There are some books you’ll buy/rent/borrow in your lifetime, that you just never want to finish. For me I want to know how it ends but I know I will feel so sorry to have the story be over with. These sorts of books I will never get rid of. It’s selfish, really. But I guess I am just nerdy that way. There are literally a handful of books that I have learned a lot from and enjoyed so very much I don’t want to ever part with them.
The Lonesome Gods by Louis L’Amour tops this list. I don’t think I have ever read a book that has made me feel so thoughtful ever in my life. I read this book back in high school and remember loving it so much I put it on Facebook as one of my favorite books.
It all started back in 6th grade at the Medina Valley Middle School library. I happened by the couple of shelves filled with his books. Looking at the inside cover, I noticed most of these books hadn’t been checked out in years. But I was such a sucker for their beautiful covers, most with magnificent colors and handsome men and women on horseback. And you can bet as soon as I found these same books on Grandpa’s shelves I was at the library the very next day checking one out.
The very first L’Amour book I checked out was one called Hondo. There is actually a John Wayne movie based on this novel but it’s nothing compared to the book! From there I was hooked.
But this book is special. It’s much, much longer than most of his novels but well worth it. This is a fictional novel you will learn from. Below I have arranged some of my favorite quotes from the novel that caused me to pause, reread and absorb.
Men strive for peace, but it is there enemies that give them strength. If men no longer had enemies he would have to invent them. His strength only grows from struggle.
The education you receive is like the outlines in a child’s coloring book. You must fill in the colors yourself.
Many people know how to get money, but few know how to keep it.
Our world is growing small.
The one thing we know is everything changes.
Hard to imagine these all coming from a western novel. Louis L’Amour is no dime novel author. These books have story and soul. There is life to his words. Yes some are merely more than pleasure-reading novels. But after reading countless, seriously I can no longer count how many I have read, I have come to truly appreciate his art and manner in which he writes. He writes with purpose, yet flare. The language is easy-to-read; however, not elementary in understanding. There is an amount of historical information in his novels that you can admire the amount of research that went into his novels.
I have really come to love Louis L’Amour audio books. It is sometimes frustrating to not have a visual. But it is that frustration that makes you focus on the words more so. When we watch movies, or the television, we become lazy. Only being oohed and aahhed by something visually spectacular. But if you close your eyes and listen to the words what is the substance really there?
There is a quote, in particular, in the book that defined audiobook’s purpose perfectly to me. Funny, yes, this book was written well before an audiobook was produced but it applies all-the-same.
People read too much to themselves. They should read aloud from time to time to hear the language, to feel the sounds. Men needed stories to lead, to create, to build, to conquer, even to survive. And without them the human race would have vanished long ago.
The ironic thing about the above, is that this is my first audiobook I have listened to in years. And needless to say I had to pause, rewind back a minute or so and re-listen to those lines again. It makes perfect sense. When I read to myself, I don’t give ever word, sentence, paragraph or page its due. I sometimes scan over pages, not even realizing it. It’s quite unfortunate looking back now. Have I missed key things that could have taught be something or at least gave me more insight into that particular story?
Only time will tell as I go back and reread or listen to audiobooks of previously read novels. I have thoroughly enjoyed rereading this book so far and may have to do this more often!
Until next time, join me in trying to read, and more importantly listen, more!