Mistakes Can Kill You

  • by Louis L'Amour
  • Narrated by Lance Axt
  • 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Edge-of-your-seat thrillers from the greatest Western author ever.
There will never be another Western writer like Louis L’Amour. A legendary author and indisputably the greatest storyteller in his genre of all time, L’Amour captivated millions of readers and has sold well over three hundred million copies of his works, which includes nearly ninety novels and countless short stories.
Mistakes Can Kill You highlights an essential selection featuring nine of L’Amour’s earlier short stories, sometimes written under the pen name Jim Mayo, that exemplify the rugged morality of the best Western writing. In “Black Rock Coffin-Makers”, two men ready to kill over ownership of a ranch get more than they bargain for when a stranger is caught in the crossfire. And in “Four- Card Draw”, Allen Ring wins a ranch in a poker game, only to find out an unsolved murder was committed there years ago and law enforcement thinks Ring knows more about it than he’s letting on.
L’Amour made his characters come alive on the page, and his ability to capture the spirit and authenticity of the Wild West is unrivaled. Mistakes Can Kill You transports you to a world you’ll never want to leave, and proves that Louis L’Amour will always be the king of spinning a classic Western yarn.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Saddle Up and Listen On

There was a hole-in-the-wall cafe on Main Street in the small Midwestern city I grew up in. It had a black revolving paperback rack filled with used Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonalds, Louis L'Amour and Zane Greys, and at the top, a set of paperbacks with the covers mysteriously removed. A kid could buy any book she wanted for 25 cents - except those untitled but well worn books at the top - or exchange like for like.

I must have worked my way through all of the hard boiled detective stories the summer I was 11. Once, I even managed to look at one of the upper row books briefly before a waitress saw what I had and snatched it from my hands. I never found out what I wasn't supposed to read. Judging the other books by their cover, I never opened one of the colorful Westerns. After all, I'd never worn a cowboy hat or ridden a horse.

That childhood prejudice lasted almost 40 years, until Audible had one of those Daily Deals on a 2014 collection of L'Amour works called "Mistakes Can Kill You: A Collection of Western Stories". I figured there must be a reason that L'Amour (1908 - 1988) was one of the most popular and most adapted writers, so I decided to listen. Audible makes trying out new genres a breeze. Returns are super easy if you, oh, say, accidentally end up with an exceptionally lame romance novel that described itself as a bookseller by day/sleuth by night who dunnit.

L'Amour's stories delighted me. I knew the places he was talking about. Thumb Butte? That's in the Prescott National Forest. The Kaibab Trail? I've hiked parts of that. One night when I fell asleep listening to "Mistakes Can Kill You," I dreamed I was in a colorful Spanish style Hacienda with painted tile floors and cool adobe walls, and woke up disappointed to be in my own modern Craftsman imitation.

L'Amour does use terms referring to Native Americans, Mexicans, and mixed race peoples that wouldn't be acceptable in modem writing. His descriptions and usage aren't derogatory, but the words are unexpected to a 21st Century reader/listener. There isn't really a single multidimensional female character in any of these stories, but that seems to be in keeping with the genre as a whole. L'Amour's characters are respectful to women in that cowboy kind of way. He's a master at dialogue accompanied by sparse but evocative descriptions of settings.

L'Amour was a pioneer in Audio Book performances, but "Mistakes Can Kill You" is a regular "single voice" narration of the stories, rather than the radio dramas he helped pioneer. I liked this listen, and I'll see if I can't find some of those productions. As L'Amour himself said, "I don't travel and tell stories, because that's not the way these days. But I write my books to be read aloud, and I think of myself in that oral tradition."

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- Cynthia "Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always.""

Louis L'Amour Never Disappoints!

ALL the stories were entertaining. If you like westerns, there's no better story-teller ever lived than Louis L'Amour. Lance Axt narrated all the stories and gave a stellar performance.

I read these stories years ago, but enjoyed listening to them even more. I'm sure I will listen to them again. A book has to be exceptional for me to listen to it twice. The really good ones I may listen to several times. Sadly, most books I buy are not worthy of listening to more than once.

I never tire of Louis L'Amour westerns. I was happy to get it on the $4.95 special.
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- Lady M

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-14-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios