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Last Stand at Saber River
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Last Stand at Saber River

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  440 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
A quiet, haunted man, Paul Cable walked away from a lost cause hoping to pick up where he left off. But things have changed in Arizona since he first rode out to go fight for the Confederacy. Two brothers—Union men—have claimed his spread and they're not about to give it back, leaving Cable and his family no place to settle in peace. It seems this war is not yet over for P ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 3rd 2002 by HarperTorch (first published 1959)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Apr 09, 2017 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-old-west
“And she thought if you don't have the desire to fight or wait for something there's no reason for being on earth.”

 photo last-stand-at-saber-river-elmore-leonard-dell-first-edition-1959-rare-minty-e595dd216b4f9d96ff1a1b824b2b45e0_zpsvnnlwqha.jpg
First edition paperback original copy of the book.

The Confederacy claims the lower half of New Mexico and Arizona as one of their states. The upper halves are still considered Union territory. Paul Cable homesteads on the Union side of Arizona, but despite the geography, he is originally from Texas and signs up to fight for the Confederacy.

He joins the 8th Texas Cavalry under th
Heath Lowrance
Sep 16, 2014 Heath Lowrance rated it really liked it
Paul Cable, having fought on the Confederate side during the war, has returned with his family to his homestead on the Saber River, only to find that his land has been taken by the Kidstons', two wealthy brothers loyal to the Union. Cable thought he'd left the fighting behind him, but it seems he's now in the for fight of his life, not just for his home, but for the lives of his family as well. He has a possible ally in Southern sympathizer and gun-runner Janroe, but Janroe, who would like to se ...more
Warren Stalley
Jan 21, 2017 Warren Stalley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Confederate Soldier Paul Cable leaves the Civil War and returns home with his wife and family to Saber River. However since he’s been away the Kidston brothers Vern and Duane, along with their henchmen, have taken over his home and land. Can Cable trust the one-armed storekeeper and war veteran Janroe, who may not be what he seems, to help him get his home back? The path is set for what on the surface appears to be a formulaic Western showdown but as the author of Last Stand at Saber River is El ...more
Oct 20, 2015 Tim rated it liked it
Before he was well known as a writer of quirky mysteries (“Get Shorty”/”Be Cool;” “Glitz,” etc.), Elmore Leonard was a writer of Westerns, at least three of which have been made into movies (this one; “Hombre,” from 1967, starring Paul Newman,; “Valdez is Coming” (1971), starring Bury Lancaster; and “3:10 to Yuma” (1957, starring Glenn Ford, and 2007, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale). His stories about a contemporary small town sheriff named Raylan Givens have been adapted into the TV ...more
charles gibbs
Feb 10, 2017 charles gibbs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book

I am not going to be forced to write more than I want. Good book but that's all I got to say
Don Massenzio
Aug 13, 2014 Don Massenzio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another winner by Elmore Leonard. In these early works he seems to favor the strong, silent hero. His heroes take a lot of abuse but show restraint in responding until they are pushed to their limits. He also shows that his hero in this book can take an adversarial relationship and turn it around. In this book, his hero, Paul Cable, is a rebel soldier returning home just before the end of the Civil War. He finds that his house and land have been occupied by a group of men that are supplying fres ...more
Jan 25, 2012 Clifdisc rated it really liked it
Leonard's laconic style is well suited to Westerns. The writing in this novel is as terse as the characters. It is those characters that make this novel what it is. While Leonard does not waste a lot of words, his characters are always well fleshed out, complex and, most importantly, believable. It goes without saying that people are complex and Leonard captures this complexity as well as any novelist writing today.

Last Stand at Saber River is, on some levels a deconstruction of the classic Wes
Bobbie Darbyshire
Jun 14, 2016 Bobbie Darbyshire rated it liked it
The next Elmore Leonard finally rose to the top of the pile. A Confederate army veteran returns home to Arizona with his young family to find the Union army have commandeered his land. Just a Western, but I always enjoy Leonard’s clear, terse style. The plotting of this novel (his 4th, 1959) is more satisfying than the first three, the villain has psychological depth, and the women characters have substance and drive the story as much as the men. Authorial habits that slightly jar: his habit of ...more
May 02, 2016 Diogenes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although set in the Southwest during the Civil War, this is less of a typical western and more a psychological thriller and a study of character when faced with adversity and overwhelming odds.
Leonard's terse dialog (think of Hemingway writing a western), and fast-paced plotting makes it hard to put down. As good as this genre gets.
May 09, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it
Shelves: military, action, western
"Western - Paul Cable returns from the Civil War to find two brothers—Union men—have claimed his spread and they're not about to give it back, leaving Cable and his family no place to settle in peace. It seems this war is not yet over for Paul Cable. But no one's going to take away his land and his future—not with their laws, their lies, or their guns.
David Williams
Apr 10, 2012 David Williams rated it it was amazing
Great western. As always with Leonard the character are what drive the story. Cable is a man who wants to put the Civil War behind him as he returns home. Others want his land. When he first built his joke he had to defend it from Apaches. Now he has to defend it from other men who want to take it.
Dec 31, 2012 Doug rated it really liked it
What can say, I love Elmore Leonard. I didn't see the movie but I believe that Tom Sellek played Cable and you couldn't have picked anyone better to play the part. I was trying to decide which I enjoy more, Leonard's crime stories or his westerns - both are masterfully done. This is not great literature but it sure is fun to read.
Sep 18, 2009 Vickie rated it it was amazing
This book was hard to put down. Elmore Leonard's dialogue brought vivid pictures into my mind. I found myself one with the book as I read. I especially like that he always has women of strong character who believe in and stand by their man and an ending you won't guess. I'll buy another Elmore Leonard book soon. Vickie
Aug 23, 2015 Luca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a bit of a slow start, the pace picks up and never LETS up until the end. Despite being set in the territories, the claustrophobia of three particular adobes makes it almost feel like a play at times.

A challenging read for modern audiences as well probably, since our protagonist constantly thinks "What would Nathan Bedford Forrest do?" when he's in a jam.
Martin Cerjan
Nov 25, 2013 Martin Cerjan rated it really liked it
Excellent western with all the archetypes working overtime. Excellent plotting and pure genius to set it in Arizona at the end of the Civil War. I liked this one better than Hombre and Valdez Is Coming.
Nov 28, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-wild-west
This is the way I love it. Badass and smart and punchy and good. As far as I’m concerned, Elmore Leonard should write as many blistering standoffs as he can between quiet, haunted men who are more suited as friends than enemies and I will read them forever.
Mar 09, 2011 Sharon rated it really liked it
Fascinating adventure yarn
Jan 17, 2016 Jacob rated it liked it
Wish I could give this book a 3.5. Good story and characters. Just wish it was a bit longer and more developed.
Mar 20, 2009 Wayne rated it it was amazing
Really very good!
The only reason that this received two stars was because of Martha, Cable's wife. I found it boring and the constantly shifting POVs made it hard to follow.
May 28, 2010 Heidi rated it really liked it
Westerns are always so psychologically stressful, aren't they? This is fabulous, and Martha rules.
Jul 07, 2013 Ohr rated it it was ok
Eh, it's ok. Another book I read because I first saw the film. The film isn't any better.
Jun 03, 2008 John rated it liked it
Another pretty good Leonard western.
Mar 17, 2008 Andy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: westerns
Another excellent Elmore Leonard western, good characters, ample bloodshed, good guys win.
Thomas Mooney
Jul 09, 2015 Thomas Mooney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read.

Kept my interest and was believable because I am a veteran. A man does many things to protect those he loves.
Sep 13, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid little thriller. I liked that even though everyone was a stock character Leonard found some room for psychological subtlety in their characterizations.
Sep 28, 2010 Jack rated it it was ok
Shelves: westerns

Pretty routine stuff: A power struggle between Civil War veterans in the the Old West. Not bad, but a real letdown after reading Leonard's *Hombre*.
Mar 20, 2014 Doug rated it liked it
Pretty good book. Awful movie.
Paul Rebelo
Paul Rebelo rated it liked it
Aug 31, 2013
Laurenz rated it really liked it
Jul 11, 2015
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Elmore John Leonard lived in Dallas, Oklahoma City and Memphis before settling in Detroit in 1935. After serving in the navy, he studied English literature at the University of Detroit where he entered a short story competition. His earliest published novels in the 1950s were westerns, but Leonard went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into m ...more
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“And she thought if you don't have the desire to fight or wait for something there's no reason for being on earth.” 13 likes
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