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Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir by…

Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir (original 1989; edition 1990)

by Louis L'Amour (Author)

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7342920,201 (4.14)51
From his decision to leave school at fifteen to roam the world, to his recollections of life as a hobo on the Southern Pacific Railroad, as a cattle skinner in Texas, as a merchant seaman in Singapore and the West Indies, and as an itinerant bare-knuckled prizefighter across small-town America, here is Louis L'Amour's memoir of his lifelong love affair with learning--from books, from yondering, and from some remarkable men and women--that shaped him as a storyteller and as a man. Like classic L'Amour fiction, Education of a Wandering Man mixes authentic frontier drama--such as the author's desperate efforts to survive a sudden two-day trek across the blazing Mojave desert--with true-life characters like Shanghai waterfront toughs, desert prospectors, and cowboys whom Louis L'Amour met while traveling the globe. At last, in his own words, this is a story of a one-… (more)
Title:Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir
Authors:Louis L'Amour (Author)
Info:Bantam (1990), 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L'Amour (1989)



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I can't remember how I ended up with this on my "to read" list - especially since I've never read any of his novels or short stories - but regardless I'm glad it did. The reflections of a learned man - one who learned just through a love and devotion to reading and learning - was right up my alley. While I cannot hold a candle to his prolific levels of reading, I can certainly appreciate his views on it, and all that he learned.

In the book, he talks about the books he read over certain time periods (including lists he kept for several years) and discusses them in the context of what he was doing at that point in his life. He also provides his commentary on life then and life now. In terms of writing, this book meanders and is uneven in places. Occasionally he sounds preachy. But overall, it's a fascinating read. He was an interesting spirit. I think it is a book you could pick up and read a chunk, then put down for awhile to read something else. While largely chronological, his reflections and memories are not culminating to one point. Rather just the observations of a man that traveled the world, had many great adventures and experiences, and recognized how books provided insights into people, places, and cultures. Highly recommended. Four stars instead of five because of some of the unevenness. ( )
  jpnygard | Aug 2, 2018 |
Synopsis: Louis L'Amour tells about how he educated himself through reading a large number of books that covered a wide variety of subjects. Eventually he owned more than 10,000 books. Part of his education was also gained by traveling and talking to elderly in the areas he visited.
Review: It's an interesting book that rather wanders through L'Amour's remembrances. The best line in the book is, 'May there be a road.' ( )
  DrLed | Oct 21, 2016 |
This is an interesting, well-written book about the famed author of Western novels and short stories, Louis L'Amour. In this book, L'Amour talks about how he left school because he felt they could not teach him all he wanted to learn, and the book goes through the many ways in which he educated himself. From learning from those that have been-there-done-that, to reading every book he had the good fortune to find, to traveling place to place and working many jobs (ranging from caretaker at a mine, to lumberjack, to skinner of dead cattle, to, of course, author), it will amaze the reader to see how L'Amour went about gaining a thorough education. And at the end of the book, it gives a very insightful list of many of the books he has read to accomplish his purpose. I would recommend this book to not only to anybody who loves Louis L'Amour, but also to anybody interested in furthering their education without the assistance (or the hindrance, as L'Amour might have said) of public schools.

This book is an accurate portrayal of the colorful history of the islands of Hawaii, from before James Cook's supposed 'discovery', to the changes Hawaii underwent when the U.S. claimed it ( )
1 vote SDaisy | Sep 14, 2016 |
Not strictly an autobiography, this is an interesting set of memoirs from the author: he relates tales of his youth, and how his experiences and the books he read helped to educate him and turn him into a writer. Good read. ( )
  fuzzi | Aug 26, 2016 |
I had trouble rating this book because it alternated between tedious and enthralling. The book was a somewhat rambling collection of biographical stories, philosophy on life, and observations about contemporary (1980s) society combined with how L'Amour educated himself by reading multitudes of books. Many of the book titles are included, and he even supplies a appendix listing the books he read by year for the 1930s. The best portions of the book dealt with his biographical stories. Unfortunately, he died before writing a true autobiography.

L'Amour was the best selling author who specialized in writing westerns, but who also wrote on other topics, including a historical novel on the middles ages (The Walking Drum) and a novel about a captured American pilot escaping from a Siberian prison during the cold war (The Last of the Breed). I still enjoy reading his novels. ( )
  NLytle | Apr 21, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louis L'Amourprimary authorall editionscalculated
Boorstin, Daniel J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was May 14. In a few days my class back in Jamestown, North Dakota would be graduating from high school, and I was in Singapore.
"My greatest complaint with present-day sexual writing is that nobody seems to be having any fun. Sex is an ordeal, or it is rape, or an athletic endeavor. Only the French find it amusing---as it certainly is. Many of those who choose it for subject matter linger on the most unpleasant aspects or treat it like a discovery. Actually, they needn't. It's been here all the time."
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