The timeless fiction of Louis L'Amour is both unforgettable and undeniably American, deftly capturing the heroic bravery and intrepid spirit that make this nation great. L’Amour ’s legacy of work remains unparalleled, setting a standard of excellence that few other writers have matched. Now With These Hands pulls together some of L’Amour's very best work--eleven newly rediscovered stories that have never before appeared in a single volume.
WITH THESE HANDS
From a South Seas island paradise to the icy reaches of the Arctic, from the dark, gritty streets of urban America to the rugged landscape of the untamed West, the stories gathered in With These Hands combine razor-sharp characters with breathtaking action and historic detail. Here are tales of adventure, mystery, passion, suspense, and the Old West as only L’Amour can tell them. The result is a collection that profoundly echoes the highs and lows of the human experience, while proving that life’s most vital moments can occur when and where we least expect them.
All of the classic L’Amour themes are represented: honor, loyalty, and standing up for what’s right despite the odds. These dramatic stories grab hold of the reader with a power and immediacy unsurpassed by any other writer. An exotic island in the Coral Sea is transformed into a tropical nightmare when it’s taken over by a band of hijackers--and only a daredevil pilot can stop their brutal carnage. A former boxer blows the lid off a vicious crime ring--and finds that his worst enemy is not a thug with a gun but his own tenacious curiosity. A down-on-his-luck rancher discovers the key to his own redemption--and desperately hopes that his revelation has not come too late for him to win the one thing he wants most of all. A private eye navigates the twists and turns of a labyrinthine whodunit--and proves that the greatest risk to a man’s honor is his own greed.
The title story “With These Hands” is a powerful tale that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit, as an oil company executive finds himself the sole survivor of an Arctic plane crash. Fighting for his life against the perilous cold and looming starvation, he resists the temptation to surrender to death--only to discover a life-affirming strength he never knew he had.
Vivid in scope and displaying the diverse talents of a master storyteller, the stories in With These Hands are certain to be treasured by both old and new fans, celebrating the incomparable imagination of a timeless American author.
From the Hardcover edition.
The fourth and final posthumous Bantam collection of L'Amour's short stories comprises 11 adventures written in the 1940s and 1950s that call to mind pulp magazines, as tough men and curvy women trade snappy banter against a backdrop of mayhem and testosterone. Cowboys, boxers, detectives, pilots, sea captains and damsels in distress are L'Amour's heroes here, and no corny clich is left untried. Still, these stories pack a solid punch of action, color and grim violence, in settings from Hollywood to the South Seas and Japan. Only one is a western, with rustlers and romance turning the head of a young cowboy, while three feature young, idealistic prizefighters pounding on bad guys. L'Amour was a clever mystery writer, too, with a talent for clues and suspense. In "Corpse on the Carpet," a Good Samaritan saves a kid from a mugging only to find himself in the middle of kidnapping, robbery and murder. In "Police Band," a bored and curious bystander and a sharp police detective team up unexpectedly to solve a series of crimes. Long-time L'Amour character Turk Madden appears in two stories, one of which is an action-packed wartime spy drama set in Japan. Sea captain Ponga Jim Mayo, another L'Amour favorite, steers a tramp steamer through submarine-infested waters with a hot cargo and a nest of enemy spies aboard in "Voyage to Tobalai." Best is the title story, a gritty and haunting account of an oil company executive's desperate struggle to survive in the Arctic wilderness after a plane crash. All of L'Amour's characters are fast with their fists, guns, mouths and wits, defending honor and battling greed and evil. There may not be much sophistication in this volume, but it's classic L'Amour entertainment. (May) Forecast: There are over 260 million copies of L'Amour's books in print. With These Hands, which is as archetypal L'Amour as the first three books in this Bantam series, should appeal to all his devoted fans. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 28, 2003
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Excerpt from With These Hands by Louis L'Amour
Nimbly "Flash" Moran parried a jab and went in fast with a left to the wind. Stepping back, he let Breen get a breath. Then he flicked out a couple of lefts, put over an inside right, and as Breen bobbed into a crouch and tried to get in close, he clinched and tied him up.
They broke, and Breen came in with a flurry of punches that slid off Moran's arms and shoulders. Then Moran's hip moved and a left hook that traveled no more than four inches snapped Breen up to his toes. Breen caught himself and staggered away.
The gong sounded, and Flash Moran paused . . . then he slapped Breen on the shoulder and trotted to his corner.
Two men were standing there with Dan Kelly. He knew them both by sight. Mike McKracken, an ex-wrestler turned gambler, and Blackie Marollo, small-time racketeer.
"You're lookin' good, kid," Kelly said. "This next one you should win."
"You might, but you won't stop him," Marollo said, looking up. "Nobody knocks Barnaby out."
McKracken studied Moran with cold eyes. "You got paper on him " he asked Kelly.
"I don't need any," Kelly said. "We work together."
"Well, if you had it, I'd buy a piece," McKracken said. "I need a good middle. Money in that class now with Turner, Schmidt, and Demeray comin up."
"I wouldn't sell," Kelly said. "We're friends."
"Yeah " Marollo shot him a glance. "I'd hate to see somebody come along an' offer him a grand to sign up. You'd see how much friendship matters."
Flash Moran looked at Marollo, then dropped to the floor beside him.