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The Lonesome Gods | [Louis L'Amour]

The Lonesome Gods

The Lonesome Gods is Louis L'Amour's biggest and most important historical novel to date, a sweeping adventure of the California frontier. Here is the fascinating story of Johannes Verne, a young man left to die by his vengeful grandfather, rescued by outlaws and raised in part by the Indians of the desert.
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Publisher's Summary

The Lonesome Gods is Louis L'Amour's biggest and most important historical novel to date, a sweeping adventure of the California frontier. Here is the fascinating story of Johannes Verne, a young man left to die by his vengeful grandfather, rescued by outlaws and raised in part by the Indians of the desert. Strengthened by the love of two women—Miss Nesselrode, whose mysterious past fires her ambitions for the future and Meghan, a willful young beauty—Verne grows to become a rugged adventurer, a man strong enough to embrace the awesome power of the Palm Springs desert, and bold enough to stake a claim in the bustling world of opportunity that was early-day Los Angeles.

©1983 Louis L'Amour (P)2011 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Riveting reading." (The New Yorker)

"This is L'Amour's finest book." (California Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (247 )
5 star
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4.4 (188 )
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4.5 (186 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Richard Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 04-06-11
    Richard Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 04-06-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Oater"

    I like a good western novel and I like a lifetime saga. While this book only spans 20 years or so, it is still a saga of a five year old boy going west, and trying to remain alive. He has an evil grandfather that wants him dead and leaves him to die in the Mojave desert. There are interesting characters and L'Amour knows how to write a book. This is the western genre though so if you do not like stories like Lonesome Dove, then this is not for you.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Char Omaha, NE, United States 02-08-11
    Char Omaha, NE, United States 02-08-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Best Western Ever"

    I truly enjoyed this book. It was definitely his finest hour. I've read most of his books but this one was extra special and a longer book which I dearly love. Louie L'Amour was born in 1908 and died of pneumonia in 1988. According the publish date, he wrote it at about age 75. Absolutely excellent book and the narrator was good also. I will deginitely read this one again sometime. He and Zane Grey were definitely the epitome of our western culture of long ago. You won't be sorry you listened to this book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Xavier Los Angeles, CA, United States 03-05-12
    Xavier Los Angeles, CA, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2010

    I enjoy counter-terrorism, westerns, historical fiction, detective mysteries, and old school comedy like "A Christmas Story".

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    "Sorry, but this was not Louis best"

    I am a loyal Louis L'Amour fan. I have read over 120 of his novels and enjoyed over 20 of his audio books. However, I have to agree with some other reviewers who found this story boring. Another reviewer said LL was 75 when he wrote this. Perhaps that was a factor. Pass on this one. With so many excellent books under his belt I guess LL was overdue for one with a disjointed plot and a ending which screamed he was just tired of writing.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-16-11 Member Since 2001
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    "A 2 hour story squeezed into 14"

    I like L'Amour. I know the books are formulaic but they are fun reads about men with guts, a great work ethic and solid character. This book, however, rambles like a toddler in a nursery. The story has great bones, but the main character indulges in multiple identical soliloquies, spends %98 of the book growing up and amassing 4 significant enemies then manages to finish the entire story in 5 pages. It's like the author found out on page 400 that he wasn't being paid by the word any more.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William James 07-01-14

    Dare to dream...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Desert and A Young Man"
    Where does The Lonesome Gods rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I am listening to this audio book again... This is a story for thinkers; those who prefer the solitude of a good story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Johannes Verne is my favorite character. At the age of six, Johannes Verne, took the hard lessons of life as nourishment for his soul. Despite the dark and dangerous times of his early youth, Johannes Verne grew to become a good man. A man of courage.


    What does David Strathairn bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    David Strathairn gave the story feeling. His style, as a reader made the story live.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No... The book is many hours.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book, written by a legend, read by a man who gave the story character.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    walter 08-10-12
    walter 08-10-12
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    "First download with audible"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    YES!!!!!! Louis L'amour what more can one say.


    Which character – as performed by David Strathairn – was your favorite?

    Mr. Feeney


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but I do have a life, 14hrs long, need a little sleep. lol


    Any additional comments?

    First download with Audible, don't know what took me so long.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Mission Viejo, CA USA 07-27-12
    Mark Mission Viejo, CA USA 07-27-12 Member Since 2010

    mcdebaca50

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    "My favorite Lamor book of the west!"

    Not just another man becomes a man book. This is truly a great and well written book about a really young boy who overcomes great odds to beat all odds, Real suspense, great characters and a surprising twist in the end!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Lebanon, VA, United States 07-26-12
    Jeff Lebanon, VA, United States 07-26-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent Westrn from the modern master"

    The story starts out a little slow, but once you have overcome the first 10 minutes it is a great listen. The subtle imagery he uses to describe not only the charaters but the scenery is incredible, you can actually see it in your minds eye.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Overland Park, Kansas, United States 07-28-12
    Anne Overland Park, Kansas, United States 07-28-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Good, but not the best work of L'Amour"
    What did you like best about The Lonesome Gods? What did you like least?

    I really like L'Amour for his plots, and frequently his descriptive phrases and dialogues are peerless. This book needed editing, and definitely follows his formula, but it wanders much more than what he usually wrote, and only one of the women is well written. I would still buy and listen to this again, but I can't see going back to it for a second review down the road. David Straitharn is also well, well matched to reading L'Amour and delivers again. However, if I had a limited budget, I would choose other L'Amour works like Skyliners, Treasure Mountain, or anything else in that series (the Sackett family chronicles). L'Amour got on his soapbox way too much in this novel rather than telling the story and having philosophical thoughts thrown in casually as he has done in other works.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lonesome Gods?

    When the Russian agent suddenly realizes that not only is the escaped Russian he's targeting for return to Russia free to stay in California but also that the US Government isn't going to force her to return and, by the way, the agent himself could stay and make a new life for himself in California.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Miss Nesselrode confronts the grandfather who has been trying to have his grandson killed because the grandson is the product of a marriage his daughter made with a seaman--tainting the pure Spanish blood the overly proud grandfather prizes. Also enjoyed the tactics our hero and his crew use to overcome superior numbers each time his horses and his life are threatened.


    Do you think The Lonesome Gods needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, and since I didn't care for the wet blanket our hero fell in love with, I didn't want to see any more of her.


    Any additional comments?

    Still like L'Amour, and still liked the book, just thought this one was not one of his better ones.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sharon PAHRUMP, nv, United States 04-20-11
    sharon PAHRUMP, nv, United States 04-20-11 Member Since 2010
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    "the lonesome Gods"

    To Long To Boring. The best part of the book and the only reason I stayed with it was David Strathairn very good narrator. Played the different parts well. Oh Yes stupid ending. left ya wondering if you missed something but by the time you got to the end....who cared.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 12 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Linda
    Birmingham
    8/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Old book but timeless appeal"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Lonesome Gods to be better than the print version?

    The audio version is so much more fun in that David Stratham is simply superb at getting the characters personalities off to a tee!I like Louis L'Amour but have not 'read' him since my youth and now hearing it again as an older woman I appreciate his heroine characters even more.This is a rip roaring adventure yarn but he does handle the female protagonists extremely well. In this book and the seemingly cold Russian has become my role model haha.


    What other book might you compare The Lonesome Gods to, and why?

    I had just listened to Ride the Wind that reminded me of this Louis L'Amour book I read ages ago and so decided to get it and read it again.....so glad I did.One thing though, can't imagine why he did not go on to write a sequel to this it was all set up to do so the story in a way had only just started.


    What does David Strathairn bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Already said how well he reads and he makes it such a fantastic journey with the clear characters.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A family saga of the wild west beginnings of Los Angeles and California.


    Any additional comments?

    Although usually read by men this is a wonderful book for young girls (of any age) to read and enjoy a true wild west adventure story but it is not just muck and bullets. Louis L'Amour is obviously a great admirer of women and his female characters have so much depth.Really try something different and you will enjoy the philosophy, action and chivalry in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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