Last of the Breed (Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures): A Novel

Last of the Breed (Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures): A Novel

by Louis L'Amour

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

$5.39 $5.99 Save 10% Current price is $5.39, Original price is $5.99. You Save 10%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, September 18

Overview

“For sheer adventure L’Amour is in top form.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
Here is the kind of authentically detailed epic novel that has become Louis L’Amour’s hallmark. It is the compelling story of U.S. Air Force Major Joe Mack, a man born out of time. When his experimental aircraft is forced down in Russia and he escapes a Soviet prison camp, he must call upon the ancient skills of his Indian forebears to survive the vast Siberian wilderness. Only one route lies open to Mack: the path of his ancestors, overland to the Bering Strait and across the sea to America. But in pursuit is a legendary tracker, the Yakut native Alekhin, who knows every square foot of the icy frontier—and who knows that to trap his quarry he must think like a Sioux.

Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures is a project created to release some of the author’s more unconventional manuscripts from the family archives.
 
In Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures: Volumes 1, Beau L’Amour takes the reader on a guided tour through many of the finished and unfinished short stories, novels, and treatments that his father was never able to publish during his lifetime. L’Amour’s never-before-seen first novel, No Traveller Returns, faithfully completed for this program, is a voyage into danger and violence on the high seas. These exciting publications will be followed by Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures: Volume 2.
 
Additionally, many beloved classics will be rereleased with an exclusive Lost Treasures postscript featuring previously unpublished material, including outlines, plot notes, and alternate drafts. These postscripts tell the story behind the stories that millions of readers have come to know and cherish.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593129944
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/30/2019
Series: Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures Series
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 473,509
Product dimensions: 4.16(w) x 6.87(h) x 1.11(d)

About the Author

Our foremost storyteller of the American West, Louis L’Amour has thrilled a nation by chronicling the adventures of the brave men and woman who settled the frontier. There are more than three hundred million copies of his books in print around the world.

Date of Birth:

March 22, 1908

Date of Death:

June 10, 1988

Place of Birth:

Jamestown, North Dakota

Education:

Self-educated

Read an Excerpt

One

Major Joe Makatozi stepped into the sunlight of a late afternoon. The first thing he must remember was the length of the days at this latitude. His eyes moved left and right.

About three hundred yards long, a hundred yards wide, three guard towers to a side, two men in each. A mounted machine gun in each tower. Each man armed with a submachine gun.

He walked behind Lieutenant Suvarov, and two armed guards followed him.

Five barracklike frame buildings, another under construction, prisoners in four of the five buildings but not all the cells occupied.

He had no illusions. He was a prisoner, and when they had extracted the information they knew he possessed, he would be killed. There was a cool freshness in the air like that from the sea, but he was far from any ocean. His first impression was, he believed, the right one. He was somewhere in the vicinity of Lake Baikal, in Siberia.

A white line six feet inside the barbed wire, the limit of approach for prisoners. The fence itself was ten feet high, twenty strands of tightly drawn, electrified wire. From the barbed wire to the edge of the forest, perhaps fifty yards.

No one knew he was alive but his captors. There would be no inquiries, no diplomatic feelers. Whatever happened now must be of his own doing. He had one asset. They had no idea what manner of man they had taken prisoner.

The office into which he was shown was much like a military orderly room. The man behind the table was tall and wide in the shoulder. He studied Joe Makatozi with appraising eyes.

For the first time Colonel Arkady Zamatev was seeing a man who had been the center of his thinking for more than a year. Up to this point his personally conceived plan had worked with a fine precision of which he could be proud.

When he had first proposed the capture of Major Makatozi his superiors thought he had lost his mind. Yet information was desperately needed on some of the experimental aircraft the Americans were designing, and Makatozi had test-­flown most of them. Moreover, he had advised on the construction of some, had suggested innovations.

Only Zamatev knew there were three Soviet agents in the American division of military personnel assignment, no one of them aware of the others. All were Americans at whom no suspicion had been directed. The three had been carefully maneuvered into position for just such an emergency, and it was upon these three that he depended for the assignment of Major Makatozi to the Alaska command for a refresher course in Arctic flying before tests were made with a new aircraft.

It had not been difficult to arrange. A casual remark had been made about operating the new plane in sub-­Arctic temperatures; a few days later the question of a refresher course had been raised, if Major Makatozi were to pilot the new plane. And the rest had been up to Zamatev.

The provision for the secret prison camp had been made four years before. The necessity for understanding the extent and ramifications of advances in American and British military and naval technology had given birth to the plan. The intelligence services of the combined armed forces had completed the arrangements.

The idea was simple enough. Locate and seize certain key personnel, bring them to this camp, a place known to only the most powerful figures in the Politburo, secure what information their prisoners had, and then get rid of them. The disappearances would be few, isolated, and seemingly unrelated. The possibility of suspicion being aroused was almost nonexistent.

Operations had begun two years before with the seizure of a warrant officer, a very minor figure who, in the normal progress of his duties, had come into possession of some key information. That had been a modest success. Then the chemist Pennington . . . 

When Colonel Zamatev looked into the eyes of his newest prisoner he was angered. The blue-­gray eyes were oddly disconcerting in the dark, strongly boned face, yet it was the prisoner’s cool arrogance that aroused his ire. He was unaccustomed to find such arrogance in prisoners brought to him for interrogation. It was not arrogance alone, but a kind of bored contempt that irritated Zamatev.

Colonel Zamatev had a dossier before him that he believed told him all he needed to know about the man before him.

A university graduate, an athlete who had competed in various international tournaments, a decathlon star of almost Olympic caliber. He had scored Expert with a dozen weapons while in the Air Force and was reputed to be skilled in the martial arts. This was straightforward enough, and there were many other officers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force whose dossiers were little different, give or take a few skills.

As much as Zamatev knew about the American flyer, there was an essential fact he did not know. Beneath the veneer of education, culture, and training lay an unreconstructed savage.

When prisoners were brought before Colonel Zamatev they were frightened or wary. They had all heard the stories of brainwashings and torture, yet there was in this man no evidence of fear or of doubt in himself. Zamatev was irritated by a faint, uneasy feeling.

“You are Major Joseph Makatozi? Is that an American name?”

“If it is not there are no American names. I am an Indian, part Sioux, part Cheyenne.”

“Ah? Then you are one of those from whom your country was taken?”

“As we had taken it from others.”

“But they defeated you. You were beaten.”

“We won the last battle.” Joe Makatozi put into his tone a studied insolence. “As we always shall.”

“You would defend a country that was taken from you?”

“It was our country then; it is our country now. Our battle records, in every war the United States has fought, have been surpassed by none.”

Zamatev’s irritation mounted. He prided himself on an unemotional detachment, and his manner of interrogation was based upon a casual, seemingly friendly attitude that disarmed the prisoner, who, before he realized it, was trying to reciprocate. The American’s arrogance was making this approach difficult.

Zamatev also had au uneasy feeling that within seconds after entering the room Makatozi had assessed all it contained, including himself.

Zamatev had based much of his planning for the preliminary interrogation on the fact that Makatozi was of a badly treated minority.

In an effort to turn the interrogation into preferred channels, Zamatev indicated a thick-­set, powerful man sitting quietly on the bench watching Makatozi through heavy-­lidded eyes.

“As an American Indian you should be interested in meeting Alekhin. He is a Yakut, a Siberian counterpart of the American Indian. The Yakuts have a reputation in the Soviet. We call them the iron men of the north. They are among our greatest hunters and trackers.”

Zamatev returned his gaze to the American. “It is the pride of Alekhin that no prisoner has ever escaped him.”

Joe Mack, as he had been called since his days of athletic competition, glanced at the Siberian, and the Yakut stared back at him from flat, dull eyes of black. A small blaze of white where the hair had lost color over an old scar was his most distinguishing characteristic. He exuded the power of a gorilla and had the wrinkled, seamed face of a tired monkey until one looked a second time and recognized the lines for what they were, lines of cruelty and ruthlessness. Nor, despite his weathered features, was he much older than Joe Mack himself.

With deliberate contempt Joe Makatozi replied, “I don’t believe he could track a muddy dog across a dry floor!”

Alekhin came off the bench, a single swift, fluid movement, feet apart, hands ready. Joe Mack turned easily, almost contemptuously, to meet him.

For an instant Zamatev had a queer feeling that a page of history had rolled back. Suddenly, in his small, bare office, two savages faced each other, each a paragon of his kind. A thrill of excitement went through him, and for a moment he was tempted to let them fight.

Zamatev’s voice was a whip. “Alekhin! Sit down!”

His eyes went to Joe Mack. “Understand your position, Major. You are our prisoner. You are believed to be dead. So far as your country is concerned, you and your plane were lost at sea. No inquiries have been made, nor are any likely to be made.

“If you are to live it will be because I wish it, and your future, if any, depends on your replies to my questions. I will accept only complete cooperation, including a complete account of your operations as pilot of several varie­ties of experimental aircraft.

“You are an intelligent man, and I shall allow you twenty-­four hours in which to consider your position. If you are reasonable you may find a place of honor among us. You will be permitted to retain your rank and the privileges pertaining to it. You can serve us, or you can die.”

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Last of the Breed 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 172 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books of all time. An escape adventure that you can't put down and will want to read more than once. 5 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best stories ever! Wore out one paperback - had to get another. Now I have it on NOOK.
TheBookwormRH More than 1 year ago
Captivating story about survival in the coldest place on earth. L'Amour keeps the story rolling along with twists and turns that are not so obvious to the reader. The story ends with the expectation of a Sequal.
honeyHF More than 1 year ago
This book is a little different from the western L'Amour, but just as exciting. I didn't want to put it down until I finished it. There was a lot of suspence and different plots and he tied them all together and the ending was very exciting. This is a must read for the Louis L'Amour fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read many L"Amour books, but this one is completely different. It is not a western , but a somewhat current day story about an American Indian, and Soviet Russia. You absolutley cannot put this book down. I recommend it to all of my friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent read! Kept me interested from beginning to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books you will ever read from one of the best authors of all time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's my favorite book. I have read it about 30 times and I aam still not tired of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
%0Awell+written+but+poorly+ended+%28in+this+readers+view%29%0A
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
not+interesting.+++sluggish.++archived
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I reread this book every year. I like adventure books and this is one of the best. I recommend you don't read it in the winter as it takes place in Siberia and you will be taken to the coldest inhabited place on earth. Great story you can reread and enjoy every time.
CarolLH More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite L'Amour book and have in my permanent library. I liked the character being in the present as an air force pilot; L'Amour does a great job of blending the new into the old. A thrilling story of espionage, escape and how things used to be. Just a touch of romance and enough history to give those of us in the present an idea of what it was like to live during this time period in Russia.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book many years ago, and it is one of my all-time favorites - have two copies just in case one ever gets lost. I love the story - all of the characters, the intrigue, the mystery, the suspense. I did not want it to end. This is a fast-paced, easy read 'spy' mystery about courage, preserverance, and poetic justice for people who might not even enjoy the genre. The story is so well written and the descriptions (of people and places) so vivid, it is like watching a movie - still as fresh in my mind as when I first read the book so many years ago. Actually, I wish that they would make a movie of this book; I'm so there! I'm going to re-read it right now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it is a great book the last of the breed. I read in back in the late 1980's I wish there was a part 2 to it.
Anonymous 5 months ago
From start to finish it is spellbinding Loved reading this book for the 4th time
Anonymous 5 months ago
Strongly++recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started reading and could not put it down. Wonderful tale of an American prisoner who escaped thru Siberia in the midst of the Cold War.
toddspop on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the last L'Amour books that would have been a great movie, mini-series,etc. Really captured the outdoor spirit with this.
MerryMary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A rare modern-day L'Amour novel. An American pilot is forced down in Siberia, escapes from a Soviet prison camp, and shows his mettle in an cross-country escape from a Yakut tracker. Joe relies on the instincts and ancient skills of his Native American ancestors to survive this epic adventure.
391 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The pacing and plot were excellent - in fact, I read the book in middle school, and it's stuck with me so long that I had to get another copy for re-read to see if it was as good as I remembered. However, the broadly generalized stereotyping made me uncomfortable at moments - between the "I'm a stoic indian, like my ancestors" and "I am a good Russian comrade, though I secretly root for the US to win the Cold War" it just felt so dated and icky to my admittedly modernized, PC sensibilities.
cstumbo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The writing's not that great, but the story is!
NightHawk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I agree with "cstumbo". Not the best written book by Louis L'Amour but an excellent story.
Helm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Last of the Breed is the story of Joe Mack, an American pilot whose experimental aircraft is forced down in the 1980's Soviet Union. Escaping from a Siberian prison camp, he seeks to return home by following the path of his ancestors across the bearing sea to Alaska. The story is told well, with a surprisingly well-developed and balanced villain in Zamatev, a Soviet officer determined to recapture the protagonist. The book is a wonderful diversion that exemplifies the straight-forward writing style of Louis L'Amour. Reading this in the dead of winter allows the reader to more fully enjoy the well-crafted setting of the Siberian wilderness. It is a wonderful story that is well-told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read above love his work
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed the book!