The Quick and the Dead

The Quick and the Dead

by Louis L'Amour
4.3 12

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The Quick and the Dead by Louis L'Amour

When Duncan McKaskel decided to move his family west, he knew he would face dangers, and he was prepared for them. He knew about the exhausting terrain, and he was expecting the punishing elements. What he worried about was having to use violence against other men—men who would follow him and try to steal the riches that he didn’t even possess.

Yet bandits were only part of McKaskel’s worries. For a mysterious stranger, Con Vallian, had appeared one night and saved his life. But was Vallian’s true interest Duncan’s wife, Susanna? And, more important, how did she feel about him?

As they push on into the wilderness, Duncan must discover who is the greater threat—the thieves outside his camp or the enigmatic stranger within.…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553899597
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/03/2004
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 120,594
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Louis L’Amour is undoubtedly the bestselling frontier novelist of all time. He is the only American-born author in history to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal in honor of his life's work. He has published ninety novels; twenty-seven short-story collections; two works of nonfiction; a memoir, Education of a Wandering Man; and a volume of poetry, Smoke from This Altar. There are more than 300 million copies of his books in print worldwide.

Date of Birth:

March 22, 1908

Date of Death:

June 10, 1988

Place of Birth:

Jamestown, North Dakota



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Quick and the Dead 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“The Quick and the Dead” is one of many novels by Louis L’Amour (1908-1988). Known as America’s frontier writer, the majority of his novels are about the people and challenges of frontier life and settling the American West. This story is set in the Midwest then into Colorado, presumably a few years after the Civil War, when settlers were heading west, deeper into the frontier to create new lives, better lives for themselves and their families. L’Amour’s aim is to highlight the struggles and challenges encountered by one family who dared to settle the frontier, whether they are internal struggles between right and wrong, success and failure or outward struggles against other men, the Indians, nature itself or civility and lawlessness. The story is relevant to today’s struggles and challenges faced by many, who like the people in these novels, desire better lives for their families and a fresh start at their American Dream. The action is the westward trek made by Duncan McKaskel, his wife Susanna and son Tom. Deciding to move his family west, Duncan knew of the dangers he would encounter, the difficult and unforgiving terrain and weather. He was prepared for them, yet what worried him was the likelihood of having to use violence against other men. After breaking away from the wagon train of other settlers, they encounter trouble with a small group of bandits in a small shanty-town, who desire to have Duncan’s horses, riches they believe are in his wagon and his wife. A mysterious stranger, Con Vallian, approaches their camp one evening and saves Duncan’s life. Duncan is uncomfortable and not sure what to make of this stranger. Is he a man to be trusted in this untamed and lawless land? Or is his interest in Duncan’s wife, Susanna? Pushing further into the unknown wilderness, Duncan, an educated man of the East, slowly realizes he is uneducated in the ways of frontier living and survival. This adds to his discomfort and highlights his internal struggle with his self-confidence as a man who can defend, protect and provide for his family and his external struggle against bandits, the elements and Con, who may or may not be an ally. With each mile travelled westward, Duncan listens and absorbs all that Con Vallian speaks of concerning survival, whether it’s hunting, Indians, tracking game, or the best place to set up camp. Slowly and methodically Duncan rises to the challenges and faces them head on, as does Susanna and Tom. He is gaining his self-confidence in this new environment and coming to terms with the ‘law of the gun’ that rules as civility in a lawless land. He grows comfortable with who he is and who he has become in order to survive in the frontier. Duncan may be viewed as a hero. Or, he may be viewed as a man who has done what had to be done for himself, his family, for their survival in an untamed and often unforgiving land. Although the story is set in a time when America was young and the ‘wild west’ served as the birthplace of the legends of cowboys and gunslingers, the struggles and challenges faced by many could be similar to those faced by many today. Will a man or woman allow the ‘bandits’ of today to rob them of their dreams, their passions or their goals? Will that man or woman be beaten and battered by the storms of this life and choose not to stay the course towards a better life? Or will they rise to the challenge, face their enemies of fear, doubt and impossibility to continue into their ‘frontier’ of destiny? This is an inspiring story that has the reader rooting for the McKaskel family. It is a story of adversity, struggle, character growth, adaptation and overcoming the odds that can be applied to a person’s life today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good read
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I read the book and saw the movie.  I suggest reading the book first as the movie will spoil the book.
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