you into the prairie drama taking place and you feel the heat of the bullet that just barely missed hitting you. What about the food they consume especially the peach cobblers, 🍎Apple pies and bear claws, aka do CHICK BOWDRIE IS IN TOWN Great 👍 Great stories of the Western Frontier. Chick Bowdrie, Texas Ranger and other aliases Chick Bowdrie used carrying out his assignments. Again another GREAT FAST MOVING NOVELLAS, that everyone will enjoy.. Louis L'Amour's western adventures are great. They draw you into the prairie drama taking place and you feel the heat of the bullet that just barely missed hitting you. What about the food they consume especially the peach cobblers, 🍎Apple pies and bear claws, aka doughnuts. How about those drowning rains beating you and your horse as you search for shelter. Yes, you feel, sense all of these, Oh yes, don't forget those waterless alkali basins and the overhead sun drying you out, until you find the next waterhole ten miles away..hopefully

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ester Abaco

    Short stories vol2 Louis L'Amour I chose 4stars because the stories were good and not great. Usually L'Amours books are great. Looking forward to reading more books by Louis L'Amour. Short stories vol2 Louis L'Amour I chose 4stars because the stories were good and not great. Usually L'Amours books are great. Looking forward to reading more books by Louis L'Amour.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Oleta Blaylock

    I have been reading Loui L'Amour's books for most of my adult life. My Mom started me reading his novels and I was hooked. This is the first of the short story books that I have read and I enjoyed it very much. Most of the book is short stories about a Texas Ranger named Chick Bowdrie. I loved each and every one of them. I give this book my highest recommendation. If you need a book to take on vacation or a business trip this is the book. I am looking forward to reading the other collection of s I have been reading Loui L'Amour's books for most of my adult life. My Mom started me reading his novels and I was hooked. This is the first of the short story books that I have read and I enjoyed it very much. Most of the book is short stories about a Texas Ranger named Chick Bowdrie. I loved each and every one of them. I give this book my highest recommendation. If you need a book to take on vacation or a business trip this is the book. I am looking forward to reading the other collection of short stories that are available.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Terry Yaceyko

    This was an unexpected delight. Our local library was shut down because of Covid 2, so I was reading through my own bookshelves. I had got vol. 1 and 2 of Louis L'Amours short stories, but hadn't read them yet. What a lovely read. Great stories. Big book. This was an unexpected delight. Our local library was shut down because of Covid 2, so I was reading through my own bookshelves. I had got vol. 1 and 2 of Louis L'Amours short stories, but hadn't read them yet. What a lovely read. Great stories. Big book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Thirty short stories involving, cowpokes, rustlers, killers, gunmen, womenfolk, mining towns, open ranges, Texas Rangers, horses, cattle, fistfights, guns a blazing in shootouts and much more in the American West and its frontier in this collection.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    I loved reading this BIG book, as Chuck put it in his review..."simply short stories about a lone cowboy that was either quicker or smarter than the rest of the crowd." I loved reading this BIG book, as Chuck put it in his review..."simply short stories about a lone cowboy that was either quicker or smarter than the rest of the crowd."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Koen

    James Bond in the Wild West - as ludicrous as delightful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    Liked the stories with Chick Bowdrie in them.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matt Pitts

    Mostly stories of Chick Bowdrie. Good collection.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    L'Amour is a great storyteller. These stories, although pretty much the same, were all interesting and exciting. It's like reading John Grisham or Clive Cussler. Hard to put down. It's light reading Western stories. Ever see the Lone Ranger on TV? It's the same - morality plays. The bad guy gets killed in the end in a gun fight, usually by a Texas Ranger. Also, there is a young blond female in 27 of the 32 stories. There was one redhead and one brunette; the brunette was a bad guy. Lots of fistf L'Amour is a great storyteller. These stories, although pretty much the same, were all interesting and exciting. It's like reading John Grisham or Clive Cussler. Hard to put down. It's light reading Western stories. Ever see the Lone Ranger on TV? It's the same - morality plays. The bad guy gets killed in the end in a gun fight, usually by a Texas Ranger. Also, there is a young blond female in 27 of the 32 stories. There was one redhead and one brunette; the brunette was a bad guy. Lots of fistfights and fast draw gunfights. I loved it. Lots of suffering in the elements - deserts, snowstorms in the mountains, etc. Lots of details about tracking riders on horses. Lots of beef jerky. I don't mean to be a snob. I really enjoyed this book and other L'Amour books I have read. I will read more.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    I've always been partial to Louis L'Amour, boilerplate though they may be. It takes me back to a time (if there ever was such a time) when the bad guys and the good guys were clearly distinguished, when the good guys all held womanhood in high value, honesty and integrity and hard work characterized them, and they were both humble and strong. Nothing like the "anti-heroes" so often found in today's novels and movies. These short stories are characteristically L'Amour. If you are a L'Amour fan, y I've always been partial to Louis L'Amour, boilerplate though they may be. It takes me back to a time (if there ever was such a time) when the bad guys and the good guys were clearly distinguished, when the good guys all held womanhood in high value, honesty and integrity and hard work characterized them, and they were both humble and strong. Nothing like the "anti-heroes" so often found in today's novels and movies. These short stories are characteristically L'Amour. If you are a L'Amour fan, you'll like them. If not, don't bother.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gomez Slomas

    Old McNelly knew a Texas Ranger, and his name was Chick Bowdrie This is the first of the Frontier volumes I've read so far as of 2012, and yes like I've pointed out, over half of it is tales about the Texas lawman. I love all collected short story books, you can read them from cover to back over and over and never get tired, or just pick a story at random. One of my favorite western authors, Mr L'Amour knows how to tell a story and this book is a good example of his style Old McNelly knew a Texas Ranger, and his name was Chick Bowdrie This is the first of the Frontier volumes I've read so far as of 2012, and yes like I've pointed out, over half of it is tales about the Texas lawman. I love all collected short story books, you can read them from cover to back over and over and never get tired, or just pick a story at random. One of my favorite western authors, Mr L'Amour knows how to tell a story and this book is a good example of his style

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jeffery

    Most of the stories in this volume are about Chic Bowdrie a Texas ranger lawmen. I love his style of writing anyway so of course I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes westerns. L'amour knows the history of of the westward movement in the U.S. so even though these are fictional stories they are not to much different than what people actually experienced. Most of the stories in this volume are about Chic Bowdrie a Texas ranger lawmen. I love his style of writing anyway so of course I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes westerns. L'amour knows the history of of the westward movement in the U.S. so even though these are fictional stories they are not to much different than what people actually experienced.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Blackerby

    A great collection of short stories. I had read a few of the stories in Volume 1, but none in Volume 2. Texas Ranger Chick Bowdrie is one of my favorite L'Amour characters and about 2/3 of Volume 2 are Chick Bowdrie stories I had never read. Loved it. A great collection of short stories. I had read a few of the stories in Volume 1, but none in Volume 2. Texas Ranger Chick Bowdrie is one of my favorite L'Amour characters and about 2/3 of Volume 2 are Chick Bowdrie stories I had never read. Loved it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    RA Ratterman

    Fabulous listening for the commuter. I thoroughly enjoyed each tales - well enacted. Overall, a good book for the researcher and enthusiast. Read for personal research - found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs. Fabulous listening for the commuter. I thoroughly enjoyed each tales - well enacted. Overall, a good book for the researcher and enthusiast. Read for personal research - found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    This book was my first experience with reading Louis L'Amour, and found myself wondering why I've never read his works before! The stories are engaging; my favorites were "The Ghosts of Buckskin Run" and "The Killer from the Pecos." I will definitely be reading more L'Amour books in the future. This book was my first experience with reading Louis L'Amour, and found myself wondering why I've never read his works before! The stories are engaging; my favorites were "The Ghosts of Buckskin Run" and "The Killer from the Pecos." I will definitely be reading more L'Amour books in the future.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ed Laundy

    Typical Louis L'amour. Lots of action, realistic characters. Good book to spend a rainy evening with. Typical Louis L'amour. Lots of action, realistic characters. Good book to spend a rainy evening with.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    An ok collection of short story westerns. Not my favorite, just ok.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel Spencer

    When you're desert thirsty for right winning over wrong, for strong men in a hard land, for justice and mercy, guns and fists, and wisps of romance, L'Amour quenches in just a few easy pages. When you're desert thirsty for right winning over wrong, for strong men in a hard land, for justice and mercy, guns and fists, and wisps of romance, L'Amour quenches in just a few easy pages.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danni

    I got this book through a library valentines program. This book was just not something I was interested in.

  29. 5 out of 5

    A Turtles Nest Book Reviews

    Five Stars! Anything by Louis L'Amour I will rate 5 Stars. Love everything he writes; gave me a new respect and appreciation for the Frontier Days! Five Stars! Anything by Louis L'Amour I will rate 5 Stars. Love everything he writes; gave me a new respect and appreciation for the Frontier Days!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Annalise

    A great collection of short western stories to read. I believe there are 8 books in the set. I started reading these after learning Louis L'Amour was my fathers favorite westerns writer. A great collection of short western stories to read. I believe there are 8 books in the set. I started reading these after learning Louis L'Amour was my fathers favorite westerns writer.

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