Louis L’Amour began writing “No Traveller Returns” in 1938. This week, 30 years after the author’s death, the novel — his first — will be published, thanks to his son, Beau L’Amour, who took the unfinished manuscript his father had left behind and wrote the rest of it.
It’s part of a larger Louis L’Amour Lost Treasures Project issuing other unpublished material left by the prolific author, who wrote 89 novels, 14 short-story collections and two nonfiction books. “Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures Volume 1” was published in 2017; the second will be released in 2019. While L’Amour is best known for his Westerns, “No Traveller Returns” offers readers a glimpse of what L’Amour was like before he became internationally famous.
The book takes place on the high seas, as the SS Lichenfield heads across the Pacific Ocean carrying 80,000 barrels of explosive naphtha. The journey is perilous due to its cargo, the lives and back stories of the crew strangely connected. The book is based on L’Amour’s own experience as a merchant seaman.