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Education of a Wandering Man    by Louis L'Amour order for
Education of a Wandering Man
by Louis L'Amour
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 1990
Hardcover, Paperback

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* * *   Reviewed by Marian Powell

At the age of 15, the author struck out on his own, wandering for years, first across America and then across the world. He worked at every kind of job and in his spare time he read and read. He took his reading so seriously that he kept lists of the books he read each year and at the end of his autobiography, he displays some of the lists. His range of interests was amazing. If ever you want to persuade a teenager of the importance of reading, give them this book. For this boy who worked and read his way around the world turned into Louis L'Amour, the famous and prolific author of westerns.

He was fortunate that many of his jobs were on ranches and mines in the West in the 1930s. He met ageing cowhands who remembered the old days. He himself had hair-raising adventures such as getting stranded at an abandoned mine in the desert and having to hike out seventy miles. That undoubtedly is one secret of the success of his westerns. He met the people and saw the places that he wrote about.

While Louis L'Amour is most famous for his westerns, he actually wrote other works as well, though they were not as successful. Considering his love of history, it is a tragic loss to his readers that he did not live to write the historical novels that he intended to complete. His autobiography, Education of a Wandering Man, shows a thoughtful, incredibly well-read man, filled with interesting ideas and with a great love of history.

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