Off the Mangrove Coast
By Louis L’Amour
Published by Bantam Books
Copyright © 2000
“Off the Mangrove Coast” weaves together enjoyable stories of danger, intrigue, revenge, and rescue. Since I had never before read anything by Louis L’Amour it took awhile to absorb his way of writing and capture the time period, varying locations, and backdrops he presents. Once I had accomplished that though, nearly every one of the nine short stories in this collection sucked me in and kept me wanting to know what happens.
The varying locations and his descriptions of them make you feel like you are taking a trip around the world. The author takes you to familiar places like Los Angeles and New York and to less familiar places like Borneo and Paris. From these stories you also see how gifted Louis L’Amour is at creating not just places, but interesting people. He is very adept at creating the hard luck everyman (whether he be cowboy, boxer, Sailor, or even an insurance agent) who won’t back down to the bad guys and who actually takes them head on. He makes characters who are loyal, intelligent, and survivors. The good guy always wins but you don’t care because the action is so well written and you’re not quite sure exactly how he’s going to win. Though he doesn’t really write a female lead in any of his stories, the female supporting characters that he does write are strong and seemingly independent.
If you are a fan old-fashioned adventure and intrigue you’ll love this book.
Favorite stories in the collection: “The Cross and the Candle”, “The Diamond of Jeru”, and “Time of Terror”.