The more I read, the lower my rating went on this one. Basically, it reminded me why I don’t really care for L’Amour’s fiction. His anecdotes and stories about his “knockabout years” were entertaining, but his lectures — and I’d say more than half the book was him lecturing — started grating on my nerves to the point I was reading his words and hearing them in the condescending voice of “Big Bang Theory” character Sheldon Cooper. We get it, Louis, you never went to college but you read a lot and believe others should, too.
Some have criticized this book for not being a complete autobiography. If you come to it expecting to learn how he met his wife, what he thought when his children were born, or even a detailed account of how he found success as an author you’ll come away disappointed. This is an account of how his reading shaped his ideas. The man led a fascinating life and I’d be interested in reading a biography that details his time as a sailor, boxer, soldier, and author, but this is not that book.
Basically, I’m not sorry I read it, but it was in need of editing to take out some of the repeated lectures. Fans of his fiction will probably like it more than I did.