I discovered this book through another, "A Thomas Jefferson Education" by Oliver Van DeMille. "The Lonesome Gods" is a story of an education, a story of survival, a story of vengeance, and a story of the desert. Johannes Verne's grandfather wants him dead, and he very nearly kills six-year-old Johannes, after murdering the boy's father. But Johannes survives and learns to thrive in the desert. In the process, he meets a number of interesting people (many of whom becomes mentors), learns about his family's past, unravels a mystery or two and always takes what he can from a situation, stashing away knowledge for future reference.
I've read this book twice, two of my kids have read it more than once, my husband has read it. It's a well-written story that is much deeper than a simple, rustlers-steal-cattle-cowboy-makes-them-pay tale. L'Amour obviously knows his subject matter; he creates wonderful, multi-faceted characters; and, with the first sentence or two, immediately draws you into the life of Johannes: "I sat very still, as befitted a small boy among strangers, staring wide-eyed into a world I did not know. I was six years old and my father was dying."
My one negative comment is this: L'Amour gets a little heavy-handed with the didactism. That, however, is a very small price to pay for such a compelling story.
An old book that shows it's been read a lot of times. It's one of Louis' most famous and is about boys life to manhood in spite of a grandfather that wants him dead. Johannes Verne learns the life of the old Indians of the desert and how to live and love.
A book to morph into your soul. This is a modern classic that is - in some cases - more readable for those who aren't especially avid. Don't want to take on War and Peace? This is the book for you. Very realistic, very accurate. I've ridden in country like this, and L'Amour knows how to write about it.
Reading is more than a hobby for me - it's a passion. I list reading in the same category as... breathing. Except for Westerns. Until I picked up "The Lonesome Gods" by Louis L'Amour.
This wonderfully detailed adventure draws us in immediately by introducing Johannes Vernes, a young boy traveling with his dying father across the desert. His father, whose bravery is legendary, is determined to find a home for his son before he becomes an orphan. Unfortunately, Johannes already has a lot to overcome - a long-standing family hatred threatens his future, the harsh desert threatens his survival, and his own youthful inexperience at times threatens his success.
L'Amour's love for writing this book showed clearly in his lush depictions: The development of California, the exotic but stark beauty of the desert, and the effort he put into bringing each character to life. This book felt so authentic and was such an enjoyable read. More Westerns please!
The Lonesome Gods is Louis L'Amour's biggest and most important historical novel to date, a sweeping adventure of the California frontier. Here is the fascinating story of Johannes Verne, a young man left to die by his vengeful grandfather, rescued by outlaws and raised in part by the Indians of the desert. Strengthened by the love of two women Miss Nesselrode, whose mysterious past fires her ambitions for the future and Meghan, a willful young beauty Verne grows to become a rugged adventurer, a man strong enough to embrace the awesome power of the Palm Springs desert, and bold enough to stake a claim in the bustling world of opportunity that was early-day Los Angeles.
A good read-The Lonesome Gods is one of his biggest and most important historical novels, a sweeping adventure of the California frontier. A young boy plods along through the desert alone, left to die by his vengeful grandfather. He is soon rescued by outlaws, but no one could save him from the lasting memory of his grandfathers eyes. Raised in part by indians, then befriended by a mysterious woman, he grows up to become a rugged adventurer and an educated man. The past rises up to threaten his future once more. This time only the ancient Gods of the desert can save him.