By: Louis L’Amour
Narrated by: Michael Boatman, Jason Culp, George Newbern
Published by Random House Audio 11/27/2018
8 hrs and 30 mins
Yondering Audiobook Sample
After just finishing the first-time release of No Traveller Returns, I was hungry for more of the author’s early style of writing that was somewhat raw, often full of action. Most of all, I wanted more of that fascinating character-driven narration. And, I needed an audiobook my darling would tolerate while I helped him work on his shed project.
In Yondering, he introduced men and some women from all walks of life and from all over the world who frequented the waterfronts, the old exotic cities, backwater places, and rusted old ships and trains. I like the way he sketches in a character and story with an economy of words in these short stories so that I knew I was reading about real people in real situations handling the life’s situation they are given as best they can.
If I added right, there are twenty short stories in this collection. I won’t pretend to enjoy them all equally. Some were moving to the point of tears while at other times I got a chuckle when a character had some sass. Others were shocking in their abrupt open endings that left me wondering what came next. Some were a breathtaking tale of survival while others were more reflective and thought provoking. There is a bittersweet feel to many if not sad while just a few were triumphant.
This is definitely a variety just as the protagonists themselves. The characters come from all walks of life though most of these tales have something to do with ports and the sea though there are hobos on trains, miners, adventurers, and the classic soldiers of fortune. Some were character sketches that seemed to merely observe a snapshot in a life facing a crisis rather than a full story.
Some of my favorite stories in the bunch are about a shipwreck survivor in ‘Survival’, a curious old man in ‘The Man Who Stole Shakespeare’, and one about a mine cave in (and I can’t remember the title off hand). I didn’t dislike any of the stories and they were all of varying lengths with some brief.
I particularly enjoyed that this newest edition came with archival audio footage of Louis L’Amour, himself,introducing the stories and talking about his life experiencing much of what he put into these stories so they felt semi-autobiographical when I listened.
All in all, this collection was engaging- sometimes riveting and other times more thought-provoking. There is a melancholy and nostalgic tone to most and the focus is very much on the character of the protagonist and the setting more than heart-pounding action like the majority of this author’s works. Though there are some exciting ones tucked in here and there, too. Historical Fiction fans who want the gritty hard-boiled storytelling of the 1930’s and a variety of settings and circumstances should give this collection a try.
Yondering Audiobook Narration
I experienced Yondering in Audio format and enjoyed the voice work of all three narrators: Michael Boatman, Jason Culp, and George Newburn. I thought they meshed well with these stories from the era between the two world wars involving the need for a variety of male and a few female voices from the working classes and of international origins at that. Sadly, while I can admit to appreciating each narrator’s work, the narrators were not introduced for each story and I only recognize one’s narration work (Culp) so I can’t match up what stories the others were specifically responsible for telling.
Louis L’Amour was an American author. L’Amour’s books, primarily Western fiction, remain enormously popular, and most have gone through multiple printings. At the time of his death all 101 of his works were in print (86 novels, 14 short-story collections and one full-length work of nonfiction) and he was considered “one of the world’s most popular writers”
Michael Patrick Boatman was born on October 25, 1964, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. While growing up in the area of Chicago, Illinois, Boatman developed an interest in acting that led him to enroll in Western Illinois University’s theater program. After performing in a variety of plays that included “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Purlie Victorious,” and “The Seagull,” Boatman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986. Prior to graduation, Boatman showed great potential when he won the Best Supporting Actor Award for a performance in the Irene Ryan National Competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
He started his professional career by working for a casting agent, which eventually led him to the role of Motown in Hamburger Hill (1987). From there, he moved to New York City to perform in a series of off-Broadway productions. This in turn, led to the role of Pvt. Samuel Beckett in ABC’s drama China Beach (1988). Boatman spent the next several years in a variety of film and television projects prior to being cast alongside Michael J. Fox as Carter in ABC’s Spin City (1996). For his work on the show, he won a GLAAD award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and was also nominated for two N.A.A.C.P. Image Awards. For his work playing Stanley Babson on the long-running HBO series Arli$$ (1996), he was nominated five times for the Image Award for Best Supporting Actor in a comedy series. Boatman resides in New York with his wife Myrna and their four children.
Jason Culp was born in Los Angeles, second son of actor/writer Robert Culp and his wife Nancy. Raised variously in the San Fernando Valley, Ojai, Malibu and Beverly Hills, he began acting at the age of 10 in a small role in the film “Hickey & Boggs”, directed by his father. After a great deal of theater through his teen years, he trained at the American Conservatory Theater, in New York with Herbert Berghof and Uta Hagen at the esteemed HB Studio, and back in Los Angeles in the 80s with John Lehne. He appeared in the soaps “General Hospital”, “Days of our Lives”, and appeared in the film “Skinheads”. He moved to New York in the early 90s and resided there for 25 years, doing regional theater and focusing on voice over work, audiobooks and writing. He has now returned to Los Angeles to resume his acting career.
George Newbern was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA as George Young Newbern. He is an actor, known for Scandal (2012), Father of the Bride (1991) and Father of the Bride Part II (1995). He has been married to Marietta DePrima since 1990. They have three children.