Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hondo” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.04  ·  Rating details ·  9,593 ratings  ·  547 reviews
He was etched by the desert’s howling winds, a big, broad-shouldered man who knew the ways of the Apache and the ways of staying alive. She was a woman alone raising a young son on a remote Arizona ranch. And between Hondo Lane and Angie Lowe was the warrior Vittoro, whose people were preparing to rise against the white men. Now the pioneer woman, the gunman, and the Apach ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Bantam (first published 1953)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hondo, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
A.D. Hopkins L'Amour did for Western novels what the spaghetti Westerns later did for movies: Brought a sense of really being there to the movies. Instead of equip…moreL'Amour did for Western novels what the spaghetti Westerns later did for movies: Brought a sense of really being there to the movies. Instead of equipping characters with the sort of hat and vest "everybody wore" in the West of previous movies and novels, creators of both of these sub-genres took the trouble to research costumes, guns, etc. that might actually have been present in the time and setting. I think you could find your way cross county from Arizona to Los Angeles by following the journey described in Mojave Crossing, though it's set well over 100 years ago. The plots of L'Amour's books are usually believable to this student of actual Western history. Far easier to read than Zane Grey. (less)
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryTrue Grit by Charles PortisBlood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthyAll the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthyBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Best Westerns
1,078 books — 1,294 voters
Starship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinThe Adventures of Armstrong Dent by AeyessThe Forever War by Joe HaldemanRun Silent, Run Deep by Edward L. BeachThe Infidel Soldiers by Jams N. Roses
Fighting Men In Action
122 books — 41 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,593 ratings  ·  547 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Hondo
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Hondo was author Louis L’Amour’s 1953 publication, and shares with Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey the distinction of actually being a novelization of a successful film. The 1953 film starring John Wayne and Geraldine Page was actually based upon a short story by L’Amour entitled “The Gift of Cochise”.

The narrative follows loner western icon Hondo Lane in his dealings with General Crook’s command, the local Apache tribes and a romantic contact with Mrs. Angie Lowe. Set in the 1870s or 1
Henry Avila
Hondo Lane, a tough chain smoker , a man, (don't condemn him this is the 19th Century when it was considered good for you) without any deep roots . He is living day to day in the harsh southwest U.S. Hondo loses his horse, during an Indian ambush he is lucky though keeping his precious hair. This the long ago time of the 1870's in Apache territory, Arizona before becoming a state, not a good day for sight seeing the scorching desert will kill you as well as the natives.The loner walks carrying h ...more
Jason Koivu
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, western
I'd just finished a terrible western and needed to get the taste out of my mouth. Louis L'Amour to the rescue!

Hondo Lane is a man's man. He's a half-breed drifter. He's a loner who's never alone, because he is at one with the hardscrabble land of the old west.

Is an abandoned and soon-to-be-widowed woman and her young son just the sort of temptation to lure Hondo into a tied-to-the-homestead existence? And what of the restless Apache's in the area? Hondo is nominally attached to the white man's
Gary Sundell
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first novel written by Louis L'Amour. What a story. John Wayne called this the best Western ever written. Maybe the statement is a bit over the top. The descriptions of the Arizona desert verge on the poetic. At its heart the book is the story of Hondo Lane, cavalary scout and dispatch rider and a woman and her son living in Apache territory. There is no stereotyping of the Apache here. Some are decent some are not. Same is true of the white men.

There is a reason L'Amour was and is still yea
"What do we have here? The story of a lonely man hiding his loneliness behind a cloak of independence, a man as bleak as the land over which he rode, yet beneath the harshness and the necessary violence, a kind man, a just man, a man who had come to terms with the land in which he lived."

Hondo Lane is a gunman, a survivor, riding dispatch for General George Crook commander of the Army's forces in the Southwest. Crook valued men like Hondo--men of mixed blood, who knew the ways of the Apache. In
This was a novelization of the 1953 film starring John Wayne and Geraldine Page which was based on Louis L'Amour's short story "The Gift of Cochise". The story revolves around 4 people ... Hondo Lane, Angie Lowe and her son Johnny, and the Apache chief Vittoro.

Hondo Lane is an army scout and dispatch rider who loses his horse in an encounter with a couple of Apaches. He makes his way to an isolated ranch where he encounters Angie Lowe and her son Johnny who were left alone when Angie's husband,
Colleen Fauchelle
This was the book club choice. We were sick of war stories. So the next person on the list chose this one. It was an easy to read story, with some action and their was a bit of insta love.
I liked Hondo as a character he know a lot about the land and he was a hard worker and dedicated to job in the army and his friends. The wild west was a tough place to live.
The fun thing about being part of a book club you get to read all sorts of books you may never have picked up.
Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
Library book...moves to the head of the line, top of the it first (or, err, listen to it) and take it back!

I had forgotten just how good (er, proficient) a writer Louis L'Amour was. I think that sometimes "we readers" those of us who read general fiction, other genres or read somewhat more eclectically may tend to look down on westerns a bit. Not a good thing to do. We miss some excellent reads. While there are things here that don't thrill me as such there is also a good story and a
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the better L’Amour westerns I’ve read. Automatically gets a point for being set in my home state of Arizona. It seems like L’Amour was truly writing from a place of hunger and passion at certain times in this novel--while his later stuff is never bad, it can be formulaic and kind of factory-built feeling. This one’s about a cavalry scout named Hondo Lane who gets wrapped up with a woman and her son who’ve been abandoned by their husband/father in the middle of the long war between the Apa ...more
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: western
His first; not his best, but a good start.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened-to
A classic cowboy novel that keeps it simple. Hondo is a scout for the Army in Indian territory. He's a lone man with a dog. He meets a woman and a boy. He falls in love with the woman. There's some problematic racial issues involving Native Americans. Although I was impressed that Hondo empathized more with the Native people than I would have guessed.

Louis L'Amour doesn't waste any time in "Hondo." This plays like a greatest hits album: Quick Draws, Training montages, Scary Savages (again, it's
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'...there were the desert and mountains and the love of strong things, man things.'

This book was the mannest. Obvs, i could totally relate.
Sometimes you just need a good, simple, romanticised western, and LL writes them beautifully.
Gregory Baird
Louis L'Amour's writing is great but the concept, plot, and characters of this book are hopelessly dated and tiresomely problematic. It hits on every worn-out cliche of the western genre and amplifies an underlying toxic masculinity I did not enjoy reading at all. L'Amour really thinks about the interior life of his characters, but in such a manner as to be oblivious to the more problematic parts of his novel.
Greg Strandberg
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a very good western novel. You have a woman at a frontier ranch, and Apaches closing in. Army troops are getting wiped out, the suspense builds.

If you're thinking of reading a western novel and don't know where to start, this is a good one.
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I enjoyed this book for the most part. It was an interesting situation because the writing was really quite beautiful but I spent a fair amount of time snickering at clichés. We had fearsome Apache warriors, the love of a man for a woman, the need a woman has for a man, their eyes meet... Okay, it didn't get quite that bad. Basically there was a lot about the importance of family and a love of the land. The funny thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if those things are clichés in westerns simply be ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: western
Another in a long line of "romantic Westerns" that authors like L'Amour and Zane Grey churned out by the fistful. This one isn't so bad, but it starts winding down and losing steam long before the finale.
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
One of Mr.L'amour's earlier novels, it quite easy to see why his works are considered the epitome of western fiction. I truly enjoyed reading Hondo, which was rich in its descriptions of the southwest and particularly the Apache people groups. If you've never read any westerns, this would be a great one to start with.
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: western
Audiobook 3.5 Stars

I don't know if the writing is kind of choppy, or the narrator chops it up.

I thought the story was a little simplistic and predictable.

But, overall, a good read.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful western tale that had a little bit of everything and a nice romance plot around the center of it. It painted the picture perfectly and this was everything I wanted out of a western read.
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...
Up front: the only other frontier Western I have read is Lonesome Dove, which was for me the superior book. However I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.

Character: Hondo Lane is a rough, tough, loner of a man. He is a stereotype of what we think a man in the old west would be. He is a drifter. A half-breed (though that term grates on me.) He is kind of the Jack Reacher of the old west. And while that is a draw to most, for me it was a negative. I find this kind of character
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I shockingly really like this book. Hondo was HOT!!! And Angie the female protagonist was not a whore....double score!!!! The dialog was interesting and the indigenous folks were treated fairly respectfully, which I did not expect given when this was written. Not bad!
Anthony Vereen
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My book is called Hondo by Louis L'Amour. The setting is in the dessert of Arizona back in the cowboy and Indian days. The main character of this book of course is Hondo Lane, and the antagonist in my opinion was the chief Vittoro. Hondo was a dispatch rider who loved his cigarettes, his dog, and the land. Because the Apache Indians were hunting heads and Hondo was half white one of the conflicts for Hondo was to simply stay alive. During Hondo’s journey he came across a woman and her son who li ...more
ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ
I really like this western. The John Wayne movie Hondo was based on a Louis L'Amour short story, The Gift of Cochise. A screenwriter was hired to turn the ten page short story into a movie. At the time, Louis L'Amour was not that well known an author yet. He got permission to novelize the screenplay (without giving credit to the screenwriter) and publish the book Hondo, under his own name (the first time he had a novel released in his name) and it was released at the same time as the movie. A li ...more
May 02, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wild-west, fiction
I started off kind of liking this, but reading on I just got to hating it more and more. I liked the tone, which is sparse and seemed to sort of match the terrain and setting of the story, but it gets sort of repetitive. Beyond that, it was juvenile and sexist, featuring the fledgling love between a big, broad-shouldered man who knew the west, was dangerous but really kind and perfect in all the right ways and a woman, beautiful and alone on her ranch in the west who just needed a strong man in ...more
Raegan Butcher
Jul 28, 2008 rated it liked it
I can see why Louis L'Amour is one of this country's most widely read authors; he writes nice fat rolling lines that reach toward the poetic. His characterizations are well-drawn. His storytelling skills excellent. Good stuff.
Ramona Mead
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
I generally don't read Westerns, though not for any specific reason. I listened to this on audio book to complete a Read Harder challenge category, and picked it because it was short and had high ratings. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I thoroughly enjoyed it. I suspect it's a prime example of the genre, there's adventure and death, a little romance, lots of western scenery and interactions with "wild natives." The writing is sparse yet descriptive, and while certainly not politically co ...more
Amanda G. Stevens
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
All right, four stars it is. Classic L'Amour, everything you could want from a Western and then some. For the 1950s, a surprisingly multi-faceted take on the Apache/white conflict. The history of the work (first a short story, then a film, then a novel based on the film that actually released before the film) is fun to know. I'm not sure any of the book's additional scenes are strictly necessary; when I want to revisit the story, I'll probably just watch John Wayne. But I'm glad to have read it ...more
Christopher Black
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
My first western so I can have something to talk about with my grandparents. I have never seen them read anything but a Louis L’amour. This romanticizes Arizona in the 1800’s when Apaches ruled the land. Men were men and women were women. His writing ingrains in you that Hondo Lane was a man’s man who knew how to shoot and survive. A cowboy Jason Bourne.

I like the descriptions of the desert for those who had to learn to live in it without air conditioning and modern conveniences. For example:

Sarah Grace Grzy
3.5 stars? Not high on my list of favorites.
Pamela Priest
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent western, but we all know this. But still, this is my first L'Amour and I can see why he was one of the great western authors.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
ACPL Online Book ...: Hondo-September ***SPOILER*** 2 7 Sep 14, 2017 09:34AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Shootist
  • Shane
  • Riders of the Purple Sage (Riders of the Purple Sage #1)
  • The Searchers
  • Comanche Moon (Lonesome Dove, #4)
  • Streets of Laredo
  • Dead Man's Walk (Lonesome Dove, #3)
See similar books…
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".

Related Articles

Thirty-four years after the publication of her dystopian classic, The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood returns to continue the story of Offred. We talked...
367 likes · 59 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“The Apache don't have a word for love," he said.
"Know what they both say at the marriage? The squaw-taking ceremony?"
"Tell me."
"Varlebena. It means forever. That's all they say.”
“Destarte! How musical! What does it mean?" "You can't say it except in Mescalero. It means Morning, but that isn't what it means, either. Indian words are more than just that. They also mean the feel and the sound of the name. It means like Crack of Dawn, the first bronze light that makes the buttes stand out against the gray desert. It means the first sound you hear of a brook curling over some rocks-some trout jumping and a beaver crooning. It means the sound a stallion makes when he whistles at some mares just as the first puff of wind kicks up at daybreak. "It means like you get up in the first light and you and her go out of the wickiup, where it smells smoky and private and just you and her, and kind of safe with just the two of you there, and you stand outside and smell the first bite of the wind coming down from the high divide and promising the first snowfall. Well, you just can't say what it means in English. Anyway, that was her name. Destarte.” 18 likes
More quotes…