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The Walking Drum

Written by: Louis L'Amour
Narrated by: John Curless
Length: 16 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Here is an historic adventure of extraordinary power waiting to sweep you away to exotic lands as one of the most popular writers of our time conquers new storytelling worlds. Louis L'Amour has been best known for his ability to capture the spirit and drama of the authentic American West. Here, he guides listeners to an even more distant frontier - the enthralling lands of the 12th century.

At the center of The Walking Drum is Kerbouchard, one of L'Amour's greatest heroes. Warrior, lover, scholar, Kerbouchard is a daring seeker of knowledge and fortune bound on a journey of enormous challenge, danger, and revenge. Across the Europe, the Russian steppes and through the Byzantine wonder of Constantinople, gateway to Asia, Kerbouchard is thrust into the heart of the treacheries, passions, violence, and dazzling wonders of a magnificent time. From castle to slave gallery, from sword-racked battlefields to a princess's secret chamber, and ultimately, to the impregnable fortress of the Valley of Assassins, The Walking Drum is a powerful adventure of an ancient world you will find every bit as riveting as Louis L'Amour's stories of the American West.

Public Domain (P)2010 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A unique L’Amour classic

I very much enjoy the westerns of L’Amour but this was something from such a different time it was super interesting! The characters were great also and cut from the same cloth as we expect from a L’Amour novel.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Deborah A. Miller
  • 2011-03-15

Loved It!

I got this book for my husband to listen to on a long car trip but he could not wait until then! He said this book was the best Louis L'Amour book that he has "read" yet.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jamie
  • 2011-04-25

Best of Louis L'Amour!!

I have read almost all of Louis L'Amour's books and The Walking Drum is by far my favorite. Amazing story, really draws you in. I have read this book over an over again. I also bought the audiobook and enjoyed it just as much. Highly recommend this book

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carl W. Bailey
  • 2013-06-02

One of my favorite books

What made the experience of listening to The Walking Drum the most enjoyable?

This book gave a great glance at the 13th century. It is a long book that moves rapidly between settings with lots of action. Not a slow moment in the book. It was interesting how L'Amour revealed the terminology that began then, the medical practices of the time, and what many progressive thinkers of the time had discovered

What three words best describe John Curless’s performance?

Occasionally too low. An absolute perfect choice of narrator for such a great book. The problem is that many of us listen to books while traveling in a car. At times for the drama of the moment the narrator speaks in a whisper. No way can we pick up what he says and it is usually at a crucial time of the book. Other very good narrators have this flaw. If you are listening in your library or bedroom at home it is great but on the road it is too much work on our part to hear. Just say the words so that we can hear them. Except for this one flaw, I would have given the performance a 5.

Any additional comments?

The book moves rapidly between settings and you must focus on the names of the characters and where they belong in the story. My wife and I read this and listened to it together on a long trip. Except for the narrator whispering at times it was a wonderful experience.

5 of 5 people found this review 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
  • Xavier
  • 2011-06-17

Really enjoyed!

Great way to travel through history. I never enjoyed history in high school and college because I don't have great recall skills. However, when history is taught in a fictional storyline with living characters, history becomes very enjoyable and pleasant.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • RareReviewer
  • 2015-09-04

Adventure! Swordplay! Corsairs!

Any additional comments?

Ah, the sound of the walking drum, a sound I shall hear all my life! What rhythm it makes upon a man's heart, if a man he truly be. For by its beating it lays bare a tale of the life of Mathurin Kerbouchard, an Enlightenment anachronism of a 12th-century Druidic Breton amongst Eurasia's Muslims. Violet of prose and prolix with research, this adventurous yarn, swashbuckled beyond belief, is related in 16 and a half hours. Each city and sojourn is more alien than the last, yet somehow all the more familiar to our hero, whose hubris grows with each successful venture. He knows no loss, but is ever besting the caricatures arrayed against his strength and skill. He utters sagacious proverbs and waxes melodramatic for his father, for his future, and for the women of his past, each more beautiful and alluring than (if also wholly reminiscent of) the last. Yet for all this, and every third chapter opening with recitations of research the author could have only discovered in what must have been his many tax-deductible journeys, there remains a spirit of adventure and derring-do across 57(!) chapters that will provide entertainment to those willing to let the story wash over them, worrying not overmuch for timelines, plausibility, consistency of single characters, or repetition among several. To fight one's way through this story is to know a love of adventure such as legends reward; the love of beautiful women; and, especially, the love of Mathurin Kerbouchard for Mathurin Kerbouchard and his many, many inevitable successes. May there ever be a road!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tyler
  • 2013-04-07

Really worth your time!

So before I bought this book I was a little bit skeptical; the reason was because some of the reviews were negative. Some people thought the narration was bad while others thought the story moved much to quickly to follow. These people need to stick with their usual murder mysteries because I thought this was an incredible book with a lot to offer.

I am not usually interested in fiction, sticking mostly to my historical non-fiction and science literature; however, this story kept me on the edge of my seat. I recommend it for anyone of all ages.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bret Buswell
  • 2015-03-13

great fictional historical tale.

this is a great book historically accurate and a great tale.but from Louis L'Amour what can you expect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2017-09-15

Perhaps Louis L'Amours Finest

Narrarater has many remarkable accents John Curless deserves a bonus. Recommended for everyone! Thanks

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lance
  • 2017-09-12

A bit soft spoken at times

What an amazing adventure of knowledge, suspense and intrigue! The reader can be hard to hear at times though.

L'Amour expertly crafts a character of a man over a backdrop of the middle east and medieval Europe. The thrill and excitement of learning were re-awakened as I listened. I highly recommend this title for anyone looking to become familiar with the author's work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Deborah
  • 2017-08-28

Excellent!

What a story! I've read many of Louis Lamour's books, however, this one is quite unique. It took me a long time to actually read it, or in this case "listen". I found it very slow to start, and a little boring, because of it's slowness. I persisted though, because so many people perceived it as one of Lamour's best. What in the world did they see in this story? The more I listened, the more I was drawn in to the story. I became enthralled, after a time. Exactly at what point, I do not know, but the story became consuming. It's not the authors usual western style, that's why this story is so unique. It takes place during the 11th and 12th centuries. The times of castles, knights, ships and swords. A very well researched book that brings this time period to life. Yes, I will listen to it again, I'm sure. John Curliss is the perfect narrator for this story. An outstanding performance! Again, I say, what a story!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful