“The average man travels in the same world in which the adventurer lives; but if he goes to China he carries St. Paul, Waukegan, Macon or Pawhuska right with him.”
The crew of the SS Lichenfield knows there is danger in what they do – going out to see carrying a flammable liquid. Yet, they have each done the journey before, some many times, and have all come back. Each has his own motivations – money, getting away from home, seeing the world, finding long-lost family members. Yet, they all feel the call to the sea and feel anxious if they are on land for too long. In No Traveller Returns, Louis L’Amour’s son makes one of his early manuscripts come to life, along with the reason why it was most likely written, as the reader learns about each man aboard the ship.
I was able to get an advanced copy of No Traveller Returns through NetGalley. It is available on Nov. 20, 2018. I had recently read Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures, which are short stories or parts of manuscripts put together by L’Amour’s son. I have the second volume on my to-read list. I have only read one other full-length L’Amour novel, Sitka, and really enjoyed it. My grandfather read every L’Amour book, and some of them twice. I want to read 1-2 L’Amour books every year.
No Traveller Returns goes through each crew member’s story by having a different person tell every chapter, except for excerpts from the captain’s nightly journal. There is a foreboding as the book starts with a maintenance step not being performed completely. In the prologue, L’Amour’s son talks about finding out his father had almost been hired on a boat that disappeared with only a lifesaver found. L’Amour spent some time in the Merchant Marines, so writing of life at sea is probably based on what he knew. The book is easy to follow and the characters came alive for me fairly quickly. I can’t give too much away, but I did enjoy the journey of getting to know the men on the boat and all their motivations for being at sea.
I think this would be a different book for most L’Amour lovers as its almost entirely set at sea. However, the writing is good and his son did a good job keeping his dad’s voice throughout the entire book. I would recommend this for a good fiction read. For more information on the work Beau L’Amour is doing, visit www.louislamourslosttreasures.com.