Marty's Reviews > Dark Canyon
by Louis L'Amour
by Louis L'Amour
I have not previously been acquainted with westerns in general and Louis L'Amour in particular. While I had read one of his novels previously, I had been told that it didn't run in the same vein as most of his stories (it definitely did not fit within the typical western genre). So with some time over Thanksgiving vacation, and in much need of an easy, entertaining read, I picked up Louis L'Amour's Dark Canyon. And it served its purpose relatively well. It definitely started out with intrigue; the characters, plot, and setting were set up well. I really like how L'Amour gives some good description of the events and set up. He also places each character carefully, leading up into what you can only assume will be an interesting showdown. All of that was handled very well, but L'Amour first loses his grip when he clumsily introduces the romantic interest, and then continues to fumble the playing out of his excellent set up. While I will accept the romance as a given in his novels, I felt that he gave no credibility to the romantic relationship. And then the interesting events he had masterfully set up tended to trail off, fizzle, and wrap up in a generally dissatisfying finale. I think the romantic interest was included for the sake of storytelling, but he was never able to make it fit as he did the other formulaic characters and setting. And then the disappointing ending, perhaps, was a result of attempting to make the story more realistic. Admirable, certainly, but if you are using cliches up until that point (and using them well, I might add), there is no reason to destroy a clever and entertaining finale all in the name of "realism." All in all, however, even with the lackluster second half of the story, I can't deny that L'Amour does have a knack for storytelling, and he definitely belongs within the area of western literature. So, if you are looking for what I was looking for, an easy, entertaining read, then Dark Canyon fits the bill. Otherwise, ride into the sunset and search for something else.
Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Dark Canyon.sign in »