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To Tame a Land

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  1,275 Ratings  ·  84 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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Scott Lyson
Sep 19, 2015 Scott Lyson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"It is all very well for those who live in the East to talk of more peaceful means, or for those who live in the later, gentler years, but we were men with the bark on, and we were opening up raw, new country, mustang country, bronco country, uncurried, unbroken, and fierce. Because of the guns I wore, women walked along our streets now, children were going to a small school nearby, and people went to church on Sunday."

Every time I pick up a L'Amour book, there's always a question lurking in the
Mar 28, 2015 Gloria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 17, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
This is my favorite L'Amour book. I reread it periodically. I think it's nearly a perfect example of the western genre.
Laura Verret
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
Apr 19, 2015 Natalie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western, 2012
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
Dec 06, 2013 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Aug 24, 2011 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 31, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: louis-l-amour
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
Jessica Prescott
This was the first L'Amour novel I'd ever read--although I'd read a fair bit of Zane Grey and Frank H. Spearman--and I was absolutely stunned by the quality of the storytelling here. It's brilliant. This book belongs, not just in the "Great Western Novel" category, but in the "Great Novel" category. Period. It draws you in on the very first page and doesn't let go until the last word. And yet, it manages to do so WITHOUT using excessively graphic or sultry descriptions just for the sake of holdi ...more
May 12, 2013 Nate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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
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
Mar 08, 2009 Ryan Mishap rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: when-i-was-a-lad
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
Tyler Cole
Jan 15, 2016 Tyler Cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
I think this particular book of Louis L'Amour is probably one of his best efforts. It's a short book, at 149 pages, but there are no wasted words. It spans the life of a young boy, Ryan Tyler, from the age of twelve to an adult man. There is plenty of witty dialog and keen description of the south west. The story is told in the first person perspective and has a surprise ending that I was not prepared for.

"It was indian country, and when our wheel busted, none of them would stop. They just rolle
Feather Dust
Aug 08, 2014 Feather Dust rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
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
Feb 22, 2016 Nathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western-novels
This is one of L'Amour's earliest novels (first published 1955) and it's a great one. Great character development, plenty of action and the plot is solid.

The only complaints I have are that the end of the story feels rushed and the romanticism never reached its full potential. But the rest of the novel more than makes up for this, so if you're looking for a fun, action-filled Western, don't hesitate to read To Tame a Land.
Tyler Wadsworth
Nov 08, 2015 Tyler Wadsworth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rye Tyler and his dad were traveling in a wagon train when they were attacked by an indian raid. Rye has to go off on his own after he kills a man. He travels through all kinds of country, meets lots of people and learns new skills.

I think it was a good book. I liked the western base.

Rye and I are similar in a couple of ways. Rye wants to get things done. He likes adventures and he thinks quickly.
Jul 21, 2015 Abraham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Satisfying and enjoyable Western page-turner. Paints a convincing picture of tough people, country and morals - what it took to thrive in the early days of the West - without anything complex by way of characters or plot. Ryan's free and enterprising (although violent) lifestyle make modern life in the same place seem a bit dull and predictable by comparison!
Sep 15, 2010 Kani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Michelle A. Viesselman
Another great book by the master western writer

I really enjoyed Louis L'amour. He is a master writer of the Western .
I have read all of his books and I have never been disappointed
Dec 16, 2013 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 23, 2015 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ken Schloman
Again a typical L'Amour but again he was a master at the genre. Actually I believe this is one of his better early works. Belongs in any western library.
Kenneth Flusche
Sep 09, 2016 Kenneth Flusche rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good Western Read, and contains all the Canon Rules to understand Mr. L'Amour's Heroes in all his books and short stories.
Susan Reed
Mar 22, 2014 Susan Reed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never read westerns until the audio book Riders of the Purple Sage last year and loved it. Love the story & the telling of it.
Jan 09, 2013 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
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
Apr 08, 2013 Raymond Fleer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 11, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The usual Louis L'Amour story, but with a different twist at the end. It ended a bit abruptly though.
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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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“And that was the way it was in the old days before the country grew up and men put their guns away. Someday, and I hope it never comes, there may be a time when the Western hills are empty again and the land will go back to wilderness and the old, hard ways. Enemies may come into our country and times will have changed, but then the boys will come down from the old high hills and belt on their guns again. They can do it if they have to. The guns are hung up, the cows roam fat and lazy, but the old spirit is still there, just as it was when the longhorns came up the trail from Texas, and the boys washed the creeks for gold.” 1 likes
“Ma'am,' I said, 'I'd have liked it, having you for a ma.” 0 likes
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