My husband, Jay, and I read this book together – he with his eyes and I with my ears. Jay is a Louis L’Amour fan. He owns all 105 of the books and has read all of them at least three or four times. He’s even met the author twice and has done lots of research on the time period, the books and the author.
I have read only a few of the books. I’m not sure how or why we decided to read Jubal Sackett together but I’m glad we did. I found the story interesting and it led to much conversation. Here is part of our conversation.
Margot: Let’s start with a brief overview of Jubal Sackett.
Jay: These books are so complex, it’s impossible to to tell the story in just a few sentences.
Margot: Okay, here’s a challenge for you: Do a “Six-Sentence Review” the way Staci/Life In The Thumb does. (With no run-on sentences.)
Jay: Louis L’Amour wrote 17 books featuring the Sackett family. Jubal is the third son of Barnabas Sackett who was the first in his family to come to the new world (America). The story takes place somewhere around 1700. The family settled in South Caroline but Barnabas asked Jubal to go west to find new land for a future family settlement. This Jubal did, but his wanderlust took over and he decided to travel even further west. The trip takes him, on foot and canoe, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Sangre de Cristo mountains of what is now southern Colorado.
Margot: Wow – very good! As Jubal traveled west he acquired a sidekick, Keokotah. I really liked this character, although he wasn’t featured a lot. Why do you think Louis L’Amour added him to the story?
Jay: Keokatah gave the author the ability to expand the story. The reader now can see this new world through the eyes of an older Indian in addition to Jubal. With Keokatuah the author could introduce the customs of the Indian world and bring his experiences into the story. Plus it gave the author a way to add dialogue into the story.
Jay: What did you think of all the action in the story? Was it believable?
Margot: For me there was too much fighting. I didn’t like the attitude that all unknown people were enemies determined to kill them.
Jay: That is the reality of the time period. The Indians were very territorial. Each tribe had their own general area but they were always on the move for greener pasture. These people were hunters. Very few tribes grew their own food or stayed in one place very long. So, they didn’t welcome new people. To them, new people meant they were going to take their food. If someone wasn’t in their tribe they were an enemy.
Jay: What did you think of Itchikomi?
Margot: I liked her character. She was definitely a classy woman and was believable as the Indian princess who was destined to play an important part in the lives of her people. Having a romance in the middle of all that “bloody action” helped me like the story more.
Margot: Overall, I thought Louis L’Amour told a good story. What do you think was his underlying theme?
Jay: Louis L’Amour does tell a good story. Some people criticise his writing but you can’t deny he is a good storyteller. I thought the theme was man’s drive and spirit to see the unknown. Also, man’s will to survive. Probably these themes are why men like these books better than women.
Margot: Are you implying that women . . . .
Okay, that’s enough of that conversation. We knew from the start that Jay would enjoy the book more than I would but what made it a better experience was reading it at the same time. I had the book on my ipod (read in a beautiful English accent by John Curliss). As I listened I would shout to him the number of the next chapter. That gave us a chance to stay together and talk about the story as we went along.
Thanks to Tami and Dave (Just One More Thing) for sponsoring this challenge of Reading Together.