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Last of the Breed

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,814 Ratings  ·  592 Reviews
Air Force Major Joe Mack is forced down in Russia, escapes a Soviet prison camp and calls on ancient skills of Indian forebears to survive vast Siberian wilderness. The route open, the path of his ancestors, lies overland to the Bering Strait and across the sea to America. But legendary Yakut tracker Alekhin pursues, knows every inch, and how to think like his Sioux quarry ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by Bantam Books (first published June 1st 1986)
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Best Survival Stories
77th out of 726 books — 1,339 voters
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Best Action-Adventure Novels
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 05, 2010 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Louis, where have you been all my life? Forty four years on the planet, probably thirty of those in an awareness of this author and this the first of his books I've read. It was pure, unadulterated story telling, artful in its simplicity and gripping with its sure-footed plotting, characterisation and knowledge of the wilderness. No sex, no swearing, no ultra-violence, and no need for any of it to keep your attention. I loved it, despite the feeling that it was from a different, simpler era, whe ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Marvin rated it really liked it
My father's favorite authors were Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour. I'm not sure if anyone reads Zane Grey anymore but Louis L'Amour still remains popular. I read a couple of his westerns early in my life but was not impressed. They seemed rather formulaic to me. I was never that much on Western fiction to begin with, to be honest.

So recently one of the local book club members suggested Last of The Breed and I was excited to give it a try especially because it was not a Western, directly at least. I'
Vincent Bernhardt
Jun 10, 2013 Vincent Bernhardt rated it it was amazing
Before you read further, you should know I'm a big L'amour fan, so I start out with a biased review. Having said that, if the book was total crap, I'd say so, but I'd probably say it nicer, like "this book would make great fertilizer" or something. Except I bought the Kindle version, so that doesn't really apply. And I wouldn't give it five stars. But I did, and it's worth it.

This is a great book. As usual LL creates a character that is over-the-top but that doesn't deter from the fantastic writ
Mike (the Paladin)
Apr 30, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
I read this one way back when so to speak. I'd forgotten it till it came up in another conversation.

Joe Mack a Major and an American pilot is shot down and has to escape through Siberia finally across the Bering Strait. He has to depend on his skills as a Native American as well as his training. It's a good outdoors/adventure story.

This isn't a western as most of L'Amour's books are. It's well written and what is usually called a "page turner". May be a bit of what is called a "guy book", but g
Jan 12, 2009 Levi rated it it was amazing
This book had a big impact on me at a pivotal time in my life. While struggling to fit at a new school during my eighth grade year I was assigned to read this book for my English class. I couldn't put the book down until I was finished with it (I was reprimanded several times for reading it during classes). At the time I identified closely with the hero in the story. This book gave me the courage I needed at the time and I ended up going out for the wrestling team and I had an undefeated season ...more
Jan 04, 2011 Zac rated it liked it
It was a cool story, and definitely different than I had anticipated. It sort of drug along, with bits of excitement thrown in the middle to keep you going. The best part was the very end. There weren't very many pages left, but there was still no resolution. More pages, more pages, and nothing. Finally, in one paragraph on the very last page, it closes the story off, and it was awesome. I'm a little bummed that we never heard from Natalya again, because she was cool, but knowing Joe Mack (the m ...more
Michael Beam
Jan 02, 2008 Michael Beam rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Anyone who idolizes native americans
The best thing that can be said for this book is that it is mercifully short. It is nothing more than a several hundred page explanation of why the American indians were so awesome, filled with prejudide and unfair accusations and assumptions about lighter skinned people. It starts out with a description of the life of a native american, comparing them, as a peacefull and utopian society, to the 'white men', a barbarric, godless, wasteful, and power hungry pack of animals. Okay.
It then switches
Apr 20, 2012 Ruth rated it liked it
Grrrrrrr, I had a hard time rating this book. The story is GREAT! Love it (other than the abrupt ending). Louis L'Amour is a storyteller. In fact, he once said, "I think of myself in the oral tradition - as a troubadour, a village tale-teller, the man in the shadows of the campfire. That's the way I'd like to be remembered as a storyteller. A good storyteller." That being said, I thought this book was VERY poorly written, to the point of driving me crazy. He repeated himself often. He used the s ...more
Mom (Tash)
Mar 16, 2009 Mom (Tash) rated it it was amazing
If you think that Louis L'Amour only writes Westerns and you don't think that's your style, but if you like adventures filled with drama and intrigue, you should try "Best of the Breed". The story takes place during the Cold War, when a U.S. Air Force plane is shot down over Siberia and the pilot is taken to a secret Russian POW camp to be tortured for information. But the pilot is a Souix Indian who was raised by his grandfather in the mountains of Idaho and taught all the survival skills of hi ...more
Major Joe Mack was captured by the Russians when his experimental aircraft was shot down. Escaping from a Siberian prison, he trekked across the wilderness evading capture to make it back to America.

Why I started it: Rereading it for another Book Club, I was reminded that if I ever was captured by the Russians... I have no skills to make it out, let alone to survive in the wild.

Why I finished it: I love the none man-romance. Where the hero finds a love interest, they never talk about their relat
Mar 05, 2015 Margaret rated it liked it
Amazingly this is the first Louis L'Amour book I have ever read. Read it for my book club and enjoyed it although the nobel savage idea is not really my thing, and I got tired of being so cold up there in Siberia.
Mar 30, 2010 Sally rated it really liked it
This was one of my grandpa's favorite books so when I came across it in a pile for a loonie, it was was a must read. It has a rugged peacefulness to it that made even me, the animal lover not cringe during the hunting scenes. The book was well-written and definitely took me the closest I will ever be to camping out in Siberia. It also provided a glimpse into the political climate of the Soviet Union during the 1980's. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a slow, methodical b ...more
Justin Sherman
Oct 18, 2015 Justin Sherman rated it it was amazing
Louis L'Amour's Last of the Breed is a story of struggle, sacrifice, prevalence. Major Joe Makatozi finds himself imprisoned in the interior of Siberia after his plane was forced down. He quickly discovers that his captor, Colonel Zamatev is holding him for the information he has, and after it is discovered, Joe Mack will be terminated. The story follows Joe throughout his captivating escape from Russia, as he retraces the path his Native American ancestors took on their path to America. Joe qui ...more
Chet Brown
Mar 05, 2015 Chet Brown rated it really liked it
A veteran, a hero in my eyes, and a survivor. Major Joe Mack was in Russia, was in a Russian prison camp. Until, he finally escaped and had to live off the land using different Indian skills and just trying to survive the wildness. Encountering many different challenges, physical and metal. Throughout this book I really liked it because to me it was an adventure every step that Joe took. I have always loved adventurous books, this one was astounding! It was so brilliant to me because I also love ...more
John Mccormack
Nov 11, 2015 John Mccormack rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
When I was in high school,before they had television and talking pictures,I read a short story called The Most Dangerous Game.I strongly recommend it.The Last of the Breed has borrowed a lot from this story.In a good way.Louis L'Amour has taught me a lot about Russia and American Indians.His descriptions of Siberian life,animals and the physical beauty of the country are educational and thrilling.Good story from start to end.
Nov 16, 2015 Tracy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
My grandfather read every single Louis L'Amour book that existed. He tried more than once to interest me but I never did read any. Finally a couple years ago I picked up Last of the Breed and read it. It's an amazing story! Talk about a story of survival! Joe Mack is in the US Air Force and his plane goes down somewhere in Russia. Joe Mack (gotta love that name) ends up in a Soviet prison camp. The way he escapes is fantastic! Then his trek through the wilderness trying to get back to a place he ...more
Mar 04, 2009 Rob rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 07, 2012 Deb rated it it was amazing
I have to admit, I was skeptical about reading a book by Louis L'Amour, but I trusted the friend who recommended it (Thanks, Joyce!) and I was more than pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

U.S. Air Force Major Joe Makatozi finds himself a prisoner in Siberia during the Cold War. His test plane being forced down had been artfully arranged by Colonel Zamatev, whose plan is to capture and interrogate specific people with knowledge of the weapons systems of the West. But Colonel Zamatev, d
Stephen McMullin
Dec 05, 2010 Stephen McMullin rated it it was amazing
I thought was an exciting book. I have never read a western type novel before and although this was not based in the wild west, it is based on an American Indian (Major Joseph Makatozi, USAF) who begins to rediscover his Indian heritage. Joe Mack is a strong willed individual who being captured by the Soviet Union for his knowledge of experimental air craft, as well as how to fly these. Joe Mack takes on the GRU Soviet army Col. Arkady Zamatev. Who is a very dangerous and Skilled Interrogator, A ...more
Jul 29, 2011 Booklady rated it really liked it
This book is set in Siberia and is an exciting tale of a young Air Force test pilot who is captured by the Russians and incarcerated in Siberia for questioning. It turns out that the pilot is also and American Indian who has spent many summers in the mountains learning the survival skills of his forefathers. His incredible stamina and mental determination compels the reader to turn page after page wondering if the pilot will be caught or hif he will die of starvation, injury or exposure. A depar ...more
Mar 14, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it
In the Louis L'Amour tradition, the hero is strong, capable, and manly, not to mention he gets the girl. Unlike most of his westerns, this is set in Siberia, and he gives a wonderful feel to the landscape. The threat of freezing to death is very real once out in the snow.
The story is about an American pilot who is shot down and then taken prisoner in a camp in Siberia. He escapes, rather remarkably by poling over the wall the way people do at track meets. He is then trying to get back home while
Ryan Burt
Oct 29, 2011 Ryan Burt rated it really liked it
1) Rating: 4 out of 5

2) Genre: Western

3) Synopsis: Major Joe Mack escapes imprisionment and has to survive the bitter cold of Russia and the entire Russian military.

4) Feelings: I read this book again because I remember loving it and want to write a survival story. I figure why not read it again and get some pointers from it. I still liked it but not as much as I originally did. There are parts that are overly descriptive. Then in a survival book, there usually isn't a whole lot of dialogue.

5) F
Sep 16, 2009 Kay rated it it was amazing
I reviewed this book for the 'Bookin' it' book club. I have a complete set of Louis L'Amour books, but this is one of my favorite. I never have to wonder who is the good person and who is the bad, because it's quite clear. Learned a lot about Soviet topography, especially the area of Siberia. Learned how people live there, etc. The book was well written, as are all of his. I read this to my husband who was bedridden in a hospital, and when I'd leave for the night and come back the next morning, ...more
Gautama Siddartha
Dec 15, 2015 Gautama Siddartha rated it liked it
My adopted dad read them, so did I...
Before various Special Forces, there were elite men who had been shaped by life to fulfill a unique destiny. One such would have to be the hero of this novel, Joe Mack.
A Sioux indian, Joe is a military pilot, forced down in soviet territory, and installed in one of the numerous gulag camps across Siberia. Through carefull inspection of his world, dedication to his need, and ultimately, reliance on himself and the lessons of his youth, he escapes the camp, only to be faced with a more drastic sit
Jun 01, 2014 Illbefrank rated it liked it
Warning: spoilers ahead!

Exciting read. The story of a Red Indian escaping from a Siberian prison has much potential and the author seemed to have made the most of it. There is enough suspense, intrigue and entertainment to ensure one won't put the book down. The descriptions of the forest, landscape and weather conditions are vivid and seem well researched and makes for an engaging and absorbing experience, like you could be there witnessing the ordeal first hand.

However, Louis L'Amour's writin
Apr 20, 2016 Laurie rated it it was amazing
I'm not really into cowboys and Indians. However, this book is somewhat different from his old westerns. You still have the main character and a vibrant and strong person who winds up having to depend upon his Indian heritage to keep himself alive, yet it is a (somewhat) modern day novel. His airplane crashes in northern Russia, and he survives by falling back on his tracking and survival skills. I won't tell you any more, though, because I don't want to give away the story. Let me just say this ...more
Jun 10, 2015 Blaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are no words to describe how good this book is. It is probably the best book I have ever read. It is about a Military test pilot named Joe Mack. The book starts off with Joe Mack crashing into Russian land known as Siberia. He is captured and thrown in prison because they think he is a American spy. He creates a brilliant plan and escapes bye pole vaulting over a 15ft tall brick wall. it is fall and winter is coming. Colonel Zamtev the man in charge of the prison after Joe Mack escaped int ...more
Feb 09, 2009 Lily rated it really liked it
My husband's grandfather gave him this book in 1987 and it has sat unread on the shelf since then! He would have loved it as a 11 year old boy and I think still will if he ever gets around to reading it. A Native American Army Pilot crashes on an arctic training flight and is captured by the Russians. This cold war era thriller is filled with description of life and survival on the frozen tundra. The political aspects of the plot were not as interesting, but overall an enjoyable read.
Cindy Gould-ruzicka
So Good! I felt Like I was there watching the people
as they cooked, hunted and made camp.
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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".
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