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Comstock Lode

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  2,538 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
It was just a godforsaken mountainside, but no place on earth was richer in silver. For a bustling, enterprising America, this was the great bonanza. The dreamers, the restless, the builders, the vultures—they were lured by the glittering promise of instant riches and survived the brutal hardships of a mining camp to raise a legendary boom town. But some sought more than w ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published February 1st 1982 by Bantam (first published 1981)
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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryTrue Grit by Charles PortisBlood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthyAll the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthyBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Best Westerns
45th out of 757 books — 998 voters
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk1984 by George OrwellFear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. ThompsonWatchmen by Alan MooreThe Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Real Man Books
170th out of 539 books — 240 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nichole
Westerns are not my preferred Genre, at all. I would have never picked this book up, if not for a challenge and I have to say-- this wasn't bad! It's still not a genre that I will read often but this book was well written and narrated. Maybe I won't shy away from trying Westerns again.
Ben
Jan 14, 2012 Ben rated it really liked it
There is something cathartic about reading about a boomtown in Nevada. Maybe it's because the good guys are all good and live by honor, the bad guys are all bad and live by their appetitive desires and the women are few and intelligent. L'Amour knows his stuff and the mining details were interesting. The story was kindof predictable, but hey, who cares!. I wasn't expecting there to be so many gun fights, but they were here and all great. I can see why these are almost all my dad ever reads.
Scott Lyson
Sep 23, 2015 Scott Lyson rated it it was amazing
"A successful man can share his success. His troubles are his own."

Louis L'Amour knocked out some of his finest work in his later years, and this is one of his finest. An epic tale of a couple of characters who have a troubled childhood, and end up in a mining town in Nevada. This is a bit lengthier than your typical L'Amour, and it's refreshing to spend ample time with some tertiary characters. We also get a horrifying glimpse at an unforgettable villain. All of the typical trademarks are here
...more
Paul
Jul 30, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it
My parents had dozens of Louis L'Amour books and I know an old neighbor who literally had a wall of them. I've read a handful, at most. It's interesting to read all the filler material at the front and the back that consists of humorously shameless adulation of the author...also a bit cheering, since for him to have had all those other careers, he cannot have started writing much before the age I'm at now.

Anyway, this is a good yarn. At 400 pages, it could swallow two or three typical LL novels.
...more
Tee Jay
Jun 21, 2010 Tee Jay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: western
When it comes to reading a good yarn, one of those stories that just strings the reader along and keep you turning the pages well into the night, you can’t get much better than a Louis L’Amour novel–the man definitely had a knack for writing stories, the type that can equally be told verbally, as well as in written form. And Comstock Lode is no different: it is a great story, chock-full of historical tidbits, intrigue and suspense, and it is a lot of fun to read.

Comstock Lode is about a man nam
...more
Leslie
Sep 28, 2010 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Louis L'Amour book that I ever read. It was high time to reread it. I've read all the others at least twice. His books fall into two categories for me: the One Nighter (like popcorn) and the Three Nighter. This was a Three Nighter. Actually, I took it backpacking with me because I knew that it would hold my attention, and it didn't weigh much. This is a very typical LL book with good action and lots of his philosophy. This one focused on being a solid man who takes care of you ...more
Donna LaValley
Jan 11, 2016 Donna LaValley rated it liked it
Ah, Louis L’Amour writes about the West not, perhaps, as it was, but as we wish it had been. The good guys are so honorable and good, while the bad guys are greedy and loathsome, and the women? As reviewer Ben wrote, “the women are few and intelligent.”

I re-read this book because I was taking a History class at a Community College just for fun and information, and this book fit into the area and era. Dozens of years had gone by; my impression was greatly changed! This time the amount of gunfight
...more
William C. Montgomery
Jan 26, 2015 William C. Montgomery rated it it was ok
I picked up “Comstock Lode” at an airport bookstore for a flight home from, appropriately, Nevada. Coming in at about 600 pages, the book is two to three times the size of a typical L’Amour western, which is how I knew I had never read it before. Back in my college years, I plowed through a stack of dozens of L’Amour westerns that I borrowed from a friend who had purchased them from a second-hand bookstore. That was nearly thirty years ago and I don’t remember which of his westerns I already rea ...more
Matthew McDill
May 11, 2016 Matthew McDill rated it liked it
Shelves: own, louis-l-amour
Comstock Lode is an interesting historical fiction novel set in the West during the mining rush of the mid 19th century. This is when people moved and cities were born wherever gold or silver was discovered. This story traces the fascinating birth and initial growth of the mining town of Virginia City, Nevada. It gives us a peek into this developmental stage of our country's expansion. It also provides an interesting look into the progress and technology of mining.

This is one of L'Amour's longe
...more
Jill
Jun 04, 2013 Jill rated it it was ok
I don't like books with killing and this had lots. Also, the author repeated himself over and over.For example,the main character kept saying he didn't want to kill anymore that he was tired of it, once was enough but the author keot telling us things we already knew.
Andrew
Aug 03, 2012 Andrew rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
A character-driven story of the founding of Virginia City, Nevada. Fairly enjoyable, albeit somewhat predictable. Far too much repetitious internal dialogue from the characters.
Nicole
Dec 24, 2013 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
"Nobody is ever convinced by argument, anyway. They just think up new reasons for maintaining old positions and become more defensive."

And ain't that the truth ;)
Louis Shalako
May 21, 2014 Louis Shalako rated it liked it
When starting this book, I had the impression that it had been ghost-written. There appear to be missing scene breaks in the story. The usual highly-charged emotional content of the Louis L'Amour book was either lacking or perhaps I am a different reader now.

There is a great deal of repetition, especially in the internal monologue of the Trevallion character. L'Amour's biggest book, published in 1981, this one was *okay* and most readers, especially those not entirely familiar with his work woul
...more
PWRL
Feb 17, 2012 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-new
E
Nik Morton
Jul 15, 2013 Nik Morton rated it it was amazing
Louis L’Amour’s 1981 tome, subtitled ‘A Novel’ is a saga of over 500 pages, depicting the beginnings of the famous Comstock mining period. In 1849, young Val Trevallion travels from Cornwall with his family to seek their fortune. Yet tragedy strikes and Val is soon orphaned.

Val sets out on a quest for vengeance but in time tires of the killing and wants to settle down – ‘a man doesn’t sleep well on the bodies of the dead’. He’s a good man, a typical L’Amour hero: ‘A man’s success he can share w
...more
John
Jul 04, 2015 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction, mexico
I have read many books by this author and I refuse to believe he wrote this. perhaps he wrote an outline for it but he would never have allowed this to go into print in earlier years. It was so not him. a bore, so slow moving , so repetitive even with grammatical mistakes. Maybe this was supposed to be one of the hop along Cassidy series type works without his name on it. I did feel him in some of the characters but not much.
Jesse Broussard
Sep 17, 2014 Jesse Broussard rated it liked it
On the positive side, this is one of the more complex plot lines that L'Amour wrote. On the negative side, there's a reason for that, and it's a good one: he doesn't do it all that well.

The timeline is basically linear, but the "flashback" scenes aren't marked clearly enough. There is one decently created sociopath, and then too many secondary characters, many of whom are introduced by name and nothing else to allow them to support the role they're given in the story.

But I enjoyed it more than
...more
CL Ross
Feb 22, 2016 CL Ross rated it really liked it
Copyright 1981. I have never read a book written by Louis L'Amour I didn't like. I have never read a book about a gold fever before and L'Amour brings to life how dreamers come together and how there are others who come to prey on the weak. It was filled with adventure, murder, mystery and suspense. Well written as always.
Jerry
Jan 24, 2015 Jerry rated it it was amazing
“Folks can’t seem to realize that it isn’t a smooth talker we need in there but a steady man, a man with judgement. Any medicine-show man can spout words, if they are written for him. It takes no genius to sound well. To act right and at the right time is something else again.”
Kate
Aug 06, 2016 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This is my FAVORITE L'Amour novel. It's certainly not going to win any literary awards but it's SO FUN. Drama, danger, romance, mine accidents, gun fights, stagecoaches, plucky immigrants, feisty actresses, wise old miners - it has everything I want in a Western.
Pushpita
Feb 28, 2015 Pushpita rated it really liked it
initially I thought given the name, it was a book on treasure hunting in the west or such, but it turns out to be a mighty pioneer adventure, with gold, silver, gunfight and revenge and a love story thrown in. A complete story and a page turner, do read.
Greg
I enjoy this kind of historical fiction, especially from the pen of Louis L'Amour. I found myself often pausing to go online and learn more about people, places, and events mentioned in the book. The incident in the courtroom between Sam Brown and Bill Stewart, for example, is mostly correct as told by L'Amour. Similarly, the "showdown" between Eldorado Johnny and Farmer Peel. Other real historical figures come and go in the book, and it has been interesting to look them up and find out more abo ...more
Kevin Findley
Mar 31, 2016 Kevin Findley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western, louis-lamour
Certainly one of L'Amour's better efforts that doesn't have the name Sackett in it. Somehow I missed this book when it was originally published, so this was a real treat for me. Grab a copy for a rainy weekend and settle back for a great read.
Ron
Sep 20, 2015 Ron rated it it was amazing
This has everything that a good western yarn should have....
Shooting, killing, integrity, bravery, greed, rough & tumble men, handsome hero, beautiful actress, lots of history and a happy ending.
Melissa T
Oct 13, 2014 Melissa T rated it really liked it
My First Louis L'Amour book. While he doesn't put nearly as much thought into the romance as a woman would, I enjoyed the read and the historical bits I learned.
Elizabeth S
Dec 11, 2011 Elizabeth S rated it really liked it
Another rich, exciting, historical book from L'Amour. Deep story, great characters, creepy bad-guys, strong women, and a good ending. No cow-punching in this one, instead we learn about boom-mining in the 1850s. Good history, including some of the politics of Nevada preparing to become a state and the beginnings of the American Civil War.

This being one of L'Amour's longer books, we get a better picture of how a young 13-year-old becomes a man almost overnight. In many of the other books, we mee
...more
Stewart Sternberg
Feb 23, 2015 Stewart Sternberg rated it liked it
Every stereotype and trope about boom times in the old west and mining towns is here. This could have been better if the author had dialed it back a bit. The story rambles, going on too long, as coincident after coincidence falls into place.
Curtis Cowart
Dec 22, 2014 Curtis Cowart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

All of Louis L'Amour books are good reads if you like western. Flint is another great book of his to read.
Mark
Jan 09, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it
Love L'Amour's stories! This is longer than most of his, and no real surprises, but the action is great, the characters real, and the story engaging. Always fun to get lost in the old west!
Barb
Aug 02, 2013 Barb rated it really liked it
My first real Western! Now I know why my Dad has always loved and read them and why Louis L'Amour is his favorite.

This book begins with a family in England coming to America to strike it rich. A violent crime changes two families forever, and young Val Trevallion faces life on his own while young Margarita Redaway grows up with an aunt.

This story was a page-turner, keeping me reading late into the night. There's something for everyone in this story - mystery, suspence, romance, drama, and colorf
...more
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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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“Folks can’t seem to realize that it isn’t a smooth talker we need in there but a steady man, a man with judgement. Any medicine-show man can spout words, if they are written for him. It takes no genius to sound well. To act right and at the right time is something else again.” 2 likes
“Because a man plays a king superbly well does not mean that he would make a good king.” 2 likes
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