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Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

Riders of the Purple Sage (1912)

by Zane Grey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Riders of the Purple Sage (1)

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957349,064 (3.43)90
  1. 10
    A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (TineOliver)
    TineOliver: Both books deal with views on Mormonism by outsiders at the beginning of the 20th Century. This recommendation is only for those who are interested in this aspect as the novels cover different genres.

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Zane Grey first published this Western novel back in 1912, and it has become the standard by which others are measured. I don't know that it would survive a politically correct editor today, but it remains a great and exciting read, with John Wayne-type good guys, some really sinister bad guys wrapped in religious privilege, and a strong and godly young woman as the protagonist.

Jane Withersteen has inherited a vast ranch with huge herds of cattle from her Mormon pioneer father. She is successfully managing the ranch and her employees as well as helping poor families wherever she sees a need. But the Mormon elder who has been courting her determines to break her financially when she rejects his offer to become one of his several wives.

Jane's help comes from some Gentile (non Mormon) Cowboys who are not intimidated by the Mormon leaders, though even they may not be able to overcome the many wiles of the Mormon leadership, which holds strong spiritual and psychological authority over the Mormon families who make up the community as a whole.

Greg's descriptions of the wild and rugged plains, high cliffs and deep valleys of Utah transport the reader back so effectively that one can almost smell the sage, feel the speed and power of the horses they ride, and the raw fear and excitement engendered by stampeding cattle. Oh, and there is a love story or two as well to enrich the adventure. Thoroughly enjoyed it and think you will too! ( )
  vcg610 | Jan 26, 2015 |
All a bit silly, really. It may have invented a genre, but it's still just full of cartoons: hardened cowboys, flouncy fainting women and inexplicably wicked villains. The plot is driven along largely by coincidence, and doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Still fun. ( )
  sometimeunderwater | Dec 23, 2014 |
Great story. I immediately downloaded the sequel because I wanted to know more about what happened to Jane and Lassiter and Bess and Venters ... and the horses. Good storytelling and lovely descriptive passages. Maybe some of the characters were a little stock, but it didn't keep you from caring about them. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
I listen to books via audio versions and like Audible.com's version of this book.

I believe a few of this book's genre merit reading by anyone today. This is probably one of the best of these books. It deals with the Mormon community rather pointedly, in that our lady-in-distress is having trouble fending off the affections of a Mormon leader, who is already married several times over, now wanting her.
( )
  Benedict8 | Jul 16, 2014 |
I love this book. It started the Western genre. Wholly believable. The terrain is a significant character. It also reflects the popular opinion of Mormonism at the time. They were not the innocent practitioners that they appear to be today. ( )
1 vote JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zane Greyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bramhall, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, Lee ClarkIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A sharp clip-clop of iron-shod hoofs deadened and died away, and clouds of yellow dust drifted from under the cottonwoods out over the sage.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812966120, Paperback)

Told by a master storyteller who, according to critic Russell Nye, “combined adventure, action, violence, crisis, conflict, sentimentalism, and sex in an extremely shrewd mixture,” Riders of the Purple Sage is a classic of the Western genre. It is the story of Lassiter, a gunslinging avenger in black, who shows up in a remote Utah town just in time to save the young and beautiful rancher Jane Withersteen from having to marry a Mormon elder against her will. Lassiter is on his own quest, one that ends when he discovers a secret grave on Jane’s grounds. “[Zane Grey’s] popularity was neither accidental nor undeserved,” wrote Nye. “Few popular novelists have possessed such a grasp of what the public wanted and few have developed Grey’s skill at supplying it.”

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:57 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

When Lassiter, a gunman with a reputation, enters Cottonwoods, Utah, he finds a woman unjustly accused and a man who has been whipped. Lassiter finds himself pitted against Deacon Tull a powerful man who wants to marry the woman to get her land.

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9 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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