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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,789 ratings  ·  64 reviews
As far as the eye could see was a vast, empty horizon. Evie Teale had finally accepted that her husband wouldn’t be coming home. Now she and the children were alone in an untamed country where the elements, Indians, and thieves made it far easier to die than to live.

Miles away, another solitary soul battled for survival. Conagher was a lean, dark-eyed drifter who wasn’t ab
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Published August 3rd 2004 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1969)
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My favorite quote from the book (assigned for my Georgics Class):

He was not, he told himself, gifted with much imagination. He simply did what had to be done, and his code of ethics was the code of his father, his family, and his time. It would be throw everything overboard and disclaim any responsibility. All he had to do was saddle up and ride out of the country. It sounded easy, but it was not that easy, even if a man could leave behind his sense of guilt at having deserted a cause
I loved this book because it contained such strong archetypal characters who are honest, hardworking, and dreamers. Their dreams of someone to love do not involve grandeur or extreme wealth but the honest desire for another human to share ideas and common dreams. I also loved it because I like cowboys who can whip a man's butt instead of killing him to accomplish a change. It was a nice bonus that my husband liked it; we had several good chuckles about the situations that L'amour created for the ...more
This is an amazing Western book. I loved the rawness and clarity of the story. The descriptions weren't flowery -- instead they just perfectly described the harshness of the land, the people, and the situations. It was a short book but every part of it was important and a continuation of the story. Very well written and pure. I really enjoyed it!
Chris Morey
Conagher is a great, short Western novel. Louis L'Amour makes Conagher the man an interesting, complex character instead of the standard tough cowboy archetype you might expect. There's bravery and grit in the man, but also an underlying sadness and loneliness. This ties perfectly into the sweet romance between Mrs. Teale and Conagher, as she herself is lonely and has sorrow in her bones.

Anyone looking for an entertaining, well written and quick Western ride, Conagher is the book for you.
One of my favorite L'Amour books! But I love them all...mine have been re-read so many times they are dog-eared, & some are coming apart. Such a shame he had to die & leave us without new stories to read!
I like this book very very much.

In fact, it is one of the few books that I enjoy reading
every year or so.

Like many westerns the story involves conflict between good and evil,
loyalty and dis-loyalty, loss, and overcoming adversity.

Conagher is a pretty straight forward individual that certainly fits
the mythic portrait of the rugged individual who helped settle the american west.

This book has a lot that would satisfy most readers. Good story, interesting characters and challenges, some believable
Evie Teale’s husband, Jacob had just moved his family to a new home when he up and disappeared, along with the four hundred and twenty dollars that he was carrying with him to purchase stock. Evie is concerned – terrified even, but she is determined that if or whenever he returns, he will not find her idle. So she goes about cultivating their farm, earning money with her cooking, and defending her family from marauding Indians. Will her husband ever return? If he doesn’t, will she and the childr ...more
Sarah BT
I read this for my adult lit class and I can now say that westerns are no my genre of choice! The story started out OK, but I soon found it a bit boring.

The book starts out with the story of the Teale family. Evie and her children are trying to make it in the west and they happen to be settled near the stagecoach which brings passengers here and there with a small income. This part of the story I found interesting enough, but after a few chapters the story changes from Evie to Conagher.

Usually the woman in a Louis L'Amour is more of an accessory rather than a main character. Or if she does have an expanded role, her attention is fixed and/or she is dependent upon the hero. I liked this book a lot because the main female character had her own story.

Brought to the far edge of the frontier with two step-children, she is subsequently left alone when her husband disappears/dies. In a world of hard labor and dangerous men, she has to take care of herself and the two children despit
Gordon Gravley
One could argue that if you've read one L'Amour book you've read all of them. But this one is a stand out. A romantic adventure with two very strong characters making due in a harsh corner of the West. Like Hemingway, L'Amour could say a lot with very little. And he knows his subject matter - the West and the people who tamed it - better than most.
Read it in a two day period when I had time I could not put it down.

a very good book. demanded my attention. if I could change anything about it I would make it a longer story.
Louis was hacking them out by this time, but Conagher has interesting passages about surviving(and dying) in the wild. If he'd spent more time on quality instead of quantity, L'Amour could have rivaled Jack London.
One of the truly great western novels of all time, written by the master of western history and folklore. Don't miss it!!
Anderson County Library
This was a reread. I enjoyed it because of the teenage memories of reading with my grandfather.
I had seen the movie and enjoyed it ... but, the book was superb as well. It is the classic western of a single cowboy with a moral compass that is simple and direct. It contains good scenes of the 'white hat' versus the 'black hats'. It also shows how much the character of a man can do to win over a situation ... even with men who is pitted against. Finally, it is a love story of two lonely people out on the prairie who come to realize that they love each other. In other words it is a good read ...more
Being a huge Sam Elliott fan, I tried to watch the movie a while back but found it a little confusing. Reading the book, I kept hearing Elliott's voice for Conn. I really liked this book--the bad guys still had some honor, and the good guys were genuinely good while still being competent fighters. I flew through this book in 2 days, and now am eager to try watching the movie again. My only complaint was the occasional slow part, but when the action picked up again it was a pleasure to read.
Larry Hostetler
One of the things I appreciate about L'Amour is the geographic integrity of his stories and insight into life in those areas. Unless I missed it, this book didn't have specific geography. It is set north of Arizona (or in northern Arizona) but its location isn't specifically mentioned.

The story itself is one I enjoyed immensely. Sufficient mystery and survival insight without excess violence. The obligatory romance and considerable homesteading info.

Good book.
Aug 19, 2012 Kathleen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of western fiction; writers of western fiction; fans of Louis L'Amour
Recommended to Kathleen by: Cheryl Pierson, Kirsten Arnold
Shelves: western
Western writers and readers should read CONAGHER for the depth of characterization and vocabulary words with which L'Amour packed all of his novels. Although the story does have some shoot-'em-up action, what's more notable is L'Amour's portrayal of iconic tropes: the lone cowboy with the Code of the West tattooed on his soul, the tough frontier widow who falls in love with a brutal land, outlaws with no friends and even fewer scruples.
A great story. The movie was really good too.
A second chance for Louis L'Amour that met with predictable results. In the case of Conagher I actually watched the movie before reading the book. The movie was nothing special, but managed to be entertain. The book was entertaining in a flat, disposable, kind of way. Once again, it's not deep or though-provoking and if that's what you're into this is a fine choice, but, for me, it feels like a waste of time.
Jackie Tanner
Mr. L'Amour's Best novel, hands down. Although one of the great descriptive writers of all time, he understood the dynamics between men and women as well as anyone. Evie and Conagher were barely in the same scenes, yet the tension between them was palpable. If the fact that your work sticks around long after you're dead is the measure of greatness, then L'Amour is one of the 20th century's great writers.
Sabrina Carter
When I chose this book, I was simply looking for a short, entertaining read in a genre completely new to me that would get me through finals. I horribly misjudged this book and it's author. It was an excellent story that combined the perfect amount of good old-fashioned Western adventure and romance. I love this book to death, and I will without a doubt be reading more from Louis L'amour in the future.
Wow, I really liked this book! I haven't ever thought I would like westerns, but it turns out I kind of do.

I had to read this for the LEMI Georgics class, but I never expected I would enjoy it ;) I read it in only two sittings, I didn't want to put it down! This book is really full of georgic principles, and the main character, Conagher, is a really great example of a leader.
Sep 10, 2008 Art rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, especially if you are looking 4 true Love.
Shelves: american-west
I liked the idea of the cowboy who read and wrote poetry.
The love between a man and woman when they haven't met and then did and still wonder if love is for them.
The woman who wants to be loved because she wants her family to be together and someone to share her dreams with.

I really like the movie w/Sam Elliot and his wife in it.
It also has a great impact.
It's been a long time since I've read a Western, and this one was very sweet and simple. I can't imagine how lonely it would be to live like that ... made me think a little. A story about a good man (every paragraph seemed to have the phrase "Conagher was a man who ..." -- it got a little repetitive) followed by trouble, and spiced up with a simple love story.
Fredrick Danysh
Ruthie Teale is left a widow and earns a living on her by feeding trail hands for the calves born on the cattle drives passing her place, then the stagecoach passengers. Conagher is a cowboy in the region. Ruthie writes notes that she attaches to tumbleweeds to help fight her loniness. Conagher and other cowboys start finding her notes.
3.5 for me. Nice and short. Second western I've read this year and I liked it, but I didn't think it was 'amazing' or anything. It is a quick read and keeps you entertained. Thought the ending was a little abrupt. Loved the classic western hero of Conagher. Don't know how much there will be to discuss in book group.
Lois Schlehuber
I enjoyed reading this book, because I believe that when you take a job,you should finish it. I like Conagher's work ethic, and his adherence to a code of honor. The story was short, but entertaining without being overly flowery in describing setting and action...just like some people of the west. Many times, less is more.
Loved it. I started out a little bored, remembering that I had read Louis L'Amour as a 14 year old, but quickly becamed sucked in as the book has 2 amazingly strong and inspiring characters.

It is a ridiculously simple read. It's short and could easily be consumed in about 4-5 hours.
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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".
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