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To Tame a Land
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To Tame a Land

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,057 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Rye Tyler was twelve when his father was killed in an Indian raid. Taken in by a mysterious stranger with a taste for books and an instinct for survival, Rye is schooled in the hard lessons of life in the West. But after killing a man, he is forced to leave his new home. He rides lonely mountain passes and works on dusty cattle drives until he finds a job breaking horses. ...more
Leather Bound, The Louis L'Amour Collection, 164 pages
Published January 1987 by Bantam/The Louis L'Amour Hardcover Collection (first published 1955)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,369)
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Gloria
Given that I own a zillion Louis L'Amour books (a collection begun in jr. high), I figured I should add my favorites here.

To Tame a Land is, hands down, my favorite. Admittedly, many of the plot lines in his books are similar (they're westerns-- what do you expect?), but I loved ALL the characters in this one.
And I still think this is begging to be adapted for film.
Charles
This is my favorite L'Amour book. I reread it periodically. I think it's nearly a perfect example of the western genre.
Laura
A western told in the first person perspective.

The Story.

His father was dead. Murdered at the hands of a few bloodthirsty Indians. Well, Rye made sure to plug bullets through a few of them before fleeing to rejoin the wagon train. There he confronted Jack McGarry, the man through whose conniving he and his father had been left at the mercy of those savages. Although neither knew it then, McGarry, too, would fall under a bullet from Rye Tyler’s gun.

Logan Pollard took Rye in, became a father figur
...more
Jay
Not having been a Western reader, I thought I'd try a few, and I am finding the ones I've read similar. "To Tame a Land" seems to be an excellent example. What seems the same?

- The hero of the story has a difficult childhood. He can take that in any direction, for good or evil, and in this one, as in most I suspect, he chooses the good path. But the good path isn't the good path that, say a preacher chooses. No "turn the other cheek" in this one. Instead it is a practical path. So some people di
...more
Bruce
I am in the process of reading all of Louis L'Amour's novels. I really liked this one. It was more epic in scope, covering a number of years of the Old West and the territory from Texas to California. As with all of L'Amour's novels, this had a great hero, lots of action, and moments of pure education of the history of the Old West. Highly recommend it to those who like the genre and like the history of the Old West.
Paul
The third Louis L'Amour book published in 1955 and another good story. This story written in the first person is about Rye Tyler who we first meet as a boy in a wagon train heading west with his dad when their wagon breaks down and they are left behind until repairs can be made and they can catch up to the wagon train. Unfortunately Indians attack killing Rye's father even though Rye is able to fend the attackers off.

Rye catches up with the wagon train even though the leader of the wagon train
...more
Natalie
This Louis L'amour is full of rough n' tough cowboys and therefore the perfect western. There is just something so relaxing about curling up with a book that's full of gun slinging, cattle thieves and a happy ending. That is one of the beauties of Louis L'amour (at least the ones that I've read) - the good guy always wins in the end.

Rye watches his father gunned down by Indians and that's when he has to grow up. He discovers that he has an affinity for guns and becomes one of the most best gun
...more
Nate
This was given to me as a gift, and I wanted to give the person that gave it to me feedback so I went ahead and finished it in one sitting immediately after receiving it. I was a bit skeptical, I love the western setting but this guy wrote like 500 of these books and they're all kind of short so I worried it was more of a quantity over quality thing. That still might be the case, but I enjoyed this book. It's a pretty basic tale about a young man who gets left on his own early in life in the lat ...more
Joe
I don't quite have the love that I did for the last three L'Amour novels I read this month. I am quite forgiving of the stereotypes L'Amour dwells on, the inconsistent vernacular and repetitive word choices. I am certainly glad the first person vernacular was inconsistent in this one, because I would not have wanted to read a whole book about ararin' to get agoin' to Californy. Mighty is used as an adjective sometimes five times on a page. It is mighty dark and distances are mighty far in the al ...more
Ryan Mishap
My dad loves all his books and I read over a hundred while staving off the night terrors when growing up.

It is a strange fact about the old west, Indians, and the genocidal take over of the land now called the United States that fiction writing about them is often taken for truth (see Ward Churchill's Fantasies of the Master Race). The back of almost every L'amour novel lauds his knowledge of "how it really was" and the fact that he could've been one of the tough, honorable, lonely fighting men
...more
Feather Dust
So, this was my very first western book I've ever read. Recommended by a family member and other friends, saying their grandparents and parents loved the author. So, I thought, what the heck I'll give it a go! And go I did. I finished it in 2 days.

The author has quite a way with his storytelling. Lots of detail and lots of characters in his books and I was afraid that he was moving in his story too fast. It would mad dash from one scene to the next. But, after awhile I got the hang of his transi
...more
Kani
this is tough to listen to if you are touchy about political correctness toward native americans and mexican americans because if you are: look out, you're going to spend several chapters in agonized frustration! Louis has no problem with the toughness of his characters and our hero (for hero he is, surviving being orphaned by Injuns & taming the west practically single handedly as he grows up) talks plain and shoots straight (and fast too!) but he doesn't consider having "killed a man" unti ...more
Harry Lane
Thin plot, unlikely in some particulars. L'Amour seems to be more about gilding the legend of the old West and extolling the beauty of the landscape. Even so, there is an authenticity about his writing that makes for easy reading, particularly if you like a good, old-fashioned western tale.
Bill Hopkins
Typical western story.

Young boy is orphaned during a wagon train. He learns to be a gunfighter. Saves money to buy a farm and looks for a girl he grew upwith. She is being held captive by outlaws. He frees her, they marry and then he learns that he is the scion of a wealthy family back east.
Anders Petersen
May 21, 2012 Anders Petersen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Western lovers.
Shelves: western
If you are gonna read one book from Louis L'Amour, read this one.
I haven't read others yet, but I am certainly going to, and I was glad I started with this book.
The story is a typical western one, boy grows up a gunslinger, ends up the best in the West.
However there is a lot of depth to the character.
He doesn't kill simply because he enjoys it or because he wants to be better than others. He kills because he have to, in order to survive.
The plot is really good and I read it all in a day. (Whi
...more
Alison
Twelve-year-old Ryan Tyler loses his dad on the trail. Learns to take care of himself with the help of a capable mountainman, Logan Pollard. Becomes an excellent shooter, a reluctant killer with a great heart.

My favorite line: (As Tyler determines that he must seek revenge on the man who killed a good friend of his and ruined the chances of prosperity for the friend's wife and daughter--who Tyler is interested in.)

"But a man does what he has to do. That's why a man is a man."

It's a delicious qu
...more
John
From the prime of Louis' "take over the paperback racks" output, it reads like a an expanded western movie treatment. Pleasant, decent read, but I've read better L'Amour books.
Susan Reed
Never read westerns until the audio book Riders of the Purple Sage last year and loved it. Love the story & the telling of it.
Craig
An engaging fictional biography of Rye Tyler, a fourteen year old traveling to California in a wagon train with his father, a widower. When the wagon breaks down, they are left behind and are attacked by Indians who kill his father. Rye is on his own but fends well for himself in the rugged west. Befriended by an older father figure, he learns how to shoot, track, live off the land, etc. At sixteen, Tyler strikes out on his own, armed with survival skills. L'Amour creates a gripping tale. I enjo ...more
Raymond Fleer
This book was good. There were a group of people heading out to California. There was a wagon that broke a wheel and the rest of the wagons went on. The wagon got attacked by Indians and killed the dad. The boy had to survive on his own. As he grew up, he met a girl that he liked. He went off to do a cattle drive and when he returned the girl was gone. As he was doing all of this, he was building a reputation of an outlaw. He became sheriff of the town. He had to go to the place where all outlaw ...more
Laura
The usual Louis L'Amour story, but with a different twist at the end. It ended a bit abruptly though.
Ed
Western - Orphaned at 11, Ryan Tyler grows up quickly on the frontier. Under the tutelage of Logan Pollard, he learns to appreciate Plutarch and to use a gun. As he makes his way in the world, he intends to return to young Liza Hendrick but when he gets back he finds her father was shot and she disappeared. With his partner Mustang, Ryan sets out to find her.
Barker
Read book in two days could not put it down. Ending is not what I guessed.
Tomkeese
Another really good story by Louis L'Amour. Thoroughly enjoyable reading.
Craig Lr
A good, but short read. Who doesn't love L'Amour?
WilliamTellSix
One of my top three picks for Louis L'Amour.
Celeste Batchelor
I read this book because my son read it and wanted to discuss it with me. I personally, did not love this book as I have other Louis L'Amour titles. The westerns all seem to have more of a revenge theme that I just don't like. However, my son pointed out the mentor in this book and what it meant to the lost young man. This book also reminds me of many foster children who wonder aimlessly through life, needing people to help them learn right and wrong.
Brian
I first read this book when I was about 10 years old, and I absolutely loved it. L'Amour's depiction of the west was fascinating to me, populated with heroes, and bad guys, and resolution was always black and white, with the fastest gun (heroes) always winning.

His love for the west always came through, the beauty of this country always depicted in the best light possible. This book doesn't really age very well, but my love for it and the emotions and feelings of a young boy reading it will alway
...more
Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
A fun Western about a young man, orphaned at 14 while traveling by wagon to California, who becomes a successful gunman.
Anthony O'Brian
One his very best novels!
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858
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
More about Louis L'Amour...
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