• Mistakes Can Kill You

  • A Collection of Western Stories
  • By: Louis L'Amour
  • Narrated by: Lance Axt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (681 ratings)

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Mistakes Can Kill You  By  cover art

Mistakes Can Kill You

By: Louis L'Amour
Narrated by: Lance Axt
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Publisher's Summary

Edge-of-your-seat thrillers from the greatest Western author ever.

There will never be another Western writer like Louis L’Amour. A legendary author and indisputably the greatest storyteller in his genre of all time, L’Amour captivated millions of readers and has sold well over three hundred million copies of his works, which includes nearly ninety novels and countless short stories.

Mistakes Can Kill You highlights an essential selection featuring nine of L’Amour’s earlier short stories, sometimes written under the pen name Jim Mayo, that exemplify the rugged morality of the best Western writing. In “Black Rock Coffin-Makers”, two men ready to kill over ownership of a ranch get more than they bargain for when a stranger is caught in the crossfire. And in “Four- Card Draw”, Allen Ring wins a ranch in a poker game, only to find out an unsolved murder was committed there years ago and law enforcement thinks Ring knows more about it than he’s letting on.

L’Amour made his characters come alive on the page, and his ability to capture the spirit and authenticity of the Wild West is unrivaled. Mistakes Can Kill You transports you to a world you’ll never want to leave, and proves that Louis L’Amour will always be the king of spinning a classic Western yarn.

©2013 Skyhorse Publishing (P)2013 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Mistakes Can Kill You

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Louis L'Amour Never Disappoints!

ALL the stories were entertaining. If you like westerns, there's no better story-teller ever lived than Louis L'Amour. Lance Axt narrated all the stories and gave a stellar performance.

I read these stories years ago, but enjoyed listening to them even more. I'm sure I will listen to them again. A book has to be exceptional for me to listen to it twice. The really good ones I may listen to several times. Sadly, most books I buy are not worthy of listening to more than once.

I never tire of Louis L'Amour westerns. I was happy to get it on the $4.95 special.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Saddle Up and Listen On

There was a hole-in-the-wall cafe on Main Street in the small Midwestern city I grew up in. It had a black revolving paperback rack filled with used Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonalds, Louis L'Amour and Zane Greys, and at the top, a set of paperbacks with the covers mysteriously removed. A kid could buy any book she wanted for 25 cents - except those untitled but well worn books at the top - or exchange like for like.

I must have worked my way through all of the hard boiled detective stories the summer I was 11. Once, I even managed to look at one of the upper row books briefly before a waitress saw what I had and snatched it from my hands. I never found out what I wasn't supposed to read. Judging the other books by their cover, I never opened one of the colorful Westerns. After all, I'd never worn a cowboy hat or ridden a horse.

That childhood prejudice lasted almost 40 years, until Audible had one of those Daily Deals on a 2014 collection of L'Amour works called "Mistakes Can Kill You: A Collection of Western Stories". I figured there must be a reason that L'Amour (1908 - 1988) was one of the most popular and most adapted writers, so I decided to listen. Audible makes trying out new genres a breeze. Returns are super easy if you, oh, say, accidentally end up with an exceptionally lame romance novel that described itself as a bookseller by day/sleuth by night who dunnit.

L'Amour's stories delighted me. I knew the places he was talking about. Thumb Butte? That's in the Prescott National Forest. The Kaibab Trail? I've hiked parts of that. One night when I fell asleep listening to "Mistakes Can Kill You," I dreamed I was in a colorful Spanish style Hacienda with painted tile floors and cool adobe walls, and woke up disappointed to be in my own modern Craftsman imitation.

L'Amour does use terms referring to Native Americans, Mexicans, and mixed race peoples that wouldn't be acceptable in modem writing. His descriptions and usage aren't derogatory, but the words are unexpected to a 21st Century reader/listener. There isn't really a single multidimensional female character in any of these stories, but that seems to be in keeping with the genre as a whole. L'Amour's characters are respectful to women in that cowboy kind of way. He's a master at dialogue accompanied by sparse but evocative descriptions of settings.

L'Amour was a pioneer in Audio Book performances, but "Mistakes Can Kill You" is a regular "single voice" narration of the stories, rather than the radio dramas he helped pioneer. I liked this listen, and I'll see if I can't find some of those productions. As L'Amour himself said, "I don't travel and tell stories, because that's not the way these days. But I write my books to be read aloud, and I think of myself in that oral tradition."

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Easy read

I got this book to take with me on a trip to Illinois. I downloaded it to the Audible app on my iPhone. This is the first time I had used the Audible iPhone app. I always download to my iPod. I found the app worked satisfactorily and was easy to use. I took with me the ear buds that came with the iPhone. I found this adequate except on the airplane, the engine noise made it very difficult to hear even on high volume; next time I will take my noise reducing headphone with me. I found listening to the short stories great while waiting in the airport and before bed.

I am a long time fan of L’Amour and have read almost all of his works. I think this was one of those collections of short stories taken from the western magazine stories published in the 1930s under the pseudonym of Jim Mayo. Some of these stories had the copyright lapse and are now in public domain. L’Amour was normally very careful about renewing his copyrights or rewriting stories that the copyright had lapsed. Therefore there are few of these stories in the public domain. There are nine short stories in this collection all typical western stories of their era. I found the short stories worked great on the trip as well as the iPhone app to listen with. I guess I am sort of catching up with modern times. Lance Axt does a good job narrating the book.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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excellent

this is an outstanding louie lamour book. now i see mhy my garndfather loves these stories so much thank you

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent

The excellence and riveting stories I have come to expect from Louis L'Amour. Simple stories, but their simplicity does nothing to lessen the enjoyment drawn from them.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Stories were so-so... Reading was bad.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Anyone would enjoy this if the reader had at least paused a bit between sentences. The guy sounds like a computer.

Would you ever listen to anything by Louis L'Amour again?

Of course... I do love Louis L'Amour's writings but hate it when some hack destroys the flavor of a manuscript.

How could the performance have been better?

Pausing between sentences would be first. Adding some verbal feeling to the storyline would have made this a good audio book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger! This would have been enjoyable but the reader sabatoged the feeling of the story. What a waste!

Any additional comments?

Don't wast your money on this. Sounds like a computer read the book! With a different reader, I would buy again.

4 people found this helpful

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Louis L'Amour could write great stories

great short stories. Louis L'Amour is the only western writer I read. simply the best.

3 people found this helpful

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Good western stories.

How can you go wrong with Louis L' Armour. Great western stories. Well narrated.

3 people found this helpful

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Very well done!

I love Louis L' Amour stories. They give vivid descriptions and intriguing story lines without being crude or vulgar like so many other authors.

3 people found this helpful

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Great Stories! Well Read!

I did indeed enjoy every minute# Thanks to the very Gifted Writer - Louis L'AMOUR! And especially WELL READ! Lots of inflection !Easy to understand! The Best of the Best!

2 people found this helpful