Books: The Wide-Open Pages

THE CALIFORNIOS

by LOUIS L'AMOUR 188 pages. Saturday Review Press.

Dutton. $5.95.

Writers about the Old West are the battery hens of fiction, their relative status usually assessed in terms of yield. Questions of individual flavor, style or craft are usually redundant. Thus Louis L'Amour, who has produced 60 or so novels to date, is a spring chicken compared with Zane Grey, creator of 89 extra-large books (approximately 9 million words) between 1904 and 1939, or Max Brand (Destry Rides Again), who could turn out 14 pages an hour, and managed a total of 25...

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