For decades, generations of readers have shared their favorite passages of favorite Louis L'Amour novels and short stories: parents with their children, neighbors with their friends, executives with their staff and clergy with their congregations. They pass around dog-eared copies of the books, underlined and yellowing, recalling words that echoes in their readers' hearts and minds long after the last page was turned. Now, many of these selections have been collected in a remarkable volume representing some of the richest ore of the L'Amour lode: voices that heralded the settling of the frontier, of the man and women whose spirit and soul shaped our nation. In these words, Louis L'Amour describes the American experience, bringing our heritage to life, in ways no other author has.
No L'Amour reader has a more unique perspective on his work than Angelique, his only daughter. In an extraordinary feat for every Louis L'Amour fan, and in loving appreciation of her father, she has compiled A Trail of Memories: The Quotations of Louis L'Amour, drawn from her father's best-loved works of fiction, including the Sackett novels, Last of the Breed, The Walking Drum and nearly two dozen others.
"By reading his words, each reader has met a part of my father," she writes in her introduction. "Each hero has a bit of Dad's experience that makes him who he is. With Lanso, it is all those boxing matches as Dad grew up. With Barnabas Sackett, it is the sailor and explorer in my father...I think that this collection of quotations from my father's books reveals much of what makes Dad who he is, for these words are the heart and soul of what he believes, and what he wants to leave behind."
Angelique has selected nearly a thousand of her favorite, most powerful and poignant L'Amour quotationsarranged by category and annotated with the book in which it appearson more than a score of universal subjects such as: Love, Friendship and Loyalty; Family and Home; Honor, the Law and Justice; the Frontier; Women; and Men and Bravery. One such example from Sackett's Land: "He never knew when he was whippedso he never was."
A wonderful gift from a daughter to her fatherand from Angelique L'Amour to her father's readersA Trail of Memories: The Quotations of Louis L'Amour will be a cherished keepsake of words to enjoy, and words to live by.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Angelique L’Amour grew up in Los Angeles, California, but spent her summers in Colorado or traveling with her parents and her brother, Beau, doing research for her father’s books. Since junior high she has acted in plays and musicals and studied voice, and during that time she also began writing poetry, short stories, and music. She attended Pitzer College, where she majored in political science, history, and theater, and then went on to study journalism at the University of Southern California. Since leaving school she has continued to study voice and acting, and to write music. She has performed in theatrical productions in and around Los Angeles, and is actively pursuing a career as an actress and singer. But her love of writing, which she believes is “in her blood,” remains.
Read an Excerpt
by Angelique L’Amour
“You’ve heard him talk. He’s got a way about him, a way with words. He can make the temple bells tinkle for you, and you can just hear them big old elephants shuff-shuffling along, the priests callin’ folks to prayer and the like.”
The Lonesome Gods
Every morning from the time I was a little girl until I left for college I would sit down at the breakfast table with my father, my mother, and my older brother Beau, and Dad would read to us. It was a wonderful time of day. The books he read to us were generally ones he needed to read for his research, but there were others—biographies and histories and the H.M.S. Hornblower naval adventure series. There were also the times he read his own books to us. This didn’t happen too often, maybe six or seven times as I grew up. There was magic when he read his own words, for I believe he writes to be read aloud. Not many authors write prose so poetic that it is as easy to listen to as it is to read.
Because of this daily breakfast ritual, and my mother reading children’s books to me at night (“I read you the fun stuff,” she always said), I developed a love of books and reading, of language and learning. This is perhaps the single most important lesson I learned from my parents.
When I was very young Dad explained to me that he had a time machine in his office. Through books, he said, I could go anywhere at any time and be anyone at all without leaving the room. That is the magic of reading. It inspires the imagination. That is what he does in his books: He creates a time and a place and transports the reader there. His office is lined wall to wall and floor to ceiling with books—all of them opportunities to learn and experience life through words.
I remember as a little girl going into his office. He’d sit me down in his big black chair and tell me stories. Sometimes we’d both be characters in them, having some marvelous adventure together. Perhaps that is where my love for acting came from: playing a character in one of these stories. Listening to his exciting tales led me to see my father as quite a hero. Later, as I got older, I would hear stories about his own growing up, and I realized that in his own way my father was an adventurer as well as a hero. That is one of the reasons the fights in his books seem so real. I get the feeling Dad actually delivered and received those punches. Recently, he told me about times during his yondering days when he was walking through the mountains in Tibet. The trail had narrowed to three inches wide, with a couple-hundred-foot drop on one side, and he’d wondered just what in the world he was doing there. His early life seemed to us a series of adventures, not all of them fun. But Dad has said many times, “Adventure is just a romantic name for trouble.”
In part, I learned to read by watching and listening to my father. Starting from the time I could get out of a chair by myself, I would stand behind him and read over his shoulder. He would show me where he was on the page and I would follow along as he read aloud. Soon I started to read by myself.
When I first began to read my father’s books I read for pure enjoyment. Later, I finally understood what some of his fan mail had meant. Women who were raising children without husbands had written to him that they were raising their children on the teachings in his books. They’d told their sons that if they grew up to have the morals and values of his characters, they would be good men. Men to be proud of, men to shape the world.
Many of the things my father’s characters think are important to growing and learning are the beliefs Dad has tried to instill in both my brother and me. These ideas started jumping off the page at me as I read. Finally, I went to my father and read a few to him, and he told me about something that had happened to him a little while earlier. He had been invited as one of three writers to speak at a teachers’ conference. The moderator began introducing the first speaker by reading some quotes from one of the author’s books. The ideas expressed were intelligent and primarily about learning. Dad waited to find out who had written them and was surprised when he was introduced as the author of those words. He hadn’t remembered writing them, and until that point, hadn’t quite realized the magnitude of the lessons taught to his readers.
The quotations that follow are ones that have affected me and my life. They focus on things that my father stressed as important as I was growing up. They cover a broad range of topics, from learning and loving to self-defense and survival in the wilderness. My father made sure that my brother and I learned about survival at an early age, because we were always way out in the middle of nowhere on school vacations traveling with Dad while he did research for his books.
Many of my father’s readers have expressed an interest in his autobiography. But by reading his words, each reader has met a part of my father. Each hero has a bit of Dad’s experience that makes him who he is. With Lando it was all those boxing matches as Dad grew up. With Barnabas Sackett it is the sailor and explorer in my father. Each of his heroines has a bit of my mother in her. The romances in each story express love the way my father sees it, and sometimes love the way it is between my parents.
My father is a poet, so for that reason I chose some of the quotes for the sheer beauty of the words. Others I chose for what they teach us. My father always said that age is unimportant and that we should always listen to people and what they have to say because education is everywhere. The most important thing—along with love of learning and reading, he says—is always to head somewhere in your life, do something. You may decide to change direction, but at least you are being creative.
I think that this collection of quotations from my father’s books reveals much of what makes Dad who he is—in a very different way than his autobiography will—for these words are the heart and soul of what he believes and what he wants to leave behind—not only to Beau and myself, but to all his readers.
If man is to vanish from the earth, let him vanish in the moment of creation, when he is creating something new, opening a path to the tomorrow he may never see. It is man’s nature to reach out, to grasp for the tangible on the way to the intangible.
The Lonesome Gods
To challenge the fates, that is living! To ride the storm, to live daringly, to live nobly, not wasting one’s life in foolish, silly risks, or ruining the brain with too much wine, or with hashish!
The Walking Drum
Living a life is much like climbing mountains—the summits are always further off than you think, but when a man has a goal, he always feels he’s working toward something.
The Lonely Men
A man living off the country and in a land where there’s risk at every hand does not get much time to contemplate himself.… Each day is a day to live and in which to keep from dying, and a man’s energies are directed out from himself and his thoughts as well. Contemplation is a leisure indulgence. It is for a man in an armchair or beside a fire in his own house. It isn’t for a man whose every sense is attuned to sounds outside himself.
What is it that has made me happy? A deck beneath my feet, a horse between my knees, a sword in my hand, or a girl in my arms! These I have loved, and the horizon yonder, beyond which there is the unknown.
The Walking Drum
Life teaches us much of which we are not aware. Our senses perceive things that do not impinge upon our awareness, but they lie dormant within us and affect our recognition of people and conditions.
The Walking Drum
One can waste half a lifetime with people one doesn’t really like or doing things when one would be better off somewhere else.
Ride the River