Off The Mangrove Coast
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On Sale 10/02/2018

Beau's Notes:

Off the Mangrove Coast is one of my favorite collections of Louis L'Amour stories, because it contains a number of references to my father's life, some of which are more obvious than others. For example, the Oregon locations Louis featured in "Fighters Should Be Hungry" -- Portland, St. Johns, and Astoria -- were all places with which he was familiar. Louis lived in Portland, worked in St. Johns, and spent a good deal of time in Astoria as a young man.


Out of all these stories the one that is the most personal and true to Louis' life is "It's Your Move." Though it wasn't published in the 1980 collection Yondering, I consider it part of that same continuum. A good deal of the action takes place at the Seamen's Church Institute in San Pedro. Many men "on the beach" (out of work) used the Institute as their meeting place, living room, clubhouse, or office. Sometimes, when he could spare the change, Dad would shower and sleep there.

The Checkers Room and a modern exterior view of the Seaman's Institute in San Pedro

These stories were Dad's reminiscences of the men (and women) who, as Robert Service put it, "don't fit in," the disenfranchised wanderers of the 1920s and '30s: hobos, itinerant laborers, refugees, sailors, and soldiers of fortune.

In the entire Louis L'Amour catalog, there is probably no story that has existed in so many variations as "The Diamond of Jeru." It has been both a short story and a novella, a USA Network movie, and a three-hour dramatized audio production. The existence of all these versions seems even more extraordinary when one considers that the story itself was almost never published at all!

CLICK HERE - Find out how an abandoned pulp story defied the odds and kept reinventing itself in prose, film, and finally as an audio drama.

Dad made only one attempt to sell "The Diamond of Jeru," sending it in June of 1951 to a New York agent who later became notorious for his haphazard business practices. The agent did not place it with a magazine; in fact, he may never have taken it from its envelope. My father's copy went into a pile which later went into a box . . . a box that was filled with unpublished stories and was left in the back of a closet, to be discovered forty years later in the months following his death. Most of those stories were eventually published in the 1990s, but "The Diamond of Jeru" almost didn't make the cut.

This new edition of "Off the Mangrove Coast" with the Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures Postscript Bonus Material brings you the story behind the story along with my own journey working with some of my father's most personal manuscripts!

. . . Beau L'Amour

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