Schmacko's Reviews > Kid Rodelo

Kid Rodelo by Louis L'Amour
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's review
Apr 13, 2012

liked it

I read this, because my dad used to love Louis L’Amour westerns. I never got to know my Dad well (nor he I for that matter). Well, in reading some of his favorites, I’ve come to realize my dad was geeky, with a taste for pulp. He also loved Raymond Chandler. So, I get it now; Dad had a bent for chewy, manly crap written with too much style and swagger. (Although I still love Chandler, I admit, for this very reason.)

A couple web sites said Kid Rodelo is one of L’Amour’s best. REALLY!?!? Bwahahaha!

People are going to hate me for disparaging this stuff without proof. So, I’ll give you the first paragraph of this book:

“The Yuma Desert, east of the Colorado River mouth, was like the floor of a furnace; but of the four riders, three were Yaqui Indians and accustomed to the heat, as were the buzzards swinging in lazy circles above them. The fourth rider did not mind the heat. He was dead.”

You can practically hear L’Amour drawling around the chaw in his mouth to spit out this ham-fisted stuff. YAY! Is it fun? Yep. Is it serious? God, no. It was purely escapist fluff varnished in Old West toughness. Everything here is heroic and manly in simplistic but gargantuan ways that I – intellectual, gay - could never measure up to for my Dad. (Nor do I really want to, seriously…yick…) Yessir, Pops loved L’Amour books for their machismo and fantasy. In fact, this book is probably only slightly more violent and less silly than the stuff my dad read when he was 12.

I kind of like the old man a bit more now.
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Reading Progress

April 13, 2012 – Started Reading
April 13, 2012 – Shelved
April 14, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Andrew Your dad had good taste! What LL wrote about was the stuff we are made of; he was writing about freedom, the freedom to do and become what you wanted through fortitude and courage. He also wrote about people helping each other achieve their dreams. I could also add honesty, sincerity, commitment, and a host of other virtues to the list that LL majored in. I feel generally uplifted when I read his books, that there is hope for me and for us as a people, that things can get better.

James I've not read enough LL yet to say Rodelo was one of his best. But if you take it for what it is and then how LL managed to still create a textured, interesting odyssey, it says a lot about his mastery of writing. Yes, it's escapist pulp nonsense, but it's really good escapist pulp nonsense. In my opinion, most fantasy and science fiction is no more than escapism either. Only, authors such as LL and Ian Fleming could do a lot more in a lot less time, not feeling the need to pretend they are reinventing stuff (a trap too many authors fall in). Kid Rodelo is a great example of this: LL does not stray off the line, yet still manages to tell a solid story within the genre. If it's not one of his best, I'm looking forward to finding the ones that are. The man had an idea for detail and a grasp of brevity that is quite impressive.

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