I finally finished the Louis L'Amour book, The Lonesome Gods. I enjoyed it as much as I do any of the L'Amour books every time I read them.
I've heard criticisms of L'Amour's writing from different sources but I have to think they stemmed only from sour grapes. They say his characters are too idealistic and too unrealistic. but I'm enough of an idealist that I think strong figures are direly needed in American society today. I love the southwest and L'Amour does such a careful and specific job of describing the country and its people and wild life that I only need to close my eyes to smell the sage brush and sand. Some times I don't even have to close my eyes. L'Amour's language is like that of the ancient Greek story tellers idealistic, poetic. epic.
The Lonesome Gods details the growing up years of a young boy ophaned at about ten years old. His father had known he was dying with tuberculous and took care to teach the boy as much as possible about personal integrity and surviving in a harsh world. The child's grandfather, a haughty old Spanish don hadn't approved of hsi daughter marrying an anglo. His solution was to set out and kill the man who dared defy him. The young couple had fled from old California to the east where they lived until the woman's death and the father's tuberculosis drove them back to the southwest.
But in returning the father took a chance on having his son accepted by the bitter grandfather. Surely the man could not deny an innocent child! When Johannes, their son, was ten the old man murdered his father and abandoned the boy in the desert. The Lonesome Gods is the story of his survival against almost impossible odds. Hs father had raised him to have confidence in himself and to overcome fear in order to survive.
In times of extreme danger and hard times, the boy would repeat to himself like a mantra, "I am Jahannes Verne and I am not afraid."
Good book. Read it if you get a chance.