‘Remember the Alamo’ is a fun book by the Johnstone Clan. Albeit beyond preposterous. The writing is looser than other Johnstone books. The characters are pretty good, though not as sharp as in other books.
The plotting is sloppiest involving the Hillary Clinton-type president that is demo-goding a situation involving the Alamo. It’s written that Congress is behind her, but little more is mentioned about the Congress, the Cabinet or much of anyone else in charge. Some unbelievable situations occur and the Clinton-type is riding herd to her goal. That’s an interesting stance to take if she had first released Congress from it’s handle of guiding the nation. Otherwise, Congress would’ve stepped in to any number of degrees to intercept even to support her.
None of that happens. The book is written as Alamo vs. Washington. There are some real bad guys who started all this, but they start to slide in importance as the book runs along.
Unfortunately, the characters seem to run together, especially involving the good guys. In other Johnstone books, the characters and their story help enormously involving rocky stories. The Dave and Caroline Rodriguez characters are the mostly compelling to me and it would be nice to see the Johnstone Clan explore those two further in another book.
The book is still fun to read. The characterization of those in the White House are sometimes as much fun as they are shocking. This Johnstone Clan book takes the ultra-liberal president character to heights hard to imagine.
Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 4 out of 10 points
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What I hate most about this book: There has only been one made! Apparently whatever fall out occurred between the mysterious “Fred Austin” mentioned on the cover killed off this series.
First great element of this novel is the continuation of the “Smoke” Jensen legacy to today with “smoke”‘s great grandson. It’s just not a mention of the relation but the weaving of the family connection into the story. It is a bit pretentious, but adds much to the story.
Another great element of the book is the handling of the story in a far more realistic light than the various super soldier novels want to reveal. The conflict of the media and layers are generally entirely absent from the typical espionage story. This book takes it all head-on and lays the ground work for a series that never happened.
The writing is typical of a Johnstone Clan book with great characters and a fun, fast moving story.
Bottom line: I recommend this book. 7 of 10 points.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I see a well illustrated old west themed cover to a Louis L’Amour book, the title ‘The Broken Gun’ and I plunge into a novel that instantly confuses me. It takes a few pages to realize when in time this novel falls. There is no mention of it. There is a mention of 90 years before…but, before what?
By the third page the Korean War is mentioned.
Involving stroytelling, time should be established in some way off the top if a story about different time periods is being unraveled. Instead L’Amour leaves the reader at drift trying to figure out what’s going on.
Making the early part of the book worse is L’Amour’s poor approach to literally illustrating an urban setting.
Once the novel goes out to ranch lands of sand and rock, L’Amour hits his stride in describing the setting. But, time gets away from him again. L’Amour clearly had trouble with writing about his present.
A number of things bother me about the writing of this book. One involved an over long chase near the end. Another was one sentence involving a character that vanishes. Though clearly not the intent, the line is more surreal than consistent with the rhythm of the story.
The story is shakey, at best, and the conclusion over obvious.
Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 4 out of ten.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m reading these in order and this is the fourth in the series. After a bumpy third book, this one gets more on track of the first two with similar quality and story telling. This is not as good as the first two, but still, involving story telling better than most all of the rest of the Johnstone Clan written books.
Seems this is the same writer as the other three books, for, again, there is an interest in trains, a Perry Mason-type trial and attention to detail missing in most Johnstone books. The writing is very good. The characters well written, as usual.
This is the first of the four where the outcome is pretty obvious from the start. The writer keeps the reader guessing as to just how the obvious ending could possibly occur with so many characters going in so many different directions. It all works well.
Bottom line: I recommend this book. 8 of 10.
This is a good western tale of John Henry Sixkiller by the Johnstone Clan. It’s a bit more complicated than most Johnstone Clan books with far more developed side characters. This is second in this series and both have far more plot development and far more attention to setting. Overall this story of gold, bad guys and banks is one of the better entries in the entire Johnstone Clan library.
Seems to me the dialogue, though other wise written well for reading was a bit dogged with a lack of authenticity to the times.
Bottom line: I recommend this book.
As usual the writing is good and the characterizations are very good. It’s just that it’s much same plot as so many of the Smoke Jensen series. Town taken over, Smoke comes to save the day. The bad guy is getting really repeated as another who kills puppies and eats children, or something along those lines.
What’s really disappointing is not even a twist in the story. There are a few alteration of characters, but that is all to lead to a conclusion we ‘Mountain Man’ readers know too well. Seems to me one alteration was Smoke in general. Smoke, seems to me, acting very different in this book from how he handles the bad guys and the interaction with other characters. This could be a sign of a different ghost writer.
Another trouble is the length of this one. I think about a third could’ve been cut out and focus more on the sheriff and Smoke and make this a tighter volume. There’s way too much nearly identical narrative and dialog from other books.
The volume before this, ‘Pursuit of the Mountain Man’, was a terrific diversion from this town takeover template and I hope the other volumes I’ve hunted down take more the ‘Pursuit’ trail.
Bottom line: Well, I see I need to have two.
1) If you’ve been reading the ‘Mountain Man’ series – No, don’t read it. This is more of the same.
2) If you haven’t read any or little of the series, Yes, read it.
Taking this as a stand alone novel that hasn’t had a series of books before it with very similar plots, this is a good book. In regard to it’s part in a series with repetitive storylines, this is the best of that lot. I’m baffled as to why Johnstone decided to repeat the same plot so many times of the series character, Smoke Jensen, going to save a town under the thumb of a series of bad guys.
This one has better character development involving the bad guys and others. As is mostly typical of the Johnstone Clan books, the dialogue is very good. There is a slight twist involved, but it’s not at all well presented.
This is the first where there are many scenes that are repeated from the other books. Too many similar plot devices and settings.
To just regard this as a single piece gies the book a higher rating from me. In view of being part of a series, it gets low marks. As i read, i thought of better stories that could have been told involving many of the characters. I hope future parts of the series get better.
Bottom line: If you’re reading the series, I don’t recommend this book. If you’re not reading the series and can’t get to the first book to start the series. This is a good entry point.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I noticed this with a few other L’Amour books I’ve read: Within twenty pages the reader finds themselves dumped in a sea of names with little to no background as to who they are. In this case it was worse for a couple names are similar. Worse, as the book goes on, some switch from good to bad and vice versa. Many characters are hardly explained throughout the book except for what side they are. I had trouble keeping track of who was through throughout the book. Here’s further credit I can give for the William Johnstone clan and their westerns that are often peppered with lots of characters as I’ve yet to get so confused.
However, I thought the story was a good one even if I did get lost at times. There’s a good mystery that can keep you guessing until the end and plenty of shootouts. I kinda wish L’Amour had done more with series, because I do like the main character, Kedrick, and wish there was more of him. Especially outside the Western genre as referred to in the book.
This book makes 30 books read so far this year.
I picked up the first book off a bookshelf of a place I was visiting. Read it and now I’m amongst the very apparent many who are collecting the series of series. The first book drew me in as it fleshed out quite a set of characters and told a great story. I delved into number two hoping to find more of the same and did. It is a continuation of the first book and wraps the loose ends. Obviously a setup to get the reader on to number three. Though i doubt at the time William Johnstone in the mid-’80s knew of the industry he was about to spawn. Quite a set of books are coming out this year of 2013 years after his death.
I highly recommend this book, AFTER one reads the first.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is a book assembled by the publishers of three of “Max Brand”‘s stories originally published in a western magazine. The three are loosely strung together. Though there are no separators of the three stories, it is very obvious that there are three. Each is a good story. The conclusion of all three stories have a very good twist, as is often the case with a “Brand” story.
I just wish “Brand” had done a better job writing them. The dialogue and narrative is very stilted even for the 1920s, when the three stories were originally published. Some of the stilted writing, I realize, is based on two of the characters. But did so much have to be written this way, too?
There is also an issue of what seem to be missing stories that fell in between the ones presented. They are referred to, but make the stories more confusing.
I’m just glad this was not my first “brand” novel, or I might have given up on him. I almost wonder if he had ghost writers produces the stories, in that the writing is often so irregular.