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The Quick and the Dead: A Novel
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The Quick and the Dead: A Novel

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  2,602 ratings  ·  97 reviews
When Duncan McKaskel decided to move his family west, he knew he would face dangers, and he was prepared for them. He knew about the exhausting terrain, and he was expecting the punishing elements. What he worried about was having to use violence against other men—men who would follow him and try to steal the riches that he didn’t even possess.

Yet bandits were only part of
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 1st 1982 by Bantam (first published October 27th 1973)
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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryTrue Grit by Charles PortisBlood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthyBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownAll the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
Best Westerns
22nd out of 664 books — 914 voters
The Princess and the Pea by Janet StevensThe Old Man and the Sea by Ernest HemingwayThe Prince and the Pauper by Mark TwainThe Professor and the Madman by Simon WinchesterThe Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Red and the Black
11th out of 86 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I picked this up to read as part of a release challenge. The "I DARE YOU; A Read-and-Release Challenge with a Twist" proposed by gnissorckoob. I've never read any western stuff. This seemed and appropriate way to take up the gauntlet. Yippie o ki yay!

The cover says" Con Vallian knew the best way to stay out of trouble was to mind his own business. Then he stopped for a cup of coffee at a stranger's campfire and found himself guiding a family of greenhorns across the prairie- fighting a pack of r
There isn't a better western author who ever lived than Louis L'amour and this book is one of his prime examples of gritty, action packed, make-you-think stories. L'amour writes with such eloquence that you find yourself taken back to the time and place the story is set in, and when you finish the book, wish you really did live in the era.
You’d think with a title like The Quick and The Dead I wouldn’t be surprised by all the dead. The Quick and The Dead was my very first “real” western. It was a nice short book and was supposed to be the proverbial toe in the pool. I came away feeling like someone had come up behind me and shoved me in. And, it wasn’t pleasant.

The Quick and The Dead is a novel about a small family making their first foray into the west, tenderfoots they are called. During all of this they meet up with the main ch
This was my first Louis L'Amour novel. It was exactly what I expected. It is a little like watching a TV show that you know will have just enough action and storyline to keep your interest. There was nothing powerful or terribly thought provoking about this book but it was something to do for those of us who don't have TV and would occasionally just like some diversion that is pretty clean.

The most thought it provoked was about the pioneers who came out and settled this land. It was humbling to
Lu Demetter
This is the first Western book I've read & I was surprised how much I liked it! I had been looking over the bookshelves at Goodwill and saw this baby. I picked it up because I knew my grandpa Jack enjoyed listening to Louis L'amour audio books when he could not see well enough to read. I think I'll go back for more.
Casey Wilkinson
plowed through it, kept my attention straight through. The wording isn't flowery, there is defiantly an air of experience speaking in the description of the land, time period and survival skills. I think I'll be reading some more Louis L'Amour in the near future.
A quick, enjoyable, adventurous read. Everything that you could ask for from a western.
Mal Kelly
As is usual for Louis L'Amour, this was a very enjoyable book. If you've seen the movie (the one with Sam Elliott, not Sharon Stone), this is so much better. Con Vallian is a great western hero and deftly handles each challenge that he is presented with. He hangs on the fringes of this story the McKaskel's knight in shining armor. Through Vallian's teachings the family eventually figures out that the west is not the glorified place that they had read about. Enjoy the story of the tenderfoots and ...more
Άγριοι σαν τον άνεμο

Όγδοο γουέστερν του Λουίς Λ'Αμούρ που διαβάζω και γι'ακόμη μια φορά ευχαριστήθηκα την αφηγητική του δεινότητα στο συγκεκριμένο είδος, στο οποίο θεωρείται ο καλύτερος.

Η ιστορία έχει να κάνει με τον Ντάνκαν Μακ Κάσκελ, που αποφάσισε να μετακομίσει με την οικογένεια του στην Άγρια Δύση για κάτι διαφορετικό. Ο Ντάνκαν είναι ένας μορφωμένος άνθρωπος που μισεί την βία, δεν είναι συνηθισμένος στην άγρια ζωή, αλλά δεν κωλώνει μπροστά στην σκληρή δουλειά και τις αντιξοότητες. Το θέμα
Sep 05, 2010 Doris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who enjoy western stories.
Recommended to Doris by: No one
Shelves: fiction-western
A good book about a man name Con Vallian who is an experienced tracker and woodsman who comes across a couple and their son who are loading a heavy wagon full of belongings on their way to have a new start in the "old west". Con simply wants a cup of coffee, yet he finds the young couple to be extremely greenhorn in the ways of the wilderness and wilds, so lured by coffee and perhaps something from deep inside, Con travels in alignment with them. He teaches them and their son ways to survive. Bu ...more
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2015 Reading Challenge

- A book that became a movie
- A book with antonyms in the title
- A book by an author you've never read before

This book only checked off one new category on my reading list and that's the only reason I even picked it up. This is the only phrase where the meaning of the word quick still means "alive". Although, it means "fast" in this case as well.

This was my first Louis L'Amour book. I'm not a huge fan of the western genre but this was still an exciting read. It hasn't conv
Ed Wyrd
Fast paced story about a family heading westward to find a place to call home in the mountains. They struck out on their own when the wagon train they were with had an outbreak of cholera. As if traveling alone with an overburdened wagon through Indian country isn't enough, they're dogged by desperate men who want their livestock as well as the Mrs. And is the stranger who appears out of nowhere to share coffee a friend or foe?
Pure story. My first L'Amour, read to at least say I've done it. Don't expect literary fireworks of the message variety, but L'Amour's sparse narrative and language hook into one's mind and paint a picture of life on the frontier. Of note are his action sequences - quick, frantic, and real. L'Amour doesn't glamorize violence like the movies, but he also refuses to bemoan it. Life is real, life is violent. You just keep living. Great little book and a quick read.
This was my forty-second L'Amour western and this particular novel was as good as any. It is the story of a naive, but tough family crossing the prairie. When they find out that they have the wrong stock, have to deal with native americans and criminals, our hero decides to take them under his wing and escorts them to the mountains with much trauma during the journey. L'Amour's gift is to keep stories simple, concise, fast moving and formulary. He has a unique ability describing the beauty of th ...more
John P. Connors
great story line

This novel is a great read and a different twist which keeps your interest peaked at almost every page, Even though the outcome is somewhat expected the plot never allows you to be confident until the last pages.
This is going to be my favourite Louis L'Amour for a long time to come. It's almost like watching a movie, the descriptions are so well written it's almost visual. Highly recommended. An awesome ride.
Andrew James
Not particularly well written, but the characters and story are exactly the sort of trope I expected. An easy read and satisfied my need for a western for the time being.
I resisted liking this book. My father recommended it, and all his bookshelf has ever held was engine manuals, Louis L'Amour, and some Gor chronicles (and the occaisional Ann Coulter, I'm sorry to say). The book does start out very slow for an easy read of 150 pages. It seems predictable and cliche: silly East Coast family with their book learnin', thinkin they can make it in the West with all their heavy, sentimental belongings!

But somewhere about a third of the way through, events pick up spe

My first real Western novel (Stephen King's The Gunslinger can hardly be considered an authentic western, don't ya think?), i was surprised by how pulled into the story i was by about a quarter of the way in. This style of writing is almost considered cliche now, but really here, in this story, it still works.
I love western films (particularly spaghetti westerns), and i think after reading this i might look around and check out some other westerns.

Honestly though, the book is not bad. Its a n
This narrative deviates from L'Amour's traditional plot and form and is a little off-beat, yet enjoyable. A crusty, yet good, drifter (wise to the ways of the West) takes a liking to an Eastern man and wife and teenage son who strike off to the West to establish their homestead their paradise. Courageous yet oblivious to the dangers that await them in their new environs they must rely upon the goodness of this erstwhile stranger who continues to extricate them from thieves, murderers, Indians an ...more
Duce Escott
It's another really good book by Louis L'amour. I'd perfer this book to guys that like the west.
Becca Anne
interesting storyline and characters. Moves too fast and awkwardly though.
JoAnn Ainsworth
Terrific portrayal of a greenhorn family’s transition to frontier savvy.
Jerry Walz
Good audiobook. One of President Reagan's favorite authors.
I have felt so mired in the books I have been reading this year. This was a super refreshing break. I needed something different, something to make me remember why I love reading. So I tried something completely new. My first Louis L'Amour book. I know, cute, right? I picked one that I at least recognized the name - and, a plus that it was short. I loved the characters, the adventure and the beauty of the West. I wonder if his books get to be run-of-the mill and all the same. This could be possi ...more
this book makes me miss western movies. Definitely enjoyed it.
My first L'Amour book. My dad read his books over and over again. A fun easy read.
A fun, but predictable, and mostly unmemorable western.
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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".
More about Louis L'Amour...
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“I wonder why it is the man who pleads for mercy never gives it.” 19 likes
“Out here you better have a gun, and a gun in the wagon ain't good for nothin'. I believe what the old Quaker said, 'Trust in the Lord, but keep your powder dry.” 12 likes
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