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Paperback Education of a Wandering Man Book

ISBN: 0553286528

ISBN13: 9780553286526

Education of a Wandering Man

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Book Overview

From his decision to leave school at fifteen to roam the world, to his recollections of life as a hobo on the Southern Pacific Railroad, as a cattle skinner in Texas, as a merchant seaman in Singapore and the West Indies, and as an itinerant bare-knuckled prizefighter across small-town America, here is Louis L'Amour's memoir of his lifelong love affair with learning--from books, from yondering, and from some remarkable men and women--that shaped him...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

About as close as a L'Amour fan will come to autobiography

This is about as close as a L'Amour fan will come to autobiography. This is not a western novel, though it gives great insight into how he wrote and reseached his books. The book starts with a reference to his high school class graduating while he was on a steamer in Indonesia. L'Amour gives the reader a lengthy discussion of becoming self-educated through books, and experience. I enjoyed the lengthy lists of books L'Amour read during his wandering years in the 30s. I have been logging what I read since reading the book. It is a worthy discipline. L'Amour gives a breathtaking discussion of walking out of the Mojave desert. It reminded me of my time at Fort Irwin, California (about 50 miles north of Barstow in the middle of similar land). L'Amour was a great researcher, and wrote from both personal experience and knowledge. This is an enjoyable book. It should be required reading for any aspiring writer. L'Amour emphasizes the value of education through experience and self-guided reading. He never degrades formal education.

Lamour truly feasted on the marrow of life!!

I have read a few books by L'Amour, but this tops them all. It opens the reader's mind to the many different opportunities that exist in life. I think that a lot of times, as we go through life, we get bogged down by the general routine, and we never stop and think of the different possibilities that await us. We too soon accept the conventional way that has been trodden before, and never consider different possibilities. L'Amour's zest for learning and reading is contagious, and the reader cannot help to have the desire to emulate the rigorous study that L'Amour underwent. I think people who love to read, and enjoy learning about different aspects of the world, will enjoy this book. I also think this is essential for the aspiring writer, because it gives the reader a personal look at the challenges L'Amour went through to achieve his dreams. I also think this book is essential for sixteen year olds like the previous reviewer. If the kid would have opened his mind he may have realized that there are things in life beyond "cars, games, girls, and electronics." He may have also realized that literary works from previous times, such as "black and white" movies, and this book, can provide rich, intriguing and entertaining shades on the world. But such is the ignorance of youth, and the "Nintendo generation."

A Love Affair With Life

The Education of a Wandering Man is the story of one man's love affair with life. It is also amazingly well-written and shows Louis L'Amour to have been a thoughtful, philosophical man as well as an adventurer. Ironically, I haven't read his novels. When I tried to after reading this book, I concluded that his autobiography is a far greater work than his novels. I suspect that's because his own life story is a far greater story than any fiction could possibly be, plus he focused mainly on the western. I really wished he had branched out into the historical novel. He started to with The Walking Drum but that was at the end of his life and he didn't have time to follow with more novels that would cover the history of the world. As the other reviews emphasize, he began his wanderings at the age of 15 and from then on educated himself by reading. As a special bonus, at the back of the book is a list of the books he read each year from 1930-1935. It shows how widely he cast his net. If ever you want to show a teenager why reading is important, give him this book with the reminder that Louis L'Amour was a bestselling author for most of his life.

I've taught this book for 7 years.

This was the book that L'Amour had on his desk in galleys when he died in 1988. I have used this book in my Freshman Composition classes for seven years. It is a marvellous book. I suspect that L'Amour did not really want to write it because he did not like to brag about himself. There is no bragging in the book, just the flat out reality that he was curious about the world and his curiosity could be fulfilled by reading. It is a great tribute to audodidacticism, a fancy word for the power of self teaching. I find the book inspiring and an important read for an adolescent, although I have had older students say that it made them readers. I am not much of a fan of L'Amour's westerns, but this book is one of my all-time favorites.

This book challenges you to make something of yourself.

Reading "Education of a Wandering Man" made me realize how very little I know of the history of this planet. It caused me to see the world through different eyes. This gave me a whole different perspective on time and the transitory nature of nations and kingdoms. Every age comes and goes...all things are born, mature, and die out. L'Amour had a fluent visual way of passing this wisdom on to the reader. L'Amour demonstrated in his own life that anything is possible if one learns all that he/she can and dares to move ahead--to recognize opportunity and take advantage of it whenever and wherever it presents itself. We are only held back by by the limitations we place on ourselves. The theme of this and all of L'Amours works reveals the value of obtaining knowledge without bias, and the importance of personal integrity.
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