The Walking Drum

by Louis L'Amour

Hardcover, 1984

Call number

FIC LAM

Collection

Publication

Bantam Dell Pub Group (Trd) (1984), 376 pages

Description

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)

User reviews

LibraryThing member woodshopcowboy
Honestly, it deserves closer to say, 2 and a half stars on that "literary" plain. But on the "too much fun" scale, this story blows anything written for a pulp audience out of the water. One liners abound, there's swords, explosions, good lookin' gals, horses, exotic lands, nuggets of historical
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details, a hellova classical bibliography if you go through each book mentioned. The only snag is the ending - L'Amour meant to write a trilogy and died before he could finish it. May god rest his soul and Kerbouchard ride again.

WHY IS THIS NOT A MOVIE YET?
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LibraryThing member nathanm
As a Louis L'Amour fan and medieval history buff, this novel disappointed me. I love reading his westerns, and his mysteries are just as good. Going into them, I know they're going to be formulaic, cliched, with predictable characters. But they're a great escape from my academic reading.

It's
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obvious he did a lot of research and reading for the novel, and he clearly must've visited most of the locations where the story takes place. However, many of the facts in the book are based on outdated scholarship, even during the time he wrote it. I don't blame him for not being able to keep abreast of new developments in Crusade and medieval history. Many current college textbooks have the same problem.

The protagonist is simply too great for one human being. Not only is he a matchless warrior and a scholar, everybody can't help but be impressed by him–especially the ladies. His athletic ability, skill with weapons, ease of learning languages, good looks, and yes, Druid-trained photographic memory, allow him to go from rags to riches–several times. In situation after situation, he somehow loses everything, only to slowly rise up again to hobnob with the rich and powerful.

One of the most annoying aspects of this book is the constant, often pretentious, name-dropping of ancient and medieval writers. He describes several well-known and less popular works, but many times, he does no more than list their titles. The only saving grace of this novel is L'Amour's masterful storytelling ability. For all its flaws, it was still a fun read.
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LibraryThing member dualmon
Aborted. The Long Ships was a way better version of this story. This was way too sappy for me.
LibraryThing member mashcan
This is not a western, it's about medieval middle east. Ali Baba and the forty thieves kind of thing. Interesting. L'Amour did his research. Also filled with more idiotic testosterone than one book should be able to hold.
LibraryThing member lorenelambert
I love this book! I've read it at least 10 times. One of the best main characters in historical fiction.
LibraryThing member DragonFreak
In the times of the Dark Ages, a man named Kerbouchard travels from his Druid land in search for his long lost father, presumably dead.

Soon, Kerbouchard realizes that his quest is a most dangerous one. He makes counltess friends, but several deadly enemies and meets women of all kinds. He becomes
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many things including a scholar and a merchant. But what lies ahead will push him to the limits in this epic tale from Louis L'Amour.
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LibraryThing member PatBrooks
One of the finest books I've ever read! Adventure in 12th century Europe with plenty of educational facts thrown in and an epic story with a larger-than-life hero. I've read it at least 6 times and will read it many more times before I die. You genuinely feel the story. A must for your go-to
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reading list.
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LibraryThing member Literate.Ninja
Although (or maybe because) I grew up in the west, I have never been a great fan of L'Amour. So when my grandfather gave me this book, I was a little skeptical, even though he and I usually have similar tastes. But as I started to read it, I found that I really enjoyed it. The setting was 12th
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century Europe/Central Asia rather than 19th century America, and the characters were engaging. I couldn't wait to see what the the protagonist, Mathurin Kerbouchard, did next.

That said, some of the scholarship was a tad wonky. You could tell that Mr. L'Amour had done research, but he'd done it out of outdated books. And Mathurin comes off as a bit unbelievable... Sort of a medieval James Bond. He travels from one end of the known world to the other, he defeats all challengers, romances all ladies, is a born leader, natural scholar, brilliant orator, etc, etc... after a while you start hoping he'll fail at something, just to see if he CAN.

Still, I like the book quite a lot, and every so often I get the urge to re-read it, which is a good sign. Recommended for armchair historians, L'Amour fans, and people who like engaging narratives about super-humans. ^_~
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LibraryThing member gwernin
No.

(Too much of the "noble Arab" fallacy, and other wonky scholarship. I like L'Amour's westerns, but this is seriously subpar - couldn't finish. Not one of his brighter heroes, either.)
LibraryThing member Bruce_Deming
This novel is set during the period of the Assassins in Europe (The word assassin comes from the drug hashish check your dictionary etymology or an encyclopedia), when this group drugged and hypnotized young men and sent them off to knock of heads of countries if they didn't get what they wanted in
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terms of money or policy.

The hero in this takes them on. Will he be the first to escape unscathed?

Good story.
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LibraryThing member Bruce_Deming
This novel is set during the period of the Assassins in Europe (The word assassin comes from the drug hashish check your dictionary etymology or an encyclopedia), when this group drugged and hypnotized young men and sent them off to knock of heads of countries if they didn't get what they wanted in
Show More
terms of money or policy.

The hero in this takes them on. Will he be the first to escape unscathed?

Good story.
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LibraryThing member JenW1
An expansive look at Muslim/Celtic/Eastern Asian cultures in the 1200's. It felt like I was reading non-fiction with a little plot thrown in along the way. There were a few interesting characters and glimpses into different lifestyles. Thoroughly researched and meticulously written, I almost got
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lost in the detail several times. The overall storyline was okay, it just took a lot of words to get there. I really enjoyed The Lonesome Gods by the same author but this one dragged a lot. I did finish it and learned several "life lessons" with the main character Mathurin Kerbouchard.
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LibraryThing member AMKitty
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
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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.
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Pages

376

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