Learn more Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Paperwhite Shop now Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

47
4.8 out of 5 stars
The Searchers
Format: Kindle EditionChange
Price:£3.83
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2014
Written back in 1954, by author and screenwriter Alan LeMay, following scrupulous research into many of the surviving accounts of Indian abductions of white pioneer women and children along the frontier of the South Western expansion of the United States, this is the fictional account of the epic quest of two driven and determined white men, an uncle and an adopted brother (after his own family have been massacred) to find 9 year old Debbie Edwards who has been abducted following a murder raid on the family ranch by a Comanche war party.

The sheer power of the novel was certainly not lost on movie director John Ford, who would make the story the basis of his (belatedly) critically acclaimed film ‘The Searchers’, and this is a power which resonates to the present day. This is not just another dated pulp western novel which belongs to a bye gone age. Rather it is a work of great and enduring quality, which gives the reader a real insight into what it must have been like to have lived along the frontier in those violent and dangerous times, whether they were optimistic white settlers intent on building a better future for their families, and prepared to live with the risks, or angry and threatened Indian tribes, faced with the progressive annexation of their ancestral homelands and the mass slaughter of the buffalo herds, on which so much of their livelihood depended.

Today’s reader is likely to come to LeMay’s book through having discovered and enjoyed Ford’s film, most likely on television, and having noted that this wasn’t ‘just another Western’, and that Wayne’s character, the very disturbed Ethan Edwards, is possibly Wayne’s most accomplished and nuanced role in his long cinematic career.

So how does it differ from the film? Well, part of the power of Ford’s film was that he cleverly chose not to show the violence, leaving the cinemagoer to imagine it for himself. LeMay tells you in exacting detail, based on the historical record, the atrocities committed both by the Indians, and by the white men.

The quest takes place over a period of 5 years, so there is much more in LeMay than makes it through to the film, and the ending is also different, but just as valid as the one chosen by Ford.

John Ford could always spot a good line of dialogue, and, for those familiar with the film, it is these words of LeMays’ that leap out of the printed page, time and again, as the reader progresses through the book, because they are also spoken in the film, word for word, though not necessarily by the same characters as in the original novel.

This is a book well worthy not only of being discovered by today’s readers, but also of being re-made as a film, not to eclipse the ‘Fordian interpretation’ that is John Ford’s masterpiece, but to set in modern cinematic terms the sweep, depth and interpretation of the original novel. Clint Eastwood or Kevin Costner take note!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2013
One must forget the John Wayne film of the same title to really appreciate this book, for whilst the stories are similar the "John Wayne" character, Ethan, is a far more vulnerable and complex man in the book than as portrayed in the film.
A good read and I suspect a book well worth a reread, if not several, to really appreciate all its colour and depth. Recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2013
Pretty close to the best but certainly up there in the top 20 western stories. No wonder John Ford wanted to make it into a movie. It's all there; the journey fraught with difficulties to maintain tension. The believable characters who authentically portray the values and beliefs of an era long gone. The portrayal of the Commanche reveals deep research and doesn't shy away from the difficult and cruel episodes that lie at the heart of this tale about the clash of white Anglo expansion and nomadic horse warriors.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2015
...at this amazing story. I purchased this after listening to Ray Winstone on Desert Island Discs. This was the book he chose. What an original and amazing writing style has Alan Le May. I felt as if I was there with the characters all the way through their search. Totally absorbing and unputdownable. I'd like to read more by this author and I'd like to watch the film now.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2015
Heard about this book when listening to Ray Winston on Desert Island Discs who said it was his favourite. Thought it was superbly written and covered many facets of human endurance and determination. Gripping read from the first page to the last. Noticed that the film version is shown as the 10th best Hollywood movie of all time.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2013
I'm with the ranks of many who consider the John Wayne movie, The Searchers, as probably the best western ever made. I've seen the film so many times that I'd previously failed to notice that it was based on a book. Having only recently purchased the book on Kindle and having read it straight away, I have to say I'm impressed.
I won't go into the storyline, as most people either already know it or can simply read the description of the book. However, in my opinion the book is well-written, moves along at a nice pace, and contains some wonderful characters.
It differs from the film in that several characters have different names and in some instances play different roles. The John Wayne character in the book is not as complex or as intense as played in the film and it is told more from Martin Pauley's point of view.
Overall a good read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2013
The film 'The Searchers' has always been my favourite Western. The book beats the film hands down. Details of characters and the land they lived in are superbly drawn. The characters are all beautifully observed, the historical background appears to be very well researched and accurate. The traits and skills of the Comanche and Tonkawa tribespeople are an eyeopener and pull no punches, similarly their opponents, the Texas Rangers and the US Cavalry are drawn from the sand, snow, blizzards and parching winds of their surroundings. All the protagonists and the bystanders are up against the elements at their most extreme. A wonderful book written with a marvellous eye for detail in every circumstance. I am sure I will read 'The Searchers' again, and I will read any other books that I can find by Alan le May. I can't praise him highly enough as an author.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 August 2013
Brilliant. I have loved the film since I saw it after sitting my 11+ exam in 1957! However, it is rather different (Amos not Ethan, very different ending but I won't spoil it). Very well written, great insight into the minds of both the settlers and Comanche, you have to accept that both their worlds are very different from our own and not make judgements. I cannot praise it highly enough. He has written another book (Unforgiven) also filmed (Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn) with the exact opposite situation (Comanche child adopted by whites: the Comanche want her back). The film is great: I expect to enjoy the book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2015
I have read this story many times & enjoyed every minute, John Wayne was perfect for the part of Ethan & the rest of the actors spot on for the parts they played, my heart & sorrow went out to him & his family. If I had been alive in those times I would have loved to have been one of the pioneers, though I have read many books on the history of America the Indians strike terror in my soul. So perhaps it was best I was born when I was & lived through the WWII, the threat of the atomic bomb & it's terrors.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2014
Was surprised to find the film was based on a book. Fantastic story much better than film. Pieces by the actors who were involved and their own family relationships very interesting. A must read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
The Unforgiven
The Unforgiven by Alan LeMay
£3.49

Dances With Wolves
Dances With Wolves by Michael Blake
£2.99

True Grit
True Grit by Charles Portis
£4.88
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.