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Last of the Breed (1986)

by Louis L'Amour

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,715289,969 (4.01)35
Fiction. Western. Thriller. Historical Fiction. HTML:â??For sheer adventure Lâ??Amour is in top form.â?ťâ??Kirkus Reviews
 
Here is the kind of authentically detailed epic novel that has become Louis Lâ??Amourâ??s hallmark. It is the compelling story of U.S. Air Force Major Joe Mack, a man born out of time. When his experimental aircraft is forced down in Russia and he escapes a Soviet prison camp, he must call upon the ancient skills of his Indian forebears to survive the vast Siberian wilderness. Only one route lies open to Mack: the path of his ancestors, overland to the Bering Strait and across the sea to America. But in pursuit is a legendary tracker, the Yakut native Alekhin, who knows every square foot of the icy frontierâ??and who knows that to trap his quarry he mus… (more)
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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Adventure
  BooksInMirror | Feb 19, 2024 |
“Even in the days when we were poor, there were always books. There were libraries, and we read everything. The mind was free to navigate any course; the world of ideas is a vast universe of unexplained worlds, and we were free to go anywhere!”

Thus says one of the characters in this fantastic adventure story. Here, we are taken to the cold wilderness of Siberia of the 1980s. Our hero is Joe Makatuzi, an American Indian in service to America as a pilot of experimental aircraft. When he is forced down by the Soviets, and taken prisoner into the heart of Siberia, you get the feeling that the Russian authorities have bitten off more than they can chew. This is no ordinary Joe, and right from the get-go, escape is the only thing on Joe Mack’s mind.
One man who helps him, Stephan Baronas, describes Joe to his daughter:

“Your young man has learned how to survive in one world, at least. Colonel Zamatev was unwise in not realizing he had captured something wild that could not stand being imprisoned. He is elemental, your friend. He is basic. His thoughts are simple, direct thoughts. I believe, although I don’t know him well enough. I am a little afraid that when Zamatev had him captured he bought more than he bargained for. To Zamatev his action was totally impersonal. He captured a man to squeeze information from him, then to cast him aside. To Makatozi his capture was a deadly, personal insult, I believe. Something to be wiped out in blood.”

But isn’t escape from Siberia and Colonel Arkady Zamatev impossible? Many have tried. None have succeeded… yet.
Louis L’Amour was a first-rate story-teller, and he shows the skills of his art here, just as he has in over 80 Western novels.
Not only is this the story of Joe Mack on his wilderness trek pursued by soldiers, trappers, and one excellent tracker with similar abilities, but it is layered with side stories of the Russian people he encounters along the way. It is a pure pleasure to read these stories and varying perspectives that L’Amour weaves into Joe Mack’s pursuit of freedom.
We are reminded of the importance of such qualities as courage, sacrifice, perseverance, and kindness--traits that seem in short supply today.
( )
  MickeyMole | Oct 2, 2023 |
One of my favorites. Read it when it came out in the late '80s. I'd read all of the Sackett series, and loved them, so I figured I'd like this one. Turned out to be my favorite L'amour. I really like man vs man, and man vs nature stories. This one has it all. I identify with Joe Mack as "a man born out of time". I read it again years later, and enjoyed it just as much. I hope to get around to it again. If you're a fan of L'amour, be sure to read his autobiography, [b:Education of a Wandering Man|828165|Education of a Wandering Man|Louis L'Amour|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1584724203l/828165._SY75_.jpg|509736]. It's the best autobiography I've ever read. ( )
  MickeyMole | Oct 2, 2023 |
Book title and author: Last of the Breed by Louis L'Amour 3/8/23.

Why I picked this book up: I read this as a youth, he’s one of my favorite authors and I wanted to reread it.

Thoughts: I loved his description of land, Native American used his skills, being the tracked by Soviets. The survival and history was a great read.

Why I finished this read: Interesting and too good to end early. I did not remember how it ended and finished the reread.

Stars rating: 4.5 of 5 stars. ( )
  DrT | Mar 8, 2023 |
I liked the survival bits of this, though L'Amour is often frustratingly vague about how much time has passed between one scene and the next. Instead of knowing how a task is accomplished, we know only that it has been done.

I even enjoyed the cat and mouse chase, at least at the beginning. As the book went on, everything got more and more repetitive: the survival techniques, the chase, and especially the writing. Over and over again, we're told, "No one could survive out there!" and "Alekhin would catch the American and kill him!" and "Natalya stared into the distance, wondering if he was still alive," and "The past few months had made Joe lean and strong," and worst of all, "Joe was reverting to a savage Indian."

I understand L'Amour was writing after centuries of negative, and inaccurate, propaganda from the US government about native peoples, but even when I tried to make allowances for that, the constant harping on Joe's true self being "savage" and "uncivilized" was extremely tiresome. Joe, you see, is a special snowflake of a Red Indian. He, and he alone, is the only remaining Indian with a crude and primitive code of honor. He, and he alone, is the only one capable of waging so personal a war against his oppressors.

I know this type of book is intended to feed a fantasy of self-reliance and moral superiority, but I just don't have a lot of patience for anyone who truly believes that they are the last of a breed. Especially when being the last of a breed allows someone carte blanche to behave however they wish, all ties to humanity irrelevant because they are somehow apart from everyone around them.

Every single person is special. Every single person is unique. And every single person has to figure out how to accept that they are not any more special or unique than any other person. Joe is highly competent—most of the time—but his war is not holy. His "savage" inner self is not righteous. (Or Indian, for that matter.) And if he had any idea how much his pragmatic ruthlessness had in common with his antagonists', he might rethink his conviction that he is the last of his breed. ( )
  slimikin | Sep 28, 2022 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louis L'Amourprimary authorall editionscalculated
Accornero, FrancoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKnight, AlanCartographorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strathairn, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To John and Carol Lee Veitch. Old Friends, Good Friends, The Best Friends.
To John and Carol Lee Veitch. Old Friends, Good Friends
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The soldier placed the flat, skin-wrapped package on the table before Colonel Zamatev and stepped back, standing rigidly at attention.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fiction. Western. Thriller. Historical Fiction. HTML:â??For sheer adventure Lâ??Amour is in top form.â?ťâ??Kirkus Reviews
 
Here is the kind of authentically detailed epic novel that has become Louis Lâ??Amourâ??s hallmark. It is the compelling story of U.S. Air Force Major Joe Mack, a man born out of time. When his experimental aircraft is forced down in Russia and he escapes a Soviet prison camp, he must call upon the ancient skills of his Indian forebears to survive the vast Siberian wilderness. Only one route lies open to Mack: the path of his ancestors, overland to the Bering Strait and across the sea to America. But in pursuit is a legendary tracker, the Yakut native Alekhin, who knows every square foot of the icy frontierâ??and who knows that to trap his quarry he mus

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