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DOWN THE LONG HILLS [Mass Market Paperback]

Louis L'Amour
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 1 1984
After the massacre Hardy and Betty Sue were left with only a horse and a knife with which to face the long battle against the wilderness. A seven-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl, stranded on the limitless prairie. They were up against starvation, marauding Indians, savage outlaws, and wild animals. They were mighty stubborn, but the odds were against them—and their luck was about to run out.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From the Publisher

After the massacre Hardy and Betty Sue were left with only a horse and a knife with which to face the long battle against the wilderness. A seven-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl, stranded on the limitless prairie. They were up against starvation, marauding Indians, savage outlaws, and wild animals. They were mighty stubborn, but the odds were against them--and their luck was about to run out. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Louis L’Amour is undoubtedly the bestselling frontier novelist of all time. He is the only author in history to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal in honor of his life's work. He has published ninety novels; twenty-seven short-story collections; two works of nonfiction; a memoir, Education of a Wandering Man; and a volume of poetry, Smoke from This Altar. There are more than 300 million copies of his books in print worldwide. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF L'AMOUR'S BEST Jan. 27 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
DOWN THE LONG HILLS is a story of courage, passion and drive and who cares if the hero in question is but seven years old. Good literature was never about strict adherence to historical or physical fact. We usually call those history or science, respectively.
No, in this book L'Amour seems to let his confident writing skills and his imagination run free. He asks the reader to imagine what would happen if a frontier-trained lad, Hardy Collins, was forced to make his way cross country with nothing more than a three-year-old girl, Betty Sue Powell, a wonderful, almost magical horse, Big Red and a head filled with the knowledge gained from working side-by-side with a loving but tough western father, Scott Collins.
Together, Hardy, Betty Sue and Big Red brave everything from the weather to a grizzly to scummy horse thieves, all the while being tracked by a Cheyenne brave who wants this horse of horses. The story flows extremely well culminating in a classic L'Amour showdown.
A great western for the entire family.
And if you ever get a chance to see the movie of the same title you'll love it too. It's about as faithful an adaptation to an original book as I have ever seen.
Douglas McAllister
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1.0 out of 5 stars HISTORIAN MY FOOT Dec 24 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I don't buy Comanches on the Oregon Trail. I don't buy two kids as the lone survivors of a Comanche massacre of a wagon train on the Oregon Trail, who have to travel west for hundreds of miles from the scene alone to make it with a big stud horse to find the boy's Pa at Ft. Bridger. I don't buy the boy's father trying to find them and following tracks of a horse where the horse hasn't yet trod. I don't buy the two kids not finding a soul on the deserted Oregon Trail because it's late in the year. Someone rode that trail often, day and night every day of the year, over every foot of the trail, from the time it was opened, either Army, or civilian travel was constant. This is malarkey by a man who had a reputation as a historian based on reader ignorance, not his own knowledge. That and PR hype.

Sorry, this is baloney and so are most of his other books and stories. For example, Hondo, where his reputation as a "historian" was first born in a PR conference. In Hondo it is obvious that Looie first wrote just a book, set roughly in the never-never land of traditional Westerns. When his promoting geniuses tried to make it over into a historial tour de force, they fell on their faces, and did him no favor so far as reputation went. Bank account is something else.

I recall standing in my back yard while my horse shoer stopped and spit tobacco juice and said, "I was readin' Hondo last night. It's fairly obvious that when he said "there was no water between Lordsburg and the Fort, he meant Ft. Huachuca over there. What did he think that is over there behind me?" He motioned toward the nearby San Pedro River. "It's sure as hell between Lordsburg and the fort. And get this: this clown is carryin' a forty pound saddle across the supposedly waterless desert.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Golden Spurs as little boy lost makes his way Oct. 26 2000
Format:Paperback
Having seen a number of movies and TV shows based on Louis L'Amour's novels, and having listened to a number of his stories on audiotape, I thought I would read some of his stories that won Golden Spur awards. To my surprise Down the Long Hills was the only one I could find. It is an excellent tale and a winner on all accounts.
Down the Long Hills is really a novella. The paperback version is only 150 pages long and a quick read. I almost gave up on it because I thought it was a children's story. While it is written simply enough such that a juvenile reader could enjoy it, it is written for adults. The reader can identify what it is like to be a child in the wilderness, abandoned and without parents. A parent can identify with the fear of losing a child.
The story features a 7-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl who follows him escaping an Indian massacre. The boy, appropriately named Hardy, must try and find his father while being tracked by Indians and 2 crooks. Hardy uses every trick he has learned in his short life to throw the bad guys off his trail yet leave signs for his father. Eventually all parties converge for a rip-snorting climax.
This is a great western, if not politically correct, in this day and age. The only problem that I had with it is that some of the dates don't work. Hardy's father was supposed to be over 15 when the Royal Navy pressed him. Yet the story is set in 1848. Given that the Napoleonic wars ended 33 years before the story and that the Royal Navy had to downsize decommissioning sailors not pressing them, Hardy's father is either a lot older than he seems in the story or L'Amour has an anachronism. However, this is a minor point.
Down the Long Hills is a great story and shows why L'Amour should have received more critical acclaim than he did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Golden Spur! May 9 2001
Format:Paperback
L'amour gets his spur with this short novel. Seven year old ,aptly named, Hardy survives a Wagon train massacre along with a three year old girl Betty Sue. He has to keep both of them alive as they undertake a long prairie journey to find his father. Descriptive and fast paced this story is told from several different perspectives, Hardy's, The Indian trailing them to steal their horse, the worried father out looking for his son, and a couple of bad men the kids unfortunately run across. We even get a Grizzly bear's perspective for a few lines. I wondered what the title "Down the Long Hills" could mean since they travel over prairie. Well it turns out that the prairie out west is really in a slow gradient and not perfectly flat thus the "long hills" of the title. "Down the Long Hills" won best Western novel of the year in 1968 and was awarded the Golden Spur.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars the best
You cannot put this books down. I try to forget it so I can read it again every few years. Not like L'Amour's other books, the shoot em up, good guy gets the girl. Read more
Published on Oct. 21 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
We read this in the car driving home from a vacation with our 4 children, aged 12 and under. We all loved it, from parents to kids! Read more
Published on June 30 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely five stars!
I have read all of L'Amour's books, and this is one of the first ones I read (at the same age Hardy is in the book - 7). Read more
Published on June 3 2003 by elanorh
4.0 out of 5 stars L'Amour's only Golden Spur Award winner
I was surprised to see a rating average of only 4 and a half stars on this one. This is the only book for which L'Amour ever won a Golden Spur Award from Western Writers of... Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2000
2.0 out of 5 stars Down the Long Hills
This book isn't one of Louis L'Amour's best. There were a few exciting moments, but the times between them were very dull. Read more
Published on Dec 9 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars ...Great adventure...L'amour has you scanning ahead ...
When the kids are stranded,after the wagon train massacree,they have limited resources to sustain themselves,but... Read more
Published on Sept. 12 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story about Western heroism; good for kids
Assuming you skip over the massacre (pages 5-6) that leaves the two kids alone in the wild West, this is a great adventure to read to your outdoorsy children. Read more
Published on June 5 1999
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