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To Tame a Land

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,586 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
To Tame a Land
Mass Market Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Bantam (first published 1955)
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Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: westerns
This is my favorite L'Amour book. I think it's nearly a perfect example of the western genre. To Tame a Land wasn’t my first L’Amour, but it was one of the early ones. A young boy and his Pa get left behind in Indian Country. The boy grows up to be a gunfighter. It really engaged my imagination and I’ve reread this particular book more times than any other in my collection.
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
Mar 03, 2010 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.
Scott Lyson
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"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
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, Jessica, I did it! :D

This was my first ever Louis L'Amour book, and I now definitely want to check out more of his work. (Any suggestions, friends? :)) His style is simplistic and not overly wordy (usually I like wordier, more descriptive books, but I was in the mood for something easy to read. This was perfect.) but the story is definitely not simplistic but, rather, superb.

Ryan Tyler "Rye" was a fantastic hero. I thought it was really neat how he became a gunman almost against his will,
Christopher Taylor
Ryan Tyler is orphaned at a young age and finds himself gifted with a gun, a role he takes up reluctantly, but without fear or regret. Learning to survive from age 13 stranded on the plains from a wagon train, Tyler soon is a westerner and grows to manhood facing its challenges.

Although this is a fairly well-written story, it had a somewhat disjointed feel, as if it were pulled together from several other L'Amour short stories and was missing pages at times. Despite the name, it didn't really fe
Jason Caldwell
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
To Tame a Land is now one of my favorite Louis L’Amour novels. Rye Tyler’s most obvious skill is his ability to draw fast and shoot straight. In other words he is really good at killing people and he lives in a time and a place where good men who are good with a gun are needed. The problem is Rye doesn’t want to kill anyone, and the more word spreads about his lightning fast draw the more trouble makers seek him out to see if he lives up to his reputation. He tries to avoid trouble most of the t ...more
Dec 05, 2013 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
Feb 29, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Aug 24, 2011 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.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books
(More like 4.5.)

Hope to review this once I re-read it. It's awesome.

Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have been looking for something totally different to read for some time. To Tame a Land by Louis L'Amour was a Kindle Daily Deal I picked up 2 days ago for $1.99. From the minute I started reading it I could hardly put it down. It is the story of Ryan "Rye" Tyler's life from the time he's 12, and his father is killed by indians, to his life as a famous, and yet honorable, gunfighter. My only complaint is that the advertising information from the publisher ruins the ending--an ending that shoul ...more
Nelson Humiston
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Guns, cows, badmen, goodmen and a girl

Another typically good Louis L'Amour western.
!y sister calls them " bodice rippers for men” I suppose she is right.
Just this romance is not just about a guy and a girl.
Cliff Donnell
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
read as an E book
Peter Pactor
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good book by one of my favorite authors. Every western fan should have a copy in his library.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story, plot, characters. It's a little bit too short.
Chris McKelley
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, but a long time to develop a lot of pieces
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite Louis L'amore novels. It was similar to some of his other stories, but this one was especially good. I liked the characters and that it covered a lot of territory from St. Louis to California, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and New Orleans. Only negative was that maybe ending was a bit abrupt, but overall a classic western.
Allen Perry
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another classic western story. Good action with very few dull moments.
Good, solid L'Amour story. I picked up this ebook for $2, and thoroughly enjoyed the story again, after several years.
Ryan Mishap
Mar 08, 2009 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
May 12, 2013 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
Oct 31, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Feather Dust
Sep 11, 2013 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
Jul 27, 2014 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
Sep 15, 2010 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
Anders Petersen
Apr 09, 2012 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
Raymond Fleer
Apr 08, 2013 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
Dec 16, 2013 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
Dec 18, 2012 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
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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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“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.” 2 likes
“Ma'am," I said, "I'd have liked it, having you for a ma.” 2 likes
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