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High Lonesome

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,326 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Considine and Pete Runyon had once been friends, back in the days when both were cowhands. But when Runyon married the woman Considine loved, the two parted ways. Runyon settled down and became a sheriff. Considine took up robbing banks. Now Considine is planning a raid on the bank at Obaro, a plan that will pit him against Runyon . . . and lead to riches or suicide. The o ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 1st 1962 by Bantam (first published 1962)
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As I've said before, westerns are not my favorite genre, not even close. But I still try to stretch myself by reading things that I may not normally choose. Such is the case with this one.

And I didn't like it. The story was very elementary, too simple, really, which is probably why I don't like this genre. It's too simple. Give me complexity and twists.

I listened to the Audible version narrated by David Strathairn. He's an outstanding actor, but his droning voice did nothing to capture my atte
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, western
The description of the book makes it sound more epic than what it is. After Hondo this came off as more formulaic and the characters were more shallow. It's also quite a bit shorter, so no surprise there! Still, it was a solid story of an outlaw with a heart of gold, Apache attacks, and a pretty girl. L'Amour's prose was still simple and yet very poetic. I can't put my finger on it. A pleasant way to spend the day while sewing. Strathairn's narration was again terrific, especially his accents. ...more
Greg Strandberg
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: westerns
My favorite thing about this book was the prose and a bit of the dialogue. I like how conversations just start, are short, but tell you a lot. The real thrill is when you get about a page of prose, perhaps describing the country, the Indians, or just the outlaw's way of life.

I did find myself wandering in thought on this one, sometimes losing my place as I forgot what I read. Besides that, this is a pretty solid western, a short read you can do in a day if you want to.
A western that is all a Western is supposed to be. Outlaws who are good guys, bank robbery and of course a girl. And did I mention a stand off with the Indians where three of the outlaws are killed?
I liked the descriptions of the American desert and the countryside.
Christopher Josephs
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Entertaining! Louis L'Amour writes riveting western action.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very Good!
Mark Stevens
Oct 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
“High Lonesome” is flecked with dread. There’s a ray of hope at the bitter end but there’s a lot of bitter before you get there. This is 90 percent straight-up action and still manages to pack in plenty of life-choice situations for this band of (mostly) bad guys. Or bad guys with a touch of heart here and there. “High Lonesome” is about last chances, big choices and dreams. Even bad guys have dreams and Considine’s hopes are clear. He even wants to rob the bank in Obaro with his way. “There mus ...more
Jason Schneeberger
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I grew up hearing my dad mention Louis L'Amour on several occasions, branding him one of the best authors of western frontier fiction that ever lived. Even though I have read books since I was a kid, I had never given one of his books a shot, until now.

HIGH LONESOME is a classic western tale through and through. Outlaws, guns fights, Indians, dry deserts, danger and bank robberies abound in this short 160 page story.

I enjoyed the simplistic, yet wisdom filled story that L'Amour had to tell here.
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
One and a half stars.

I've plenty of L'Amour, mostly when I was younger. When he's good, he's usually writing about the landscape of the American West. These passages are tough as nails and beautiful in a dusty, dirty way.

But then there's the rest. This book is filled with that. The plot: the protagonist is a criminal (and a really good dude, I guess) teams up with some criminal pals (who are also really good dudes) to rob a town that's full of people that said criminal knew. The sheriff of this
Garth Mailman
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very popular title for tales of the old west, this one by Louis L’Amour. Settlement of the Western territories often preceeded government or any form of law and order. The law of the gun and the quick draw were the only enforcers and settlements were often controlled by rustlers hence bandits could count on the fact that no jury of their peers would find them guilty. This made making an honest living nearly impossible in territories such as Wyoming where that ethos is very live to this day and ...more
Patricia Spagnoli
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have been reading some western in between the other genres I enjoy to try them on for size. I have been thoroughly enjoying those by William Johnstone and thought I'd give the famous Louis L'Amour a chance. L'Amour's 'High Lonesome' is a simple story of cowboys and Indians with a semi romance thrown in for good measure.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I actually really enjoyed this one by L'Amour. His stories are sometimes a little to simple and not quite my thing. However, this one I pretty much read from beginning to end without putting it down. Great story and worth a read for any western lover.

Im glad I keep reading L'Amours books. The first few I read weren't great but that latest few have been really good.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: western
I enjoy a good Western tale, but I don't read a lot of them. This has everything a good Western should have, including a blurred line between good guys and bad guys. In the 21st century we will never really know how difficult a life this was for anyone, women and Native Americans especially. L'Amour doesn't clear that up for us, but he writes a good tale with plenty of action.
Anna Ballard
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Louis L'Amour is always the same, a great read if you like westerns. For me they are getting few and far between, so this was a treat.
Jerome Pariseau
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LL at his best

Great story, definitely Mr L'Amour's writing. Readers will enjoy the story right up through the last word. Was sorry to have it end.
Wilson E. Stevens Sr.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Good review of a story of a good man making bad decisions, and turning his life around again.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Engaging storytelling!
Kenneth Flusche
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Typical Western
Ellen Sletten
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All written, interesting, action packed western. The book was somewhat short, it was fast paced, descriptive and well thought out. Enjoyed it very much. It is one of those classic style westerns.
 Paul's  Reading Retreat
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great read Louis L'Amour has always been my Favorite Western Author
Steven Freeman
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story of redemption.
Mike P
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Quick read. There is nothing extraordinary about this typical “Western” story. Nothing bad about it either. Simple plot – bad guy seeks revenge; bad guy meets girl; girl falls for bad guy and vice versa; bad guy goes good; marauding Indians everywhere. My only criticism about the novel is that the “girl falls for bad guy and vice versa” element of the plot is extremely shallow and, consequently, somewhat unbelievable.
Feb 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, western
Cognitive dissonance. There's so much I liked about this book. Sure, the whole bank robber with an old grudge to be settled plot is pretty cliched and the characters aren't particularly well rounded, but the prose is masterfully written and so much of the ethos of manhood and outlaw is articulated more memorably here than anything else I've read. So many quotable lines about the choices outlaws make when they shake themselves loose from the rules of society and the heavy price they pay. High lon ...more
Katie Bruce
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book was my first "Western", chosen as a genre choice for my Adult Popular Literature class (hence the review, which I almost never write, but I need to remember this one for class later!). I chose L'Amour since he was such a prolific writer within the genre and I chose this particular book because the description promised a hint of romance (I thought that would make it go down easier). Although the novel was full of sterotypes--the outlaw, the Indian, the outlaw turned sheriff-- and even t ...more
Bookworm Smith
Mar 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
In all of the previous L'Amour books I have read the protagonist is always a straight shootin', law abiding, good-right-down-to-the-last-corner-of-their-heart, hardworking cowboy. This book has an outlaw as the main character. You'd think, quite a change?


As it turns out, in the end this outlaw was just as good hearted as the others. A point that Louis points out various times through the book. It's just the way of the Western gotta love it.

As I mentioned above we have a bank robber.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
So I thought I'd give a Western a try and I rather enjoyed it.
Jul 08, 2011 rated it liked it
This is the first Louis L'Amour book I've read. In recent years I've been reading more genre authors, mainly in sci fi and westerns. I like western stories, and it is good to not only read the serious authors like Cormac McCarthy.

This book is a quick read with a concise, engaging plot. The characters are presented with minimal information and development, yet they are full-fleshed and interesting. The setting is convincingly evoked.

Some genre authors are good at stories but not so good at the c
Marisa Young
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Set in Arizona, a bunch of outlaws plan to rob a bank. Meanwhile, an old man and his daughter are traveling to California to start a new life. The paths of the two groups collide in Indian country.

Slow start - interesting diversion for bank robbery - good western.
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: western
Not one of his best but good enough to pass some time. I once again found myself between books and grabbed a trusty L'amour to get me through. If you are looking to start reading L'amour's books I would suggest you start with a different one but this one will do in a pinch. Out of the million books he wrote with the same plot only names changed there are only a few I didn't like so you would be pretty safe to just grab one up and jump in. He always takes you back to a time where men were men and ...more
Jul 20, 2013 rated it liked it
July 14th finished High Lonesome by Louis L’Amour.
L’amour’s heroes are always interesting, if nothing else. As primarily a western author, he has perfected the romanticized, rugged manhood of the cowboy. In High Lonesome, the hero is actually an outlaw, who is apparently redeemed by his sudden love for another “retired” outlaw’s daughter whom he meets on his way to rob a bank. I didn’t quite buy his sudden conversion to respectability, as I think L’amour tended to gloss over issues which would h
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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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“The whole town was like that. Probably there weren't three men in town who had not used guns, and used them a lot.” 1 likes
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