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The Broken Gun

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,499 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Ninety years ago the Toomey brothers, along with twenty-five other men and four thousand head of cattle, vanished en route to Arizona. When writer and historian Dan Sheridan is invited to the missing brothers’ ranch by its current owner, he jumps at the chance. The visit fits right in with his plan to solve the century-old mystery—but it turns out that his host isn’t a fan ...more
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Published January 25th 2011 by Random House Audio (first published January 1966)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,976)
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Natalie
Feb 28, 2012 Natalie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
Oh Louis L'amour...I used to always make fun of people that read Louis L'amour, but now I very proudly admit that I belong to that club. They are just fun, pure and simple fun. The writing is quick and the stories perfectly western. I suppose it's not that surprising that I like Louis L'amour, growing up with John Wayne had me primed and ready to fall in love with western reading.


This book was a little different then the others I've read. I it was set in "present times" which, for L'amour, was
...more
Rob Smith
Mar 02, 2015 Rob Smith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
I see a well illustrated old west themed cover to a Louis L'Amour book, the title 'The Broken Gun' and I plunge into a novel that instantly confuses me. It takes a few pages to realize when in time this novel falls. There is no mention of it. There is a mention of 90 years before...but, before what?

By the third page the Korean War is mentioned.

Involving stroytelling, time should be established in some way off the top if a story about different time periods is being unraveled. Instead L'Amour le
...more
Monica Willyard
Oct 08, 2015 Monica Willyard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshare, nls
Sometimes you really need to see the good guys win. The action in this book is fast-paced, tough, and smart. Yes, parts of it are probably beyond belief. It was fun anyway.
Ed
Aug 16, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, western, mystery
This 1966 western is an unusual offering from author L'Amour being set in the present. An author finds a 90 year old diary fragment and investigates what happened to the diary author. This novel was very loosely made into a movie, Cancel My Reservation (1972) starring Bob Hope.

Western - Ninety years ago the Toomey brothers, along with twenty-five other men and four thousand head of cattle, vanished en route to Arizona. When writer and historian Dan Sheridan is invited to the missing brothers' ra
...more
Claire
Mar 18, 2014 Claire rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I tried to like this book, but I just didn't. I don't know if it's a personal issue - I'm not particularly a fan of Westerns so I am not well read in the genre. Or honestly it could just be a weak book. I'm leaning more towards the latter.

Broken Gun tells the story of writer/historian/Korean War veteran Dan Sheridan, who buys an old broken gun in a pawn shop and finds part of a ninety year old journal wrapped up and stuck inside the barrel. Curiosity piqued, Sheridan decides to investigate the j
...more
Steve Chaput
Apr 04, 2014 Steve Chaput rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a bit different from the usual Louis L'Amour, as it's a contemporary Western. Dan Sheridan is a writer and historian of the Old West. While visiting Arizona to research a possible new book he finds that a man who had wanted to meet with has been killed. Shortly thereafter he is invited by a local rancher to visit his home, which happens to be the last known whereabouts of the Toomey Bros., whose mysterious disappearance some ninety years before Sheridan was looking into. All too soon, th ...more
Laura Verret
Dan Sheridan could have been a cattleman or a ranch owner. Instead, he became a soldier, blasted his way through Vietnam, and returned home a writer and historian. A popular novelist, he is always looking for a fresh plot. When he stumbles across several pages from a ninety-year-old diary, he discovers just the plot he needs.

The Toomey brothers, who traveled west nearly a hundred years before, vanished as they passed through Arizona. It is a scrap from John Toomey’s journal – written before his
...more
Rick Bavera
I am not a fan of westerns--movies or books--in part because of the stereotypes that tend to be found in them, in part because the stories seem to be told to a formula. And "formula" shouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, I guess....I read a lot of "popular" fiction, which is often "formula" too.

I will also admit that I have read only a few westerns over the years....because I am not crazy about the genre in general, in addition to the reasons stated above.

Saying that, I actually whizzed through
...more
Matthew McDill
"The Broken Gun" is a fun and quick read. It is one of L'Amours less common stories set in the 20th century (around the 50's/60's). The story is interesting since it connects with mysteries from the late 19th century West (L'Amours more common setting).

Sometimes the story seems scattered, but still keeps you hooked. As usual, it includes mild language. In this case, it also includes some bikini babes. The hero is a considerate, self-sacrificing young man trying to deal with selfish murderers.
Emily Hunholz
Like L'Amour's other novels, this one had good action, but it wasn't my favorite. Dan Sheridan was a little over-the-top for me. He seemed too perfect at everything he did. He was the best rider, shooter, etc. even though he hadn't been on a ranch since he was young. I also had a hard time following some of the movement. The book is set in the Arizona mountains where Dan gets trapped. Though there were a lot of descriptions, but I couldn't quite picture how he was moving between the cliffs and c ...more
An Odd1
Jun 22, 2012 An Odd1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Broken Gun" by Louis L'Amour holds journal pages from John Toomey, whose brother Clyde, the best of 27 men, and 4K cattle vanished from 1870s Arizona. Ninety years later, the narrator, writer Dan Sheridan, is invited to the ranch of good-looking hard-hearted Colin and Doris Wells, whose hand Reese just killed Manuel Alvarez, before he could pass on vital information to Dan. Ignorant that Dan as an elite soldier repeatedly escaped with victim's brother Pio, the conspirators plot more deaths, ...more
David Williams
Dan Sheridan buys an old broken gun in a pawn shop and finds part of a ninety year old journal wrapped up and stuck inside the barrel. He is a writer and decides to look into the story of the Toomey brothers. The only trouble is that the people who own the land now have a secret, and it is a secret that they are prepared to kill for. Soon Dan finds himself on the run, hunted through what once once Apache country. Only his pursuers don't realize that he is no city boy. He was born and raised on a ...more
Larry Hostetler
Dec 15, 2012 Larry Hostetler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Not sure whether to give this 2.5, 3, 3.5 or 4 stars. On the plus side, it is a unique Louis L'Amour western in that it is set in the 1950s with historical plot lines in the old west. As with all his books, the geographic setting (this one in the Yavapai County area near Prescott and in the Verde river valley) is well-researched and a dramatic background for the story. But unlike most of his writing, I felt the expression of a sense of danger from the protagonist was overstated, repetitive and d ...more
Reuel
Oct 19, 2014 Reuel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I suppose a Westerner "should" read at least one Louis L'Amour novel. It's sort of the Nancy Drew series of cowboy stories. The good guy beats the bad guys and gets the girl. (My Dad read Louis L'Amour novels in translation in Poland as a boy.)Not exactly great literature, but this was a fun, light read while I was traveling through the area nearby where the story took place.
Bruce Nordstrom
Mar 24, 2014 Bruce Nordstrom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a little different from other L'Amour westerns I've read. It is set in the twentith century, rather than the earlier west as is his usual habit. However, as is his habit, L'Amour writes with plenty of excitment, plot twists, and just plain guts. I read this one in one sitting, and will be reading it again.
Kendra
Jan 23, 2015 Kendra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book felt a little different from the majority of L'amour's books that I have read. It was set in modern day, but was still part of a story from the past. Part western, part action/adventure, and part mystery... this book has a little something for a lot of people. I really enjoyed it and it was a fast read.
Rosalind
May 04, 2014 Rosalind rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite Louis L'Amour novels. I love the way he plants surprises for his characters and readers. I love how the men underestimate Sheridan and find him to be more of an opponent than they first suspect he is. Great read!
Renee
Feb 15, 2016 Renee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First time reading anything by Louis L'Amour and really enjoyed it. Didn't know if I would really like the western genre but it really surprised me. Sometimes book challenges can open up new genres that you wouldn't have otherwise read.
Monte Lamb
Nov 07, 2015 Monte Lamb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
There were parts of the story that seemed implausible, but if you want to read a reasonably entertaining book in about 2 1/2 hours, go for it. The style is a lot of short, simple sentences so it reads easily.
Mike
Jun 15, 2015 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a re-read for me. I first read this story while living in Colorado and recently picked it up again. A unique detective story of the mid-20th century spurred by events of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Reading Reader
Apr 25, 2015 Reading Reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't expecting a modern-day story here, and I was a little disappointed at first when I realized this wouldn't be a 'classic' L'Amour western.

L'Amour manages to bring the past into the present, though, and in the end the Broken Gun doesn't really feel all that different from his other work.
Ron
Dec 08, 2015 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another well crafted novel with the hero, as usual.. bigger than life. And he has a women to protect.
Who knew that an author could be so heroic?
Duce Escott
Dec 09, 2014 Duce Escott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book for people that like action, and mystery books. This is a great book, read it.
Tristen Rhoden
It was a good old western book that had a little bit of mystery in it with some murders.
Scott
Mar 10, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I forgot how enjoyable reading a Louis L'Amour book is. He is a great storyteller.
Larry Wegman
A reasonably decent modern Western.
Kyle LaPorte
Sep 29, 2015 Kyle LaPorte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Listened. Fun. Great story telling.
Villager
Interesting twist to have the western set in "modern" days (at least current through the year the book was written by the author). It gives Louis L'Amour a chance to plot a story about a western mystery being solved 90 years after the fact. There are 'Black hat' cowboys, beautiful women and of course there is a boxing scene -- L'Amour loves to intertwine boxing into each of his westerns.

This was a decent story and worth it for L'Amour fans or those with a little time on their hands.
Adam Shields
Jan 20, 2012 Adam Shields rated it liked it
Short review: I grew up on westerns. I have read scores of them, scores of them just by L'Amour. It has been a long time since I read a western so this is a nostalgia book. It is fine, the hero wins, the guy gets the girl, the bad guys are either dead or in jail. All is right with the world again. I won't be returning to this genre soon. But it fed the desire for wholeness and for hero stories that I had as a teen.

My full review is on my blog at at http://bookwi.se/lamour
Greg
Sep 13, 2008 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike most of Louis L'Amour's novels, The Broken Gun is set in more modern times, though still on a ranch in the west. With the same sense of a good fireside tale, LL invites the reader into the experiences of a journalist caught unexpectedly in the midst of murder and theft. An old broken sixgun he finds provides some clues that first lead him deeper into danger, then to resolution. Not my favorite of LL's novels, but not bad. Of course, I have enjoyed most of his books!
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Louis L'Amour was an American author. L'Amour's books, primarily Western fiction, remain enormously popular, and most have gone through multiple printings. At the time of his death all 101 of his works were in print (86 novels, 14 short-story collections and one full-length work of nonfiction) and he was considered "one of the world's most popular writers".
-Wikipedia
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