Tuesday, May 14, 2024

"Mustang Man" by Louis L'Amour

I liked this one all right.  It was an enjoyable and fast-paced read, but I didn't love it.  I'm not sure why, either, as the story was solid, and Nolan Sackett was an interesting character.  But he felt a little detached, as a narrator, or maybe like he was trying to distance himself and the readers from the story in a way?

The storyline is good stuff -- Nolan Sackett, who could be a hero but is often labeled an outlaw, falls afoul of a witch.  Well, not a witch, really, but a sociopathic woman who likes to poison people and torture people and kill people.  Anyway, he escapes her clutches and then encounters a Wise Old Mentor who gives him tools and advice.  Then he finds a Woman in Distress and helps her seek out a treasure.  It's very myth-based storytelling, if you can't tell, and I usually really like that! 

You know, now that I've been mulling over it a bit, I think I know what the problem is.  I didn't really like the main female character, Penelope.  She didn't get as well-fleshed-out as most of L'Amour's heroines, and so I never got a chance to know her, and that means I didn't get invested in Nolan's desire to help her and his secret hope that she might see him as more than a crooked-nosed outlaw.

Oh well -- not every Sackett book needs to be my favorite!

Particularly Good Bits:

I knew I wouldn't get anywhere now trying to run; and when it comes to that, I am not a man who cares to run, unless it's toward something (p. 37).

It was always as Ivanhoe that I saw myself, and always as the Norman knight that I was being seen by others (p. 73).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG-13 for violence, non-detailed descriptions of someone who has been tortured, and a brief mention of prostitution.  Also some mild cussing.

This has been my 13th book read off my TBR shelves for the 2024 Mount TBR Reading Challenge.

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