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
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