Yesterday was my father, Richard’s 79th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!! I have childhood memories of him reading Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey book all the time. In my mind, these books were “boy books”, so I never wanted to read them. I figured they would be filled with saloon girls, shooting, and cussing, so I never had any desire to read them. This is the reason I chose a Louis L’Amour book for my May “authors I’ve avoided” book. Let’s just say that I was pleasantly surprised.
The book that I chose to read was Tucker. I have to admit that I went to the paperback shelf at the Punta Gorda Public Library, where I work, and chose the smallest book out of our Louis L’Amour paperback collection. I just didn’t think I’d make it through a long, boring western and I didn’t want to fail to read another of my chosen authors (see previous post about trying to read Diana Gabaldon).
Shell Tucker and his father were just finished selling some cattle from their ranch as well as some for their neighbors. While heading back home, Shell and his father had a disagreement parted ways a short while. When he cooled down and went back to meet up with his father, Shell found him with a broken leg from falling off his spooked horse. His horse had been stolen, along with the money that they were bringing back to the neighbors. It seems that two of Shell’s “friends” Doc Sites and Kid Reese, whom his father did not approve of, had hooked up with an outlaw and stole the horse and money. When Shell’s father succumbed to his injuries, he decided that he had to follow the outlaws and get that money back, saving his father’s reputation as well as the ranch.
Shell follows Doc, Kid and Bob Heseltine through the South West, trying to get the money back. He puts so much pressure on the outlaws that they can’t even enjoy the money. Several times, Heseltine and his girl, Ruby, try to have Shell eliminated without success. Finally, Heseltine says he gives up and hands the money over to Shell and says to leave him alone. It looks like the worst is over, but Heseltine comes back and tries to kill Shell again, but he isn’t as fast as Shell. Finally, Shell has the money and can head back home.
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will be slipping a Louis L’Amour book into my reading schedule once in a while. It wasn’t overtly “guy”-ish. It was just a good story with well written characters. I’ve become a Louis L’Amour lover and I’m proud of it!
I hope you give a different author or genre a chance.
Thanks for reading!