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The Walking Drum (1984)

by Louis L'Amour

Series: Talon and Chantry (6)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3572413,775 (4.06)37
Fiction. Western. Thriller. Historical Fiction. HTML:Louis Lâ??Amour has been best known for his ability to capture the spirit and drama of the authentic American West. Now he guides his readers to an even more distant frontierâ??the enthralling lands of the twelfth century.
 
/> Warrior, lover, and scholar, Kerbouchard is a daring seeker of knowledge and fortune bound on a journey of enormous challenge, danger, and revenge. Across Europe, over the Russian steppes, and through the Byzantine wonders of Constantinople, Kerbouchard is thrust into the treacheries, passions, violence, and dazzling wonders of a magnificent time.
 
From castle to slave galley, from sword-racked battlefields to a princessâ??s secret chamber, and ultimately, to the impregnable fortress of the Valley of Assassins, The Walking Drum is a powerful adventure in an ancient world that you will find every bit as riveting as Louis Lâ??Amourâ??s stories of the… (more)
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» See also 37 mentions

English (23)  Finnish (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Not a Western, but L’Amour knocks it out of the park.

The walking drum in the title is a drum used to set the pace for caravans traveling Europe and Asia in the 12th century. The main character escapes murder at the hands of a family rival when word comes to their region that his father has been killed. Vowing to avenge his mother’s death and find his father, if he lives, Maturin travels southern Europe to fulfill his vows.

The descriptions of lands he travels are good, but the clear winner is characters. In addition to Maturin, L’Amour beings to life the allies, enemies, and women who share his journey. ( )
  AMKitty | Jul 7, 2022 |
Aborted. The Long Ships was a way better version of this story. This was way too sappy for me. ( )
1 vote dualmon | Nov 17, 2021 |
"Unhappily, history as presented in our schools virtually ignores two thirds of the world, confining itself to limited areas around the Mediterranean, to Western Europe and to North America. Of China, India and the Muslim world, almost nothing is said, and yet their contribution to our civilization was enormous!! They are now powers with which we must deal, both today and tomorrow and it would be well for us to understand." Louis L'Amour, The Walking Drum, 1984.

The title of this book refers to the large drum usually carried at the end of a procession (or a caravan) and beaten with a steady rhythm designed to be at walking pace for everyone in the procession. This way the members of the procession all take steps in time to the drum.

It is similar to the drum used on the ancient rowing galleys of the Roman Empire - as seen in the movie - Ben Hur, starring Charlton Heston.

I love reading about little known cultures and eras in the history of our planet and the Arab Golden age is one that we are never taught about in our western schools. This book introduced me to the Arab Golden Age, where the Arabs translated many of the ancient classics from Greece and Rome (Greek and Latin) into Persian and Arabic. This Arab Golden age ran from roughly 800 CE to around 1300 CE. Then those Arabic manuscripts were translated into French, Spanish and Italian and helped to kick started the European Renaissance.

This novel is about a young man named Mathurin Kerbouchard, from France, who arrives home from a fishing trip only to discover that his mother is dead and his father (a corsair or pirate) who has been enslaved in the famous Fortess of Alamut in Persia. Kerbouchard knows how to read and write and he speaks several languages. He travels down to Cordoba in Spain, one of the main centres of Arab learning. There he learns more languages, translates several books, and eventually sets out on his quest to find his father. That is the basic storyline of this novel.

This novel was very meticulously researched. The author planned on writing at least one sequel, but he died before that second book could be written. ( )
  Robloz | Sep 23, 2021 |
A truly fun read in that unlike most of his other novels it is not set in the frontier era of the American West, but instead is set in 12th century Europe and the Middle East. It is also sad that this is the first of a planned trilogy, but ill health prevented further publications. ( )
  awisdom01 | Jul 28, 2021 |
Instead of stereotyping westerns here, [a:Louis L'Amour|858|Louis L'Amour|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1235406999p2/858.jpg] does medieval Europe.

It was fun, but it got kind of tiring having the hero bash Europe, praise the Middle East, learn EVERYTHING in about 2 days, and get into a new kind of danger at the end of every chapter.

So it was a typical L'Amour :D ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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To Lou and Emily Wolfe
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Nothing moved but the wind and only a few last, lingering drops of rain, only blowin of water off the ruined wall.
Nothing moved but the wind and only a few last, lingering drops of rain, only a blowing of water off the ruined wall.
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Fiction. Western. Thriller. Historical Fiction. HTML:Louis Lâ??Amour has been best known for his ability to capture the spirit and drama of the authentic American West. Now he guides his readers to an even more distant frontierâ??the enthralling lands of the twelfth century.
 
Warrior, lover, and scholar, Kerbouchard is a daring seeker of knowledge and fortune bound on a journey of enormous challenge, danger, and revenge. Across Europe, over the Russian steppes, and through the Byzantine wonders of Constantinople, Kerbouchard is thrust into the treacheries, passions, violence, and dazzling wonders of a magnificent time.
 
From castle to slave galley, from sword-racked battlefields to a princessâ??s secret chamber, and ultimately, to the impregnable fortress of the Valley of Assassins, The Walking Drum is a powerful adventure in an ancient world that you will find every bit as riveting as Louis Lâ??Amourâ??s stories of the

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