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Smoke from This Altar

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  304 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Smoke From This Altar, a book that has become legendary among Louis L'Amour readers, is the very first book L'Amour ever published. It appeared, to great critical praise, for sale only in Oklahoma bookstores more than fifty years ago. Since then it has become the most sought-after L'Amour title of all, with the few circulating copies from the small print run commanding top ...more
ebook, 96 pages
Published June 3rd 2009 by Bantam (first published 1939)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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John
Oct 11, 2015 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
If there's one thing L'Amour excels at as a writer, it is his gift for describing nature. And, since the vast majority of these poems are odes to nature's beauty, SMOKE ON THE ALTAR winds up being way better than you'd expect from a guy who made his career on penning pulp westerns. Here, there are no cliche characterizations to get on your nerves, no bad dialog, and no predictable plotting or cheesy romance.
In fact, this book is very well done, and it's a shame L'Amour never wrote another like i
...more
Sara Diane
Dec 06, 2011 Sara Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poetry fan
Shelves: poetry, 2011, reviewed
I picked this up more out of curiosity rather than interest, but I'm glad I did. L'Amour has a lovely way with words. Even if he's a bit too formal and structured for my everyday taste, he had some wonderful lines, and a few absolute gems in this collection. It was easy to see that the poems collected at the end (not in the original publication) were not as polished as the rest, but considering his wife added those after his death, it's not a big surprise.

A fantastic collection of poetry
Rogue-van (the Bookman)
L'Amour transports you into the lonely and beautiful places he has visited in these poems. They show his facility with words and his love of the frontier. The mystery in nature is only partly received by a heart that is reaching out, seeking, calling, wandering. I'm not really into poetry, but I think Thoreau would have appreciated these.
Manuel Sanchez
Apr 09, 2015 Manuel Sanchez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, western
This is a book that has become legendary among Louis L'Amour readers - the very first book he ever published (poetry). He remains the only novelist in American history to receive both the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His books consisted primarily of Western novels (though he called his work 'frontier stories'), however he also wrote historical fiction (The Walking Drum), science fiction (The Haunted Mesa), nonfiction (Frontier), as well as poetry and short-stor ...more
Paul
Jul 24, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetree
Interestingly, this was L'Amour's first published book, and his only book of poetry. Most of the poems are naturalist in content- concerning the sea, seasons, land regions, and skies. There are a few humorous ones like the one where he writes of how frustrating it is that people often mispronounce his name. I read a few to my son and he liked them also, especially "A Handful of Stars."
Tammy
Sep 06, 2015 Tammy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy the imagery of Louis L'Amour's writing. As a teenager I read most of his westerns and didn't realize his first book was poetry until much later. I especially like a Handful of Stars and My Three Friends.
Wendy
May 13, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Poetry lovers
Recommended to Wendy by: Amy Cook
Shelves: poetry-prose, favs
This book was a surprise to read, no doubt! I was expecting that I'd get something of the western fiction out of it, and was skeptical, but I was very pleased to find the poetry as mournful and beautiful as it was! This is a must read for anyone who wants to be pleasantly surprised.
Rage
Nov 30, 2014 Rage rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
background on me as a reader: I am not a poetry expert and I've actually not read anything else by Louis L'Amour. there were things I enjoyed about some of the poems (most especially observations of nature), but in general this was just not a collection suited to my tastes??
Joe
Oct 21, 2010 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are flashes of brilliance--a line here and there--but a little over-sentimental for my tastes. Not too bad, but not my favorite. I was actually surprised that L'Amour did more than Westerns.
Kent Barlow
May 10, 2013 Kent Barlow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ive had this book for at least 20 years and everytime i go back to it i am inspired. its a poetic little brother to thoreaus walden in that it motivates me to really live.
Ashton Widdison
Oct 13, 2016 Ashton Widdison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were so many excellent poems with beautiful use of language. I envy the talent of Louis L'Amour, from his novels to his poetry.
Cade
Sep 05, 2009 Cade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in the outdoors, those that like poetry
An amazing book of poetry from a man that lived many lives and experienced many places.
Todd
Aug 23, 2012 Todd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This is not one of my favorite books of poetry but I grew up a fan of Louis L'Amour and had to try it. He is a very good poet and I enjoyed it!
Fredrick Danysh
Jul 20, 2011 Fredrick Danysh rated it really liked it
This is a collection of poetry from the masterful writer of westerns, Louis L'Amour. His poetry covers a variety of topics and are fun to read.
Anita
Jun 14, 2016 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real-world, of-poetry
I am happy to find that L'Amour's descriptive skills as seen in his Western novels translate well into his poetry.
Brian
Mar 02, 2012 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Also read in 1992
Sarah
A lot of the poems in this book give a more accurate depiction of what it's like on the ocean than anything else I have read.
John
May 06, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book, but it isn't my favorite of the Louis L'Amour books. I do recommend this book to anyone that is interested in a good read.
Starry Eve
Apr 23, 2011 Starry Eve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
L'amour proved to be as great a poet as he was a writer of westerns.
PWRL
Feb 28, 2012 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-new
SM
Ruhegeist
Oct 19, 2008 Ruhegeist rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Read My Three Friends! Beauty, humor, dark and bright.
Charles
Sep 03, 2014 Charles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Sophomoric at times but does give a nice sense of the world and philosophy of L'lamour.
Cameron
Cameron rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2010
Karen Levos
Karen Levos rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2016
Cody
Cody rated it really liked it
Mar 24, 2012
Randall
Randall rated it it was ok
Sep 20, 2011
Christian
Christian rated it it was amazing
May 14, 2012
Mo
Mo rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2016
Dan Vence
Dan Vence rated it liked it
May 14, 2010
André Troesch
André Troesch rated it really liked it
Nov 27, 2013
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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
More about Louis L'Amour...

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