An Odd1's Reviews > Brionne

Brionne by Louis L'Amour
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Jun 05, 2012

it was ok
Read from June 05 to 22, 2012

Major James "Brionne" 33 retreats to mountain wilderness with son Mat, six when wife and mother Anne shot an attacker then herself, impressing Cotton Allard. His killer gang burns her house in revenge for a brother's trial and hanging after Confederate war predations. Author Louis L'Amour includes the requisite feebler yet valiant female, history such as fighting a prairie fire from a train, but this is a slower example of his Westerns, less detail of clever resourceful techniques to conquer nature and evil, even boxing punches, only one campfire encounter with "pizen mean" p84 Ute Injuns p67.

Pretty lone newbie Miranda Loften has detailed directions to a silver mine from her boastful truthful vanished uncle Rody. Mysterious capable tow-headed Dutton Mowbry offers to help her, guessing the gallant Virginian morals of our hero will see him trail the helpless girl. Cotton leads five more rogues, planning torture and massacre.

The tiny trivia, unasked, solidify the reality, such as child's first coffee, because no milk camping p97. Maybe by 1968, word variety dwindles for the love of harsh beautiful country? Stream chuckles, squirrels scurry, wind whistles like distant train p91. A vivid example is when the air changes, silences, "the smell of pines .. the feeling of loneliness, the sense of quiet" p72, the damp wood scent evokes human solitude.

Some suspense about the identity and loyalty of Dut, until a dying miscreant confesses Dut chased him for bounty. We know from the start that President Grant values Brionne, could send support, and that the Allards pursue. Puzzle how ever-present Rody got away for silver, and Miranda's claim validity, is solved halfway p95 (by staking friend archeologist Shaw who read Injun pictures).

Humor, drawn from characters and situation, keeps me hooked on L'Amour, such as Dut's fire-side matchmaking advice to Miranda regarding Bri.
"He'd be kind of easy to catch right now, ma'am. He's all unwary, like. He's lonesome as all get out, you can see that. An' that kid needs a woman's hand. You could sort of ease up on his blind side, make up to the kid, and first thing you know you'd have him all wrapped up and hogtied." p112

Advice is in context, from a man who lived large, is worth heeding.
"One lives with trouble. There is no need to think about a time without it, for it is always here. A man grows strong by standing against the wind, and eternal peace would bring no happiuness. Man needs strife of some kind, something to struggle against. Although that struggle need not be with other men." p145

"I think the rain is easing up, I'll go get the horses" p192 seems a weak final line. In my copy torn pages followed, so I checked googlebooks, found no "Pinkerton", but fine print says not all pages are included in the searches.

I don't like when Mat disobeys both parents, stays, watches. The viewpoint shifts easily around three parties and beyond, so we know more than every individual; the boy does not have to be our eyes. The drawling slang flows smoothly too, like trotting on a horse, carries the tale with veracity
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