Mention Louis L’Amour, and most readers know who you’re talking about. While the prolific writer of western stories passed away in 1988, his stories continue to capture new readers and are reborn frequently in different formats and settings. Most recently his son, Beau L’Amour, helped Charles Santino re-imagine perhaps the first western penned by the iconic writer. Law of the Desert Born was first a short story, then an audio play, and now is a graphic novel.
Illustrated in grays, black, and white, this short story follows an old rancher in New Mexico, betrayed by the not so honorable son of an old ranching partner and friend. To get revenge for the betrayal a ranch hand named Shad Marone starts cattle rustling. But Shad’s friend and fellow ranch hand Jesus Lopez is blamed for the rustling, and then Shad commits a murder to cover up the rustling. When a posse is formed to find Shad, Jesus finds his way to come along. But what will happen when the two meet up in the desert?
At just under 150 pages of picture with text, this is a quick read and a great new way to experience a classic story. Beau L’Amour gives a short history of the story at the back of the book and an “about the author” section gives more insight into the illustrators. If you’re of the younger crowd and haven’t experienced a western, this is a great way to get started in a new genre. If you’re a seasoned reader, why not try an old familiar in a new format?
You can get the book reviewed here and more great titles to watch, read, listen to, or play with at the Port Library at 1718 N. Hersey in Beloit, on the North Campus. This is director Rachel Malay, saying “Thanks for checking us out!”
Law of the Desert Born, adapted by Charles Santino & Beau L'Amour
ISBN: 9780345528124, 152 pages, fully illustrated B&W