The Proving Trail. Louis L’Amour

The Proving Trail
Louis L’Amour.
Bantam: 1979.

This is the first Western I have read. Centers around a young man whose “pa” has been killed after winning big at gambling. Mysterious men come after him — turns out Pa’s family back east isn’t so nice. Our hero has to wander around the West — mostly Colorado — to avoid the bad guys. Along the way, he chats with a nice waitress. In the end, there’s a shoot-out, the bad guys die, and the boy gets the girl.

The most annoying thing about this book is that although it is written in heavily accented and lingo’d first person, our 18-year-old narrator steps outside himself and starts teaching the reader how things were “in his day.” There are other, slightly less obvious paragraphs where L’Amour is trying to teach us something about the Old West, but overall, the segments are indicative of a complete lack of subtlety in writing. Passable, but not a genre I want to get deep into.