After U.S. Air Force Major Joe Mack is forced down in Russia and later escapes from a Soviet prison camp, he calls upon the skills of his Sioux Indian forebears to evade Alekhin, the Yakut native and legendary tracker, on his trail.
My husband loves to learn about basic survival skills; I enjoy reading survival stories. We both want to be prepared to live in ‘the wild’ if we must. We aren’t doomsday preppers or anything, but we do fly small airplanes and live in an area frequented by hurricanes. Things could happen, and these survival stories are for educational purposes! Louis L’amour’s Last of the Breed is the one story that I just can not stop reading. I have read it between 5 to 10 times in the last 13 years and each time I am riveted!
Joe Mack is a Sioux who is also a test pilot for the Air Force. He is captured by the Russians and brought to Siberia for interrogation. Joe Mack refuses to remain a prisoner and he quickly escapes. But he now much survive a Siberian winter and it will require all his military and ancestral training to make it out alive. (Now I want to start reading it again!)
Last of the Breed was originally published in 1986 and the writing style is somewhat different than current publications. The language is often more telling than showing, which requires a vivid imagination to fill in all the glorious details. Luckily, I have one of those, but many reviews complain that the novel drags on because of it. L’Amour also has a tendency to repeat himself…a lot. I blame the editing process because this should have been fixed before publication. The only time it bugged me was when the next sentence would be a reworded copy of the previous sentence. That is an editing issue.
Don’t let this deter you because the story is great! I am enthralled by Joe Mack and his journey across Siberia. Plus, L’Amour provides an interesting cast of supporting characters for you to both love and hate. I hold my breath as Talya and her father rush to the Chinese border. I whisper “yes!” each time Joe Mack escapes; and I curse Alekhin as he hunts Joe Mack down. But, this is more than a story of sheer survival. L’Amour also describes the mental strain of surviving and living on the run. These passages left me with goose-bumps as the fear of being hunted courses through me while Alekhin closes in on Joe Mack. I know how the story ends, but that doesn’t matter. I feel like I am there in Siberia every time I open this book.
Last of the Breed will always be one of my favorites and I plan to keep rereading it. I mean, just look at my personal copy! Why hasn’t it been made in to a movie?! Anyways, happy survival reading everyone 😛