Cover image for With these hands
With these hands
L'Amour, Louis, 1908-1988.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
New York : Random House Large Print, [2002]

Physical Description:
536 pages ; 20 cm
Fighters don't drive -- With these hands -- The corpse on the carpet -- Six-gun stampede -- Pirates of the sky -- The sucker switch -- Gloves for a tiger -- Police band -- Flight to Enbetu -- Dream fighter -- Voyage to Tobalai.
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LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print
X Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

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The timeless fiction of Louis L'Amour is both unforgettable and undeniably American, deftly capturing the heroic bravery and intrepid spirit that make this nation great. L'Amour 's legacy of work remains unparalleled, setting a standard of excellence that few other writers have matched. NowWith These Handspulls together some of L'Amour's very best work--eleven newly rediscovered stories that have never before appeared in a single volume. WITH THESE HANDS From a South Seas island paradise to the icy reaches of the Arctic, from the dark, gritty streets of urban America to the rugged landscape of the untamed West, the stories gathered inWith These Handscombine razor-sharp characters with breathtaking action and historic detail. Here are tales of adventure, mystery, passion, suspense, and the Old West as only L'Amour can tell them. The result is a collection that profoundly echoes the highs and lows of the human experience, while proving that life's most vital moments can occur when and where we least expect them. All of the classic L'Amour themes are represented: honor, loyalty, and standing up for what's right despite the odds. These dramatic stories grab hold of the reader with a power and immediacy unsurpassed by any other writer. An exotic island in the Coral Sea is transformed into a tropical nightmare when it's taken over by a band of hijackers--and only a daredevil pilot can stop their brutal carnage. A former boxer blows the lid off a vicious crime ring--and finds that his worst enemy is not a thug with a gun but his own tenacious curiosity. A down-on-his-luck rancher discovers the key to his own redemption--and desperately hopes that his revelation has not come too late for him to win the one thing he wants most of all. A private eye navigates the twists and turns of a labyrinthine whodunit--and proves that the greatest risk to a man's honor is his own greed. The title story"With These Hands"is a powerful tale that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit, as an oil company executive finds himself the sole survivor of an Arctic plane crash. Fighting for his life against the perilous cold and looming starvation, he resists the temptation to surrender to death--only to discover a life-affirming strength he never knew he had. Vivid in scope and displaying the diverse talents of a master storyteller, the stories inWith These Handsare certain to be treasured by both old and new fans, celebrating the incomparable imagination of a timeless American author.

Author Notes

Born in Jamestown, North Dakota on March 22, 1908, Louis L'Amour's adventurous life could have been the subject of one of his novels. Striking out on his own in 1923, at age 15, L'Amour began a peripatetic existence, taking whatever jobs were available, from skinning dead cattle to being a sailor. L'Amour knew early in life that he wanted to be a writer, and the experiences of those years serve as background for some of his later fiction. During the 1930s he published short stories and poetry; his career was interrupted by army service in World War II. After the war, L'Amour began writing for western pulp magazines and wrote several books in the Hopalong Cassidy series using the pseudonym Tex Burns.

His first novel, Westward the Tide (1950), serves as an example of L'Amour's frontier fiction, for it is an action-packed adventure story containing the themes and motifs that he uses throughout his career. His fascination with history and his belief in the inevitability of manifest destiny are clear. Also present and typical of L'Amour's work are the strong, capable, beautiful heroine who is immediately attracted to the equally capable hero; a clear moral split between good and evil; reflections on the Native Americans, whose land and ways of life are being disrupted; and a happy ending. Although his work is somewhat less violent than that of other western writers, L'Amour's novels all contain their fair share of action, usually in the form of gunfights or fistfights.

L'Amour's major contribution to the western genre is his attempt to create, in 40 or more books, the stories of three families whose histories intertwine as the generations advance across the American frontier. The novels of the Irish Chantry, English Sackett, and French Talon families are L'Amour's most ambitious project, and sadly were left unfinished at his death. Although L'Amour did not complete all of the novels, enough of the series exists to demonstrate his vision.

L'Amour's strongest attribute is his ability to tell a compelling story; readers do not mind if the story is similar to one they have read before, for in the telling, L'Amour adds enough small twists of plot and detail to make it worth the reader's while. L'Amour fans also enjoy the bits of information he includes about everything from wilderness survival skills to finding the right person to marry. These lessons give readers the sense that they are getting their money's worth, that there is more to a L'Amour novel than sheer escapism. With over 200 million copies of his books in print worldwide, L'Amour must be counted as one of the most influential writers of westerns in this century. He died from lung cancer on June 10, 1988.

(Bowker Author Biography) Louis L'Amour, truly America's favorite storyteller, was the first fiction writer ever to receive the Congressional Gold Medal from the United States Congress in honor of his life's work, & was also awarded the Medal of Freedom. There are over 260 million copies of his books in print worldwide.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The late L'Amour's accomplishments are literary legend: 90 novels, 24 short story collections, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Congressional Gold Medal, and 260 million copies in print. His formula was simple: tell a good story and populate it with believable characters. He did it in the western novels he is most associated with, such as Hondo or the Sackett series, and he does it in his short stories. In this collection, the last of a four-volume series of stories that began with Beyond the Great Snow Mountains, he tells of an executive who finds the will to live after an arctic plane crash leaves him stranded in the wilderness. There is also a fighter who won't throw a fight in "Fighters Don't Dive," a pilot who fends off South Pacific outlaws in "Pirates of the Sky," and a young ranch hand who redeems himself with the help of a retired Pinkerton operative in "Six-Gun Stampede." These stories--previously uncollected--were published in various periodicals, "pulps," if you will, early in L'Amour's writing career. Fine reading from a master. Wes Lukowsky.

Publisher's Weekly Review

The fourth and final posthumous Bantam collection of L'Amour's short stories comprises 11 adventures written in the 1940s and 1950s that call to mind pulp magazines, as tough men and curvy women trade snappy banter against a backdrop of mayhem and testosterone. Cowboys, boxers, detectives, pilots, sea captains and damsels in distress are L'Amour's heroes here, and no corny clich is left untried. Still, these stories pack a solid punch of action, color and grim violence, in settings from Hollywood to the South Seas and Japan. Only one is a western, with rustlers and romance turning the head of a young cowboy, while three feature young, idealistic prizefighters pounding on bad guys. L'Amour was a clever mystery writer, too, with a talent for clues and suspense. In "Corpse on the Carpet," a Good Samaritan saves a kid from a mugging only to find himself in the middle of kidnapping, robbery and murder. In "Police Band," a bored and curious bystander and a sharp police detective team up unexpectedly to solve a series of crimes. Long-time L'Amour character Turk Madden appears in two stories, one of which is an action-packed wartime spy drama set in Japan. Sea captain Ponga Jim Mayo, another L'Amour favorite, steers a tramp steamer through submarine-infested waters with a hot cargo and a nest of enemy spies aboard in "Voyage to Tobalai." Best is the title story, a gritty and haunting account of an oil company executive's desperate struggle to survive in the Arctic wilderness after a plane crash. All of L'Amour's characters are fast with their fists, guns, mouths and wits, defending honor and battling greed and evil. There may not be much sophistication in this volume, but it's classic L'Amour entertainment. (May) Forecast: There are over 260 million copies of L'Amour's books in print. With These Hands, which is as archetypal L'Amour as the first three books in this Bantam series, should appeal to all his devoted fans. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



FIGHTERS DON'T DIVE Nimbly "Flash" Moran parried a jab and went in fast with a left to the wind. Stepping back, he let Breen get a breath. Then he flicked out a couple of lefts, put over an inside right, and as Breen bobbed into a crouch and tried to get in close, he clinched and tied him up. They broke, and Breen came in with a flurry of punches that slid off Moran's arms and shoulders. Then Moran's hip moved and a left hook that traveled no more than four inches snapped Breen up to his toes. Breen caught himself and staggered away. The gong sounded, and Flash Moran paused . . . then he slapped Breen on the shoulder and trotted to his corner. Two men were standing there with Dan Kelly. He knew them both by sight. Mike McKracken, an ex-wrestler turned gambler, and "Blackie" Marollo, small-time racketeer. "You're lookin' good, kid," Kelly said. "This next one you should win." "You might, but you won't stop him," Marollo said, looking up. "Nobody knocks Barnaby out." McKracken studied Moran with cold eyes. "You got paper on him?" he asked Kelly. "I don't need any," Kelly said. "We work together." "Well, if you had it, I'd buy a piece," McKracken said. "I need a good middle. Money in that class now with Turner, Schmidt, and Demeray comin up." "I wouldn't sell," Kelly said. "We're friends." "Yeah?" Marollo shot him a glance. "I'd hate to see somebody come along an' offer him a grand to sign up. You'd see how much friendship matters." Flash Moran looked at Marollo, then dropped to the floor beside him. "You've a rotten way of looking at things, Blackie," he said. "We aren't all dishonest, you know!" "You're pretty free with that lip of yours, kid. Maybe somebody will button it up one day. For keeps." Moran turned, pulled his robe around him, and started for the dressing room. "That kid better get wise or he won't last," Marollo said. "You tell him, Kelly." "You told him yourself," Kelly replied. "Didn't you?" Dan Kelly turned and walked up the aisle after Flash. Behind him, he heard Marollo's voice. "That punk. I'll fix him!" "You won't do nothin' of the kind," he heard McKracken growl. "We got too much ridin' on this to risk trouble." The voices faded out with the distance, and Kelly scowled. In the dressing room the trainer spoke up. "Keep an eye on Marollo, kid, he's all bad." "To the devil with him," Flash said. "I know his kind. He's tough as long as he has all the odds with him. When the chips are down, he'll turn yellow." "Maybe. But you'll never see him when he doesn't have the difference." Kelly looked at him curiously. "Where you goin' tonight?" "Out. Just lookin' around. Say, Dan, what do you suppose is bringing Marollo and McKracken around to the gym? One or the other's been down here five days in a row." "Probably sizing you up, figurin' the odds." Kelly knotted his tie. "Well. I've got a date with the wife." Shorty Kinsella was lining up a shot when Flash Moran walked into Brescia's Pool Room. He looked up. "Hiya, champ! How's about a game? I'm just winding up this one." He put the last ball in the corner and walked around, holding out his hand. Moran took it, grinning. "Sure, I'll play." "Better watch him." The man who Kinsella had played handed Shorty five dollars. "He's good!" Moran racked the balls. "Say, what do you know about Blackie Marollo?" Shorty's smile went out like a light. He broke, and ran up four, then looked at Flash thoughtfully. "Nothing. You shouldn't know anything either." Flash Moran watched Kinsella make a three-cushion shot. "The guy's got me wondering." "Well, don't. Not if you want to stay healthy." Flash Moran finished his game and went out. He paused on the corner and peeled the paper from a stick of chewing gum. If even Shorty Kinsella was afraid to talk about Marollo, there must be more behind Blackie than he'd thought. Suddenly, there was a man standing beside him. He was almost as tall as Moran, though somewhat heavier. He lit a cigarette, and as the match flared, he looked up at Flash over his cupped hands. "Listen, sonny," he said, "I heard you askin' a lot of questions about Marollo in there. Well, cut it out . . . get me?" "Roll your hoop." Flash turned easily. "I'll ask what I want, when I want." The man's hand flashed, and in that instant of time, Flash saw the blackjack. He threw up his left arm and blocked the blow by catching the man's forearm on his own. Then he struck. It was a right, short and wicked, into the man's wind. Moran had unlimbered a hard blow, and the man was in no shape to take it. With a grunt he started to fall and then Moran slashed him across the face with the edge of his hand. He felt the man's nose crunch, and as the fellow dropped, Moran stepped over him and walked around the corner. So, Blackie Marollo didn't like to be talked about? Just who was Blackie Marollo, anyway? Up the street there was a Chinese joint, a place he knew. He went in, found an empty booth, and sat down. He was scowling, thoughtfully. There would be trouble. He had busted up one of Marollo's boys, and he imagined Blackie wouldn't like it. If a guy had to hire muscle, he had to keep their reputation. If it was learned they could be pushed around with impunity, everybody would be trying it. Moran was eating a bowl of chicken and fried rice when the girl came in. She was slim, long-legged, and blond, and when she smiled her eyes twinkled merrily. She had another girl with her, a slender brunette. She turned, glancing around the room, and their eyes met. Too late he tried to look indifferent, but his face burned and he knew his embarrassment had shown. She smiled and turned back to the other girl. When the girls sat down, she was facing him. He cursed himself for a fool, a conceited fool to be thinking a girl of her quality would care to know anyone who earned his living in the ring. Several times Moran's and the girl's eyes caught. Then Gow came into the room and saw him. Immediately, he hurried over, his face all smiles. "Hiya, Flash! Long time no see!" "I've been meaning to come in." "How are you going to do with the Soldier?" "Think I'll beat him. How're the odds?" "Six to five. He's the favorite. Genzel was in, the fellow who runs that bar around the corner. He said it was a cinch to go the limit." For an instant, Flash was jolted out of his thinking of the girl. "Genzel? Isn't he one of Marollo's boys?" "Yes. And Marollo usually knows . . . he doesn't know about this one, does he, Flash?" "Hell no!" he paused a moment. "Gow," he said. "Take a note to that girl over there for me, will you?" Hurriedly, Moran scribbled a few lines. I'd like to talk to you. If the answer is yes, nod your head when you look at me. If it is no, the evening will still be lovely, even if not so exciting. reilly moran Gow shrugged, took the note, and wandered across the room. Flash Moran felt himself turning crimson and looked down. When he looked up, his eyes met those of the girl, and she nodded, briefly. He got up, straightened his coat, and walked across the room. As he came alongside the table, she looked up. "I'm Ruth Connor," she said, smiling. "This is Hazel Dickens. Do you always eat alone?" She moved over and made a place for him beside her in the booth. "No," he said. "Usually with a friend." "Girl?" Ruth asked, smiling at him. "No. My business partner. We're back here from San Francisco." "Are you?" she asked. "I lived there for a while. On Nob Hill." "Oh." He grinned suddenly. "Not me. I came from the Mission District." Ruth looked at him curiously. "You did? Why, that's where all those tough Irish boys come from. You don't look like them!" He looked at her again. "Well, maybe I don't," he said quietly. "You can come a long way from the Mission District without getting out of it, though. But probably that's just what I am . . . one of those tough Irish boys." For a moment, their eyes held. He stared at her, confused and a little angry. She seemed to enjoy getting a rise out of him but she didn't seem to really be putting him down. So many times with girls this very thing happened, it was like a test but it was one he kept failing. Her friend stayed quiet and he was unsure of what to say or how to proceed. The door opened then and three men came in. Flash grew cold all over. "Sit still," he told the girls softly. "No matter what happens." The men came over. Two of them had their hands in their coat pockets. They looked like Italians. "Get up." The man who spoke was short, very dark, and his face was pockmarked. "Get up now." Flash got to his feet slowly. His mind was working swiftly. If he'd been alone, in spite of it being Gow's place, he might have swung. "Okay," Moran said, pleasantly. "I was expecting you." The dark man looked at him. "You was expectin' us?" "Yes," Flash said. "When I had to slug your friend, I expected there would be trouble. So I called the D.A.'s office." "You did what?" There was consternation in the man's voice. "He's bluffing, Rice," one of the men said. "It's a bluff." "We'll see!" Rice's eyes gleamed with cunning. "Tell us what the D.A.'s number is." Excerpted from With These Hands by Louis L'Amour All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.