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The Tall Stranger

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,560 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Wagon trains heading west were forced to defend themselves against Indians, cope with injuries and illness, and struggle to find food. The group of easterners Rock Bannon was scouting for faced another problem. They were being deceived. When he warned them to remain on the Humboldt Trail, Sharon Crockett and the others refused to listen. Mort Harper, a stranger riding a be ...more
ebook, 176 pages
Published January 25th 2005 by Bantam (first published 1957)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Timothy Hicks
I read this story as the first of four novellas in one collection. For some reason I've always made fun of Western movies growing up, so I'm not sure what urged me to READ one.

Nevertheless, it really wasn't too bad.

The story kicks off with a wagon trail heading to California, and a mysterious stranger named Rock Bannon gets picked up, after having a skirmish with some Indians. He's not well liked (or trusted) by the group, but he's familiar with trails, and is a good gunslinger. Soon the wagon t
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
L'Amour had an annoying habit of writing novellas for magazines, then later fleshing them out a bit, giving them new titles, and re-selling them as stand-alone paperbacks. Such is the case with THE TALL STRANGER, a novel which, like HONDO, is the book adaptation of a movie that was in turn based on L'Amour's original short story. And perhaps I'm being overly cynical, but I suspect it was the opportunity to make a quick buck--rather than any sort of artistic impulse--that influenced L'Amour to go ...more
Pat Martin
My first western in memory of my grandfather. He loved Louis L'amour novels.

Honestly not too bad, nice change of pace.
Gary Burzell
A really good story if you like westerns. I had forgotten how well Louie L'Amour writes. His descriptions of the land, the people and everything else makes you feel like you are there.
Don Andrews
Typical Louis L'Amour, a truly great story teller
Barbara Lee Wood

GREED GREED taking something that doesn't belong to you, but to someone else. People fight for their rights to live in peace and some where in between prosperity falls in the fold. This is what this story is about, there will always be followers and leaders. These settlers let a glib speaking con-man convinced them to settle a place called
BISHOP'S VALLEY, what these settlers don't know is that Mort Harper, the glib speaking southerner dandy, convinced these settlers to settle this val
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best thing about L'Amour books is it takes just about as long to read them as it does to watch the movies made from them, but man is there a ton packed into them! This book was made into a decent western starring Joel McCrea. It plays out much the same way as the book but the character of Bishop is much more sympathetic in the book.
The movie isn't available in the US on DVD currently. It shows up on cable tv occasionally. So reading this is about as close as you can come right now. Imagining
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of L'Amour'a better westerns. A wagon train tale that starts out like "Ordeal by Hunger" the story of the Donner Party. Interesting characters and L'Amour's vivid description of the west. About halfway through his books which number approximately 120.
Mar 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: louis-l-amour
Louis L'Amour's 3rd book published in 1957 and the 13th I've read in my quest to read them all in publication order with the caveat I may read the Sackett group differently.

The Tall Stranger is a very short book even by the L'Amour standard coming in at 126 pages. In this story our hero is Rock Bannon a stranger who joins up with a wagon train heading west after helping them out with a skirmish against a band of Indians. Not everyone in the wagon train is keen to have him along and when the trai
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Don’t ever say I don’t venture out from my comfort zone in my reading. I finished my first real Western (unless Lonesome Dove counts). And it’s a Louis L’Amour, the John Wayne of Western writers.

I knew where this book was going from page one. No doubt about it…it’s a guy book, through and through. Fellow (Mercy! His name is ROCK Banyon…please!) joins up with a wagon train headed west. The man who’s guiding the wagon train is Mort Harper. Harper has persuaded the train to take a southern route,
Laura Verret
Rock Bannon knows he’s not a man of words. He never has been. He also doesn’t inspire confidence in those he meets. He doesn’t expect to. But when he started guiding the wagon train, he expected to gain the trust of the men and establish a bond of some kind. Those hopes are dashed when Mort Harper, smooth talking and charismatic, joins the train. He immediately sets out to deepen the divide between Bannon and the other men. And he speaks about traveling on a different trail, a trail which will l ...more
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
This book, like most L'amour books, falls into the "junk food for the mind" category. It's quick, tasty and fun but has no nutritional value. And like most junk food, I love it! There's nothing like escaping into a simple story of love, hate and heroism. The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad and everyone in between runs for the hills (literally, in this case).

My only problem is the last few sentences. I don't know if they were meant to be funny or serious, but either way they don't fit t
Annemarie Donahue
Pretty good. If you like Westerns then this book is definitely for you. The main characters is a flawed, but brilliant gun slinger with a withered out-look and heart-o-gold. He teams up on the train with a wagon trail of settlers who, predictably, do not believe his ernestness and side with the slick talking well dressed newcomer, to their downfall. Rock, protagonist, saves them all and gets the girl. I'm going through my Western phaze, so I dug it. Would be a good read paired with the film Brok ...more
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This is an old fashioned western. It has everything these old western tales have. A hard but honest man, a beatifull young girl, a sweet talking evil person and his posse of brutes and a conflict over grazing land.

This book has so much in common with old westerns that even in the description of how man die they all do this standing up, grapling at their belly or throwing up their hands before they fall down.

But I happen to love these kind of westerns, so I really enjoyed this book and I will rea
Nov 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again, abrupt beginning, and abrupt ending. Rock Bannon has got to be the *greatest protagonist name I've read in a while. The female character in this one was rather lacking, and Rock(snicker)'s attitude toward her was somewhat... well, the best way to sum it up is in the closing words of the book:

"Oh, Rock! Are you asking me to marry you?"
"I'm not asking, I'm telling. This here's one marriage that's gonna start off right."

...Ok, then... Rock .
Jon Browning
It's... Alright. If it was a movie it'd be the kind of movie you forget you've seen until you're halfway through your second viewing. Totally predictable, with completely stock characters, really, the only thing that keeps it going is that it's only 150 pages, and the writing doesn't make you think too hard. While reading I thought of 100 different ways to take the premise of the story and make it more interesting. Maybe that makes it better than I thought... At least it inspires imagination.
Ken Schloman
The descriptions of the scene of action for the story is typical L'Amour --- GREAT!!
The characters are well developed for such a short novel. While the story line is typical for a western, the plotting keeps the reader interested. I just bought an almost complete set of L'Amour woks and am looking forward to working through them as a break from my usual mystery/ thriller fare. He was one of the greats of this genre.
This is the second L'Amour book I have read. I read it aloud to my husband, we both enjoyed some the language used to describe Rock Bannon. It was my husband's first western novel. It was a fun read. I will say I enjoyed The Lonesome Gods a little more than this book, but this is a much shorter novel and there wouldn't be time for the same character development. It would be fun to visit a place like Bishop's valley.
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book by Louis L'amour that I have ever read and I was extremely impressed. The way that he tells his stories really makes it feel as if you're there experiencing them with him. He has a great talent of sharing western stories. I also enjoyed the difference in his writing compared to other writers. For example, his cliff hangers throughout the whole book that made you want to continue reading it. It also made me want to continue to read more of his excellent books.
Tyler Cole
Jan 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
This was a story centered around the main character, Rock Banning, who accompanied sixteen wagons who's occupants had a vision of the golden promise, new horizons and hope. Unbeknownst to these worn, haggard and travel weary settlers was the deviant intent of one man.

This was an entertaining story that might have been a little exaggerated but held my interest, non the less.
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
L'Amour fudges a bit on relationships in this novel--the hero, Rock Bannon, is not the natural son of the man he calls "father." but, this fact is cast away lightly. Still, there is good suspense as a wagon train gets sidetracked into an illegal land-grab scheme. Rock wins out, but not without some very close calls--but, will he win a bride too?
T.T. Auffhammer
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book. Follows the typical "Western" book formula: girl in distress, evil doer, and strong but silent hero. However, the book is a quick an exciting read. It is hard to not "guess" what will happen, but it still keeps you interested in knowing exactly how that comes to fruition. The characters are likable and you root for them to win.
Fredrick Danysh
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
Rock Bannon rides into a settler's wagon train wounded. When he is healed a Mort Harper rides into camp and talks the group into a new route to California over Rock's objections. When they reach the valley where Rock's foster father lives, Harper convinces some of the settlers to stay. A local cowhand is murdered and a range war is on.
Rob Smith
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
This little romp with main character Rock Bannon helping a wagon train in their journey west is an oft told tale that L'Amour writes better than others. It's a standard story with standard characters and little excitement. The setting description is the best part of the book.

Bottom line: I don't recommend this book. 4 of 10 points.
Apr 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My husband reads Louie L'Amour books all the time and I was desperate to read something so I grabbed one off the shelf. I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually a pretty good book. It was really quick and easy to read.
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never read any Louis L'Amour westerns. Old guys used to rave about them. I get it now. I understand he is formulaic, like Agatha Christie, and I'll assign that comparison as a compliment. Easy breezy to read, and very satisfying.
Rod Foglio
Aug 06, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
More of the same from Louis L'amour. The hero is invincible, the supporting characters are one-dimensional, and the villains are caricatures. I spent most of the book wondering at what point I would start caring about what happens.
Matthew Henry
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Predictable but good

Classic L'Amour. It follows the typical story line, but it does it pleasantly. At times I was impatient because I knew what to expect and didn't want to wade through some of the details to get to the fight or showdown.
Royce Ratterman
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most books are rated related to their usefulness and contributions to my research.
Overall, a good book for the researcher and enthusiast.
Read for personal research
- found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs.
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: yard sale
bought today and took to resident where I work
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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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