Bendigo Shafter

by Louis L'Amour

Hardcover, 1979

Call number




E. P. Dutton (1979), Edition: 1st, 324 pages


Fiction. Western. Thriller. Historical Fiction. At what point does a group of strangers become a community? When young Bendigo Shafter and a ragtag bunch of travelers settle in the rugged Wyoming mountains, they quickly come to depend on a toughness and wisdom many of them never knew they possessed. Led by the beautiful and resourceful widow Ruth Macken, the settlers battle harsh winters, renegade opportunists, and the destructive lure of gold. Through these brutally demanding experiences, young Bendigo is forged into a man. But when he travels to New York to reclaim the love of Ninon, his childhood sweetheart, Bendigo is faced with new challenges. Will hard-edged instincts, honed from years in the mountains, serve him in the big city? Does Ninon's heart belong to the lights and glamour of the theater? And if his destiny deems it so, will he be willing to leave the community he toiled so long and hard to build?… (more)

Media reviews

[A]s I re-read Bendigo Shafter the other night, I realized just how formative Louis L’Amour has been to my world view. Not in the throw-away plots and impossible characters, but in the landscapes (L’Amour was a careful researcher) and in the sense of justice, and in the love of reading and
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learning that nearly all his protagonists share.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member MerryMary
One of L'Amour's more sprawling epics. The founding of a town, the development of a man, the fruition of dreams (or the dieing thereof), the growing of "men to match my mountains." Larger cast of characters than usual, well developed.
LibraryThing member Halieus
One of the best of his works, Bendigo Shafter not only has a great storyline (that of a boy growing to manhood, shouldering responsibility, and becoming a well-respected member of his community), but also is extremely informative. This novel contains enough information to teach any reasonably
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intelligent individual to survive in the wild with little more than a knife and ax. Even includes techniques for cold-weather survival, house building, and tree harvesting.
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LibraryThing member jimmaclachlan
Not your typical good guy vs bad buy shoot 'em up western from L'Amour. This is a little more thoughtful & told in the first person, from our hero's POV. Bendigo journey's west with his older brother & his family. They set up a new town in the wilderness. L'Amour hits some of the high points of
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what that entails & makes you think a bit about how hard it was for them.Bendigo is a little to good to be true (typical hero) but it's a fun read. There's plenty of action, but not a lot of slap-leather, get-out-of-town-by-noon stuff. Hunting for lost people in the snow, hunting for food, keeping out some riff-raff & even a glimpse of NYC during that time.The only downside to the book is the philosophizing that Bendigo constantly shares with us. It actually wasn't bad reading as a teenager since it is idealistic & appealed to me at the time. Now, it's a little too trite & too much. Still, a very good book.
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LibraryThing member SunnySD
Travelers headed west with a wagon train stop and form a tiny settlement on the plains. A teenager, but a man grown, Bendigo Shafter recounts his experience in helping create a town with a solid foundation. From its roots to the end of the trail, weak and strong stand together against through
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blizzards, outlaw raids and invasions of hell-fire and brimstone spouting preachers.

One of my favorite L'Amour books, I always find something new to take away.
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LibraryThing member kslade
Nice long western. A fun read.
LibraryThing member therestlessmouse
I forgot how much I like LL's stories of the old west.


National Book Award (Finalist — Western — 1980)




0525063234 / 9780525063230
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