Reading this book is like watching a John Wayne movie. It's as clean, moral wise, and as a bloody, shoot 'um up wise, as they come. L'amour is rather good with word pictures. I could see why Sky would like this book, esp. after Utah comes across the stallion, after which no other horse was quite good enough for him. Knowing how much Sky loved her horse, this book makes sense for a Sky pick.
This was my first western to read and probably not my last either. (I may wait awhile though.) Like I said, I could see the storyline being played out on the big screen as I read along.
Things I appreciate about L'amour's style:
1. He describes his character's action in vivid detail;
2. In his description, he leaves plenty of room for imagination;
3. He draws you into the scene, which is usually hot and dusty, making you very thirsty;
4. He clearly distinguishes between good guys and bad/honorable men and dishonorable. There is no second guessing. It's a pretty straight shot;
5. He completely respects his female characters.
I think the most impressive thing about this book is the value he places on femininity. Sure, the two women in this story are rough-and-tumble chicks, shall we say, but there's a softness about them that is not ignored by the half dozen men in the tale. It is clearly stated and known that if any of the men were to harm the women, swift and decisive punishment would be dealt out. Even though the bad guys didn't like how the women sided with Utah, they were hands-off in their approach to using force against the women. Only one bad dude decided he might try to take liberties with Angie, the main love interest, and was quickly shut down by his co-conspirators. No elaborate word pictures were painted, just a solid truth: women are valuable even as the weaker sex. It was a refreshing change from modern day tales that play up the women's roles in such a way that women are treated just like the men - in every respect. Torture, pain and punishment are dealt out to the modern day female in the same ways as the males. Kudos to L'amour for his courtesies.
Meanwhile, I can easily see myself allowing any teenage boy of mine to pick up a L'amour book and have at it. I'll read a few more just to be sure, but my guess is that it's a safe and rather honorable read!
Thanks, Sky, for the recommendation.