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Book Details

The First Fast Draw

57.1% complete
1 time
7 chapters
Book Cover
Has a genre Has a year read Has a rating In my library 
No series
Copyright © 1959 by Batnam Books, Inc.
Copyright renewed © 1985 by Louis L'Amour.
No dedication.
When the shelter was finished, thatched heavy with pine boughs, I went inside and built myself a hatful of fire.
May contain spoilers
Tonight John Tower will drive out from town and we will walk down to the corrals together to watch the horses, two tall old men who long ago stood side by side in a green sunlit meadow on the banks of the Sulphur River, but that was long, long ago, and in another world than this, another time.
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Added: 05-Jul-2022
Last Updated: 25-Sep-2023


If a man can find dry wood after three days of rain he's a man to ride the river with.
Folks are always talking about how busy a bee is, shows they never really watched a bee.  A bee makes so much fuss with all his perambulating around that folks think they're doing a sight of work, but believe me, I've watched bees by the hour and I can tell you all that buzzing is a big fraud.  The bees I've watched always buzzed in the sunniest places around the best-smelling flowers, just loafing their heads off lusting around in the play of sun and shadow at the swamp's edge.  Busy?  Not so's you could notice.
No... he doesn't understand.  Down here... a man is admired for daring to face another armed man with a pistol and for settling his quarrels bravely.  It isn't a killing that is admired, it is the courage to fight for what you believe.  You won't be admired as the man who killed Cullen Baker, you will be despised as someone who murdered a sleeping man.


Bantam Books
Mass Market Paperback
In my libraryI read this editionOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jun-1987
Mass Market Paperback
Cover Price:
1)   16 Sep 2023 - 19 Sep 2023
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
United States
John Hamilton - Photographer

I burned those words on a rough board, dug the grave deep and left them for Barlow to see.  Then I started practicing with my Colt ten hours a day, till it lept into my hand and found the target like a living thing.  I was ready for Barlow now.  I had invented the deadliest form of hand-to-hand fighting the world had ever seen - the first fast draw.

Our foremost storyteller of the authentic West, L'Amour has thrilled a nation by bringing to vivid life the brave men and women who settled the American frontier.  There are now over 175 million of his books in print around the world.
Book CoverBook Back CoverBook Spine
Notes and Comments:
A Bantam Book / February 1959
2nd printing ... March 1959
        3rd printing ... March 1961
        4th printing ... August 1965
        5th printing ... June 1966
        6th printing ... October 1966
7th printing ... April 1968
        8th printing ... August 1969
        9th printing ... October 1969
        10th printing ... April 1970
        11th printing ... September 1970

12th printing ... December 1971
New Bantam edition / September 1971
2nd printing ... July 1972
        3rd printing ... July 1972
        4th printing ... October 1972
        5th printing ... December 1973
        6th printing ... August 1974
        7th printing ... July 1975
        8th printing ... September 1975
        9th printing ... January 1976
        10th printing ... August 1977
        11th printing ... March 1978
12th printing ... January 1979
        13th printing ... June 1979
        14th printing ... May 1980
        15th printing ... September 1981
        16th printing ... February 1982
        17th printing ... December 1983
        18th printing ... February 1985
        19th printing ... January 1986
        20th printing ... September 1986
        21st printing ... June 1987

Copyright page lists LCCN as 59-5168
Twenty-second printing based on the number line
Canada: $3.50



Louis L'Amour  
Birth: 22 Mar 1908 Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
Death: 10 Jun 1988 Los Angeles, California, USA


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  • I try to maintain page numbers for audiobooks even though obviously there aren't any. I do this to keep track of pages read and I try to use the Kindle version page numbers for this.
  • Synopses marked with an asterisk (*) were generated by an AI. There aren't a lot since this is an iffy way to do it - AI seems to make stuff up.
  • When specific publication dates are unknown (ie prefixed with a "Cir"), I try to get the publication date that is closest to the specific printing that I can.
  • When listing chapters, I only list chapters relevant to the story. I will usually leave off Author Notes, Indices, Acknowledgements, etc unless they are relevant to the story or the book is non-fiction.
  • Page numbers on this site are for the end of the main story. I normally do not include appendices, extra material, and other miscellaneous stuff at the end of the book in the page count.

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Presented: 27-May-2024 05:13:01

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