Cover image for The man called Noon : a novel
Title:
The man called Noon : a novel
ISBN:
9780593129883
Edition:
Bantam books mass market ed.
Physical Description:
229 pages : illustration ; 18 cm.
General Note:
"Includes bonus material"--Cover.
Summary:
In one swift moment a fall wiped away his memory. Now all he knew for certain was that someone wanted him dead--and that he had better learn why. But everywhere he turned there seemed to be more questions--or people too willing to hide the truth behind a smoke screen of lies. He had only the name he had been told was his own, his mysterious skill with a gun, and a link to a half million dollars' worth of buried gold as evidence of his past life. Was the treasure his? Was he a thief? A killer? He didn't have the answers, but he needed them soon. Because what he still didn't know about himself, others did--and if he didn't unlock the secret of his past, he wasn't going to have much of a future.
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Summary

Summary

As part of the Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures series, this edition contains exclusive bonus materials!

In one swift moment a fall wiped away his memory. Now all he knew for certain was that someone wanted him dead--and that he had better learn why. But everywhere he turned there seemed to be more questions--or people too willing to hide the truth behind a smoke screen of lies. He had only the name he had been told was his own, his mysterious skill with a gun, and a link to a half million dollars' worth of buried gold as evidence of his past life. Was the treasure his? Was he a thief? A killer? He didn't have the answers, but he needed them soon. Because what he still didn't know about himself, others did--and if he didn't unlock the secret of his past, he wasn't going to have much of a future.

Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures is a project created to release some of the author's more unconventional manuscripts from the family archives.

In Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures: Volumes 1, Beau L'Amour takes the reader on a guided tour through many of the finished and unfinished short stories, novels, and treatments that his father was never able to publish during his lifetime. L'Amour's never-before-seen first novel, No Traveller Returns, faithfully completed for this program, is a voyage into danger and violence on the high seas. These exciting publications will be followed by Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures: Volume 2 .

Additionally, many beloved classics will be rereleased with an exclusive Lost Treasures postscript featuring previously unpublished material, including outlines, plot notes, and alternate drafts. These postscripts tell the story behind the stories that millions of readers have come to know and cherish.


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)


Excerpts

Excerpts

CHAPTER 1 Somebody wanted to kill him. The idea was in his mind when he opened his eyes to the darkness of a narrow space between two buildings. His eyes came to a focus on a rectangle of light on the wall of the building opposite, the light from a ­second-­story window. He had fallen from that window. Lying perfectly still, he stared at the rectangle of light as if his life depended on it, yet an awareness was creeping into his consciousness that the window no longer mattered. Only one thing mattered now--escape. He must get away, clear away, and as quickly as possible. There was throbbing in his skull, the dull, heavy beat that was driving everything ­else from his brain. Impelled by what urge he could not guess, he lifted a hand toward his face. There was a twinge of pain from the arm, then he touched his face. He did not know to whom the features belonged. Gingerly, he touched his skull . . . there was ­half-­caked blood, and a deep wound in his scalp. His hand dropped to his shirt, which was stiffening with blood. Somebody had tried to kill him, and he felt sure that they would try again, and would not cease trying until he was dead. Nothing ­else remained in his memory. Stiffly, he turned his head, looking first one way and then the other. In the one direction there was blackness, in the other was light . . . a street. He was conscious of a faint stirring from the darkness behind the buildings. Something or someone was creeping along in the blackness, some enemy intent upon his destruction. Heaving himself from the ground, he half fell against the building behind him. He remained there for a moment, struggling to gather himself for an effort. For he must escape. He had to get away. A hand went to his hip. There was a holster there, but it was empty. Dropping to his knees, he felt quickly around him, but discovered nothing. His gun, then, must be up there, in that room. It had fallen or had been taken from him before he fell from the window. He started blindly toward the street. He could hear music from the building beside him, a murmur of voices, then muffled laughter. Staggering into the light, he paused and stared stupidly to left and right. The street was empty. Drunken with pain and shock, he started across the street and into the shadows of a space between the buildings diagonally across from the one he had left behind. He had no idea where he was going, only that he must get away; he must be free of the town. Beyond the buildings between which he walked there ­were scattered out­houses and corrals, and a few lightless shacks, and then he was walking in grass, tall grass. Pausing, he glanced back. There was no pursuit, so why was he so sure there would be pursuit? He went on, his brain numb with the pounding ache, until he saw before him a single red eye. Staring at it, he went ahead toward the red light. Suddenly he was beside it and his toe stumbled against the end of a railroad tie. To his left the rails glimmered away into a vast darkness, on the right they led to a small railroad station. He had taken a stumbling step toward it when he brought up short, realizing his enemies would surely look for him there. He stopped, swaying on his feet, trying to order his thoughts. He did not know who he was. Or what he was. His fingers felt of his clothing. The coat was tight across the shoulders and the sleeves ­were a bit short, but it seemed to be of good material. He glanced back at the town, but beyond the fact that it was a very small town it told him nothing. There had been hitching rails along the street, a few cow ponies standing there. Hence it was a western town. He had heard the whistle a second time before it dawned upon him that a train was coming, and he would, if he remained where he was, be caught in the full glare of the headlight. He dropped into the grass not an instant too soon as the train came rushing out of the night. A train offered escape, and escape would give him a chance to consider, to sort out what must have happened, to discover who he was and why he was pursued. When the train had passed and drawn up at the station, he studied it with care. There ­were at least three empty box cars, their doors invitingly open. Yet as he considered his chances of getting into the nearest one he heard a rush of ­horses' hoofs and twisted about from where he lay in the grass to see a party of ­horse­men dash up to the train and split into two groups to ­ride along both sides, checking every car, every rod and bumper. He eased back farther into the grass, but he could hear them talking as they drew near. ". . . a waste of time. He was in bad shape, with blood all over, and staggering. He could never have made it to the tracks, believe me. If he's not hid somewheres in town he's lyin' out yonder in the grass, bleedin' to death." "He was a tough man for a tenderfoot." "I ain't so sure he was--a tenderfoot, I mean. Ben Janish swore he'd got him, and did you ever know Ben to miss? That gent must have an iron skull!" "Aw, he's dead, all right! Dead or dyin'." They turned at the caboose and walked their ­horses back along the train. They ­were a dozen yards away when the whistle blew. Rising, he ran for the nearest empty car. A rider started to turn in his saddle, so he changed direction and leaped for the rear ladder and swung between the cars and out of sight. Excerpted from The Man Called Noon (Louis l'Amour's Lost Treasures): A Novel 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.