Re: RARA-AVIS: Ken Breun and Louis L'Amour and Graham Rawle

From: James Reasoner (
Date: 30 Jan 2009

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    Randy Krbechek wrote:

    "After that, it went downhill. The stories are flat, and lack character development. Further, I don't see how L'Amour wrote all of the titles that are credited to him. I'm starting to think he had some paid staff writers, and he put his name on the books.

    Look, this "version 6" of short stories clocks in at 576 pages. Not pages with lots of white space; pages with lots of words. That translates to at least 3,000 pages of short stories, plus at least 50 novels credited to him. That's a hellacious output."

    I think L'Amour wrote everything, or nearly everything, attributed to him, although I've heard rumors that some of his later novels that were expansions of earlier pulp stories were ghosted. Never anything confirmed, though. He wasn't particularly prolific during his pulp career, at least not compared to writers like Frederick Faust (better known as Max Brand), H. Bedford-Jones, Erle Stanley Gardner, and a horde of less famous but highly prolific pulpsters. I believe L'Amour wrote 89 novels, which is a respectable total but really nothing unusual.

    As for the quality of his work, I'm not a huge fan, although there are a few of his books I think are very good. But he certainly inspired loyalty among many of his readers. When I worked in a bookstore, I once had a customer tell me that he had all of L'Amour's novels and read nothing else. "When I get to the end, I just start over and read 'em all again," he said. Man, I can't imagine feeling like that about any author, even the ones whose work I love.

    James Reasoner

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