“I am Johannes Verne, and I am not afraid.” This was the boy’s mantra as he plodded through the desert alone, left to die by his vengeful grandfather. Johannes Verne was soon to be rescued by outlaws, but no one could save him from the lasting memory of his grandfather’s eyes, full of impenetrable hatred. Raised in part by Indians, then befriended by a mysterious woman, Johannes grew up to become a rugged adventurer and an educated man. But even now, strengthened by the love of a golden-haired girl and well on his way to making a fortune in bustling early-day Los Angeles, the past may rise up to threaten his future once more. And this time only the ancient gods of the desert can save him.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love fiction books that include factual, historical data that teach you about California, as you read. Louis L'Amour is a master story teller. He captures your imagination with his courageous, but human, characters (male & female alike). I couldn't put this book down and was disappointed when it ended. It touched me in a way that caused me to look harder at myself, as a person. It encouraged me to say to myself, "I am a child of God and nothing will cause me to be afraid." -- I'm a tougher, better person because of this book. Read it and let it move you, too!
You could review this book critically detail by detail, but in the end this is classic L'Amour. I don't believe he ever wrote a bad book. No, I'm sure he never did. Some of the books are similar, some are vastly different. He proved himself able to write more than "just westerns". Louis' depth is seen in books like Last of the Breed, The Walking Drum, and Hills of Homicide. The book is interesting in that the lead role, Johannes Verne, is without full time adult supervision from a very young age and with the help of friendly indians must provide for himself. From my recollection this is the youngest character of L'Amour's to "go it alone". In this way, this book is similar to Reilly's Luck ( another youngster alone). This book seems to take a look at eternal things. There is mention of God and the story line is developed along the idea that many gods have existed through time. Men come and go and their gods are left behind with no one remembering...
I'm a big fan of Louis L'amour but, ultimately, I found "The Lonesome Gods" to be a rather mediocre effort. It suffers from an excess of historical data which, while interesting, doesn't really serve to advance the plot, weak character development, and an ending that's just a little too pat. The story moves along at a good pace at first with the tale of how Johannes Verne's dying father brought him west in the hopes that his estranged grandfather would take the boy in once his father passed on. However, once Johannes reach Los Angeles the story slows down considerably. At this point not a lot is happening with his characters so L'amour glosses over the passage of large spans of time and spends a great deal of time presenting historical information about the early years of the city but most of it isn't really relevant to the story. The result is that the story becomes bogged down in useless data that doesn't do anything to advance the plot. Making matters...
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