All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Joe Mac

The book from the last post was "Last of the Breed" by Louis L'amour.

Louis "L'amour was a prolific writer of westerns and pulp fiction.  He was a "formula writer".  The stories were mostly along the same line, tough hardworking guy goes on an adventure, meets desirable female, romance or at least inexplicable feelings develop, man finishes the job he set out to do.

The stories weren't complex.  Soul searching was at a minimum.   In L'amour's world the good guys were good, the women were worth having and personal responsibility, honor and commitment were par for the course.  His characters may have been predictable, but that predictability was American manhood at it's finest.

"Last of the Breed" was unique for L'amour in that the story took place in the 1980's.  The protagonist is a 3/4 Sioux Indian who is employed as a major in the United States Air Force as a test pilot.  As a young man Joe Mac was brought up partly as an Indian and partly as a white man.  That ancient Sioux training becomes essential when the Soviets execute an elaborate plan to kidnap him in order to extract American military secrets. 

Joe Mac manages an escape from a top secret military prison in Siberia only to face the hard Russian winter in the wilderness.  The GRU and KGB search relentlessly for him, each eager to find him first.  To complicate his escape effort, a Yakut tracker named Alekhin hunts him with a vengeance.

The final scene in the book is when the man who ordered his abduction, Col Arkady Zamatev, receives a package of a carefully tanned animal skin.  Inside the skin is the scalp of the Yakut native Alekhin and a note:


Louis L'amour never intended a sequel to the book.  The abrupt ending was a literary device to impart the emotional impact of Joe Mack's return to his savage warrior heritage.  None the less, L'amour fans still inquire about the sequel frequently enough that an explanation that there isn't one is included in the FAQ's on the official website.


  1. WaterBoy2:44 PM

    Never would've gotten that one, since I've never read a L'Amour book. Closest I've ever gotten would've been Jack London, I suppose...I've always preferred SF/F/Horror to Western/Adventure.

    Still, a darn fine ending.

  2. I've always been a fan of SF/F too. Some authors like C.S. Forrester, Louis L'Amour, Zane Gray, Mark Twain etc are just good reading. L'Amour might not have been a "deep" writer and he's no Jack London in a literary sense. So what? Sometimes you just want a story where the good guys are good and win in the end. Judging by the over 200,000,000 copies of books he's sold, he did something right.

  3. Susan4:09 PM

    My maternal grandma got me started on Zane Grey when I was a kid. She had pretty much every single ZG book ever printed. She liked some of LL, but she really liked her ZG.

    I cannot abide by about 95% of what passes for SF at all. I think that at least one of LL books inspired a movie too. Don't remember the title of it though.

    You can't go wrong with a story where the good guys win the day by the end of the book.

    OT Trivia: This reminds me of the old Hollywood code where the bad guy was never allowed to get away with anything by the end of the movie. They always had to pay for their crimes. ALWAYS.
    So at the end of the movie called The Bad Seed, the movie code required that they rejigger the ending to show that the bad little girl wound up paying for her crimes against the people in her neighborhood.
    The ending to me, her getting smashed by a huge chunk of tree limb that was struck by lightning made no sense.
    Seriously, what kid is going to wander to the boat dock at the lake during a serious storm? But the code required her to pay.
    Evidently the Broadway production was much different in that she got away with her bad deeds.

  4. Susan4:16 PM

    It occurs to me that this story would make an awesome movie idea. I skimmed the post again, and decided while it was a shame that there was no sequel forthcoming, the ending is such that you really think about how he is going after another scalp. Rightfully so IMO.

    Sometimes the bad guys don't realize what they unleash sometimes. It is also a problem with the idiots on the left too. They have absolutely NO clue about the bear they are poking right now. No Freaking Clue.

    When the bear bites back, and it will, they are going to be so shocked, and their howls of misery will be most amusing and satisfying.

  5. Susan4:24 PM

    Holy Cow! I followed your link out of curiosity and found that not only are there 45 different projects, this book we are discussing is not only a movie project, it just needs to be produced.
    If I would have had my thinking cap on, I would have remembered The Sacketts. Tom Selleck did a number of LL themed projects. He makes such a great cowboy kind of guy. I like his Quigley Down Under movie.

  6. I read of lot of L'Amour books. Pretty much all the same book re-written, but I didn't mind too much.