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The Quick and the Dead

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  3,623 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
When Duncan McKaskel decided to move his family west, he knew he would face dangers, and he was prepared for them. He knew about the exhausting terrain, and he was expecting the punishing elements. What he worried about was having to use violence against other men—men who would follow him and try to steal the riches that he didn’t even possess.

Yet bandits were only part of
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 1st 1982 by Bantam (first published October 27th 1973)
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Jason Koivu
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, western
Shakespeare this ain't, but boy howdy The Quick and the Dead is a damn good time!

Yeah, dialogue is often stilted and the character of Con Vallian sometimes comes off as a deus ex machina kind of guardian angel. However, there's still a lot to like here, such as some of the characters' development as the book progresses. A strong female is always a pleasant addition to westerns. The story's pacing is good with a solid amount of action, balanced with timely introspection.

For such a short book, Lo
Fred Shaw
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like classic western stories, then you know the work of Louis L'Amour. Need I say more?
Apr 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing
I picked this up to read as part of a release challenge. The "I DARE YOU; A Read-and-Release Challenge with a Twist" proposed by gnissorckoob. I've never read any western stuff. This seemed and appropriate way to take up the gauntlet. Yippie o ki yay!

The cover says" Con Vallian knew the best way to stay out of trouble was to mind his own business. Then he stopped for a cup of coffee at a stranger's campfire and found himself guiding a family of greenhorns across the prairie- fighting a pack of r
Barnabas Piper
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Classic western - pitch perfect and fits the paradigm. L’Amour is an American treasure.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is only the second Louis L'Amour book I've ever read. It's a good story and I feel like I'm living and riding on the plains. A quick and easy read. It's a classic, has the legendary good vs. evil theme, that the Western genre is known for and it's readers crave.

Con Vallian knows what it takes to survive in the West, he's a fast gun, honest and tough. Duncan and Susanna McKaskel, with their son Tom are greenhorns, moving out West to farm and tired of City life.

When Con stumbles on them, he
Mar 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2009
There isn't a better western author who ever lived than Louis L'amour and this book is one of his prime examples of gritty, action packed, make-you-think stories. L'amour writes with such eloquence that you find yourself taken back to the time and place the story is set in, and when you finish the book, wish you really did live in the era.
HornFan2 (Mike)
A quick and easy read, one of my favorite books from Louis L'Amour. It's a classic, has the legendary good verse evil theme, that the Western genre is known for and it's readers crave.

Con Vallian knows what it takes to survive in the West, he's a fast gun, honest and tough. Duncan and Susanna McKaskel, with their son Tom are greenhorns, moving out West to farm and tired of City life.

When Con stumbles on them, he can't ride off and leave them. He ends up teaching them skills to survive in the ha
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: western
The short novel starts at a furious pace and doesn’t let up. Tells the story of the McKaskel family’s progression from victimized easterners into self-sufficient pioneers, aided by an experienced and fearsome wanderer, waged in a deadly struggle against a gang of vicious outlaws. Plenty of action and a no-frills plot make this one a real page-turner.
Mar 11, 2014 rated it liked it
This was my first Louis L'Amour novel. It was exactly what I expected. It is a little like watching a TV show that you know will have just enough action and storyline to keep your interest. There was nothing powerful or terribly thought provoking about this book but it was something to do for those of us who don't have TV and would occasionally just like some diversion that is pretty clean.

The most thought it provoked was about the pioneers who came out and settled this land. It was humbling to
Lu Demetter
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the first Western book I've read & I was surprised how much I liked it! I had been looking over the bookshelves at Goodwill and saw this baby. I picked it up because I knew my grandpa Jack enjoyed listening to Louis L'amour audio books when he could not see well enough to read. I think I'll go back for more.
Camille Siddartha
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
excellent book and excellent movie
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1970s, western
A pretty taut little tale -- a small-cast closed-room drama, except in a very, very large room. Well told. Much better than I expected.
Tim Frederick
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. Louis L'amour is a master story teller of the western frontier.
Valerie Kyriosity
My book group did westerns this month, so I just picked from what the library had available on audio at the last minute. It was fun. I'd never read a western, and I can't say I'll make westerns a regular part of my literary diet, but it was fun. I'm sure this one's been made into a movie, but I feel as if I've seen it without seeing it. I've seen enough westerns on screen to imagine how everyone and everything would look. Heh...I just looked it up, and the film version was made in 1987. I was im ...more
Apr 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
You’d think with a title like The Quick and The Dead I wouldn’t be surprised by all the dead. The Quick and The Dead was my very first “real” western. It was a nice short book and was supposed to be the proverbial toe in the pool. I came away feeling like someone had come up behind me and shoved me in. And, it wasn’t pleasant.

The Quick and The Dead is a novel about a small family making their first foray into the west, tenderfoots they are called. During all of this they meet up with the main ch
Todd Coburn
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: western
Another great western from L'Amour!

This one, although written with a similar style with strong, courageous, manly-men standing firm against hardship and injustice, and intelligent yet feminine women who stand beside them, this one has a slight twist in plot that runs a new line compared to other L'Amour books.

In this one, L'Amour builds a tension between the hero, Con Vallian, and the heroine, Suzanna, who happens to be another man's wife. Yet L'Amour develops this tension artfully, and tasteful
Jason Schneeberger
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Duncan McKaskel is an educated man, attempting to move his wife, Susanna, and his son, Tom, along with all of their personal possessions, from the east, to the west side of America in search of a new and promising life. They are untrained in the dangers of lawless criminals and potentially deadly Indians that they will meet along the way, but the mysterious frontiersmen, Con Vallian, shows up out of nowhere to help them along the way.

Louis L'Amour nails another one! This is my third or fourth b
Another good book, even if Susanna drove me batty when she got mad at Vallain, the one man keeping her and her family alive. Lady, you're an idiot to worry about him one minute, then yell at him for doing something he knows better than you when he shows back up. Okay, tirade aside, I enjoyed this book, even as the ending proved slightly confusing.
Casey Wilkinson
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
plowed through it, kept my attention straight through. The wording isn't flowery, there is defiantly an air of experience speaking in the description of the land, time period and survival skills. I think I'll be reading some more Louis L'Amour in the near future.
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
A quick, enjoyable, adventurous read. Everything that you could ask for from a western.
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
After moving west, Duncan McKaskel has his life saved by a stranger named Con Vallain to save his life. But how is Duncan's wife involved? Another good story from a master story teller.
Craig Turnbull
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying this: The hero's name in this book is Con Vallian. Yes, " Con Vallian "!

In my books, a story where the protagonist's name is that epic gets you four stars immediately.

The rest of the book fits with L'Amour perfectly. We've got a group of baddies, a desperate young lady, and our hero who is really good with a six-shooter. The uncommon element in The Quick and the Dead for me, was the development of Susanna's family from greenhorns to seasoned (and lethal) outdoorsmen.

I pul
This is my first western novel. I am a huge Little House series fan so for me, the moving west and trying to make it aspect is fascinating. Other than that...this is a really simple plot. It's the equivalent of watching an hour long movie. Not a two hour movie that would involve more in depth character development and but a little bit more than a 30 minute fluff show (but not much). Someone finds themselves in trouble with some one dimensional bad guys, and some rough around the edges hard ass w ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Louis L'Amour's The Quick And the Dead 1987
There are foreigners and they’re on the run. They’re running from a small gang that are trying to kill them. Then there's a guy who helps them. The guy who helps them is named Con Vallian. He is a good guy who helps even knowing it can kill him. This is a good book to read if you like western books or movies. There’s a big difference between the movie and the book. A lot of scenes from the book are missing from the movie. Both are full of action and dra
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
I read this for the local library's reading challenge, one item of which was to read a book in a genre that was new to you. Since I had moved west a few months ago and was largely unfamiliar with Westerns--save for Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," if that even counts--I picked this book.

This wasn't a bad book, and there were parts I enjoyed, however I wanted more to the descriptions of the sights and sounds. I suppose I was hoping it would be like a western version of Peter Geye's "Wintering."

I c
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: westerns
Another excellent story which could be easily adapted to the movies. This one is about a family (mom, dad and young son) traveling to the west with all of their possessions in a wagon. In passing thru a small spot in the road the toughies there decide that they must have something valuable in that wagon, and they set out in pursuit. Along comes a good samaritan who proceeds to help this green family by not only sharing his good advice but also taking an active part in their protection. A nice on ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was looking for a book this one popped out at me. I feel like I relate to Tom the most because he is a kid and likes to shoot and hunt, I am a kid and like to shoot and hunt too. My favorite character was Con Vallian. He is mysterious and knows how to handle trouble. My favorite part is the shootout.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was born in the mid 90s so I missed the time when Western Novels were popular. This book did not disappoint. From the final duel to the criminals acting violently to the random benelovant man. A duality, especially during the frontier period, of the violent and nonviolent, the good and the bad, the quick and the dead. A great short read
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: western
Pretty standard L'Amour fare. There's a lot of action, a little character development, and some of the worst dialogue you'll find from a bestselling 20th century author. That said, I enjoyed it more than most of his books.
Kami Gardner
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge #7: A western.

Whenever you think of a western, you think of Louis L'Amour. So when a western showed up on the challenge list, I knew I would go with one of his books. I picked this one because there's a western movie with the same name that I really like. However, that movie and this book only have that name in common. Besides that, it was a pretty decent foray into a western, which I really haven't read before. I may read more of them after this, though I don't k
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American Westerns: September 2017 - The Quick and the Dead 4 29 May 15, 2018 03:23PM  
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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".
More about Louis L'Amour

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“I wonder why it is the man who pleads for mercy never gives it.” 21 likes
“Out here you better have a gun, and a gun in the wagon ain't good for nothin'. I believe what the old Quaker said, 'Trust in the Lord, but keep your powder dry.” 16 likes
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