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Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
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Riders of the Purple Sage (original 1912; edition 2010)

by Zane Grey, Mark Bramhall (Narrator)

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915319,598 (3.4)87
Member:arctangent
Title:Riders of the Purple Sage
Authors:Zane Grey
Other authors:Mark Bramhall (Narrator)
Info:Pinnacle Books (2010), Edition: Reissue, Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, 2012 Read or re-read, Fiction, Kindle Fiction, Audio books
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, kindle, classic, American fiction, American literature, western, historical fiction, 19th century setting, 20th century literature, Utah, Mormons, revenge, rustlers, romance, Mormonism, homesteaders, ranching, polygamy, E&PV

Work details

Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey (1912)

  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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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
I have to put this in my top ten. One of the greatest stories I have ever read. So many heros and villians. ( )
  cwflatt | Jul 3, 2014 |
Riders of the Purple Sage has been in print since 1912, making it one of the best selling westerns out there. Zane Grey's name is synonymous with the genre. However, this work does not seem like it should be among the best westerns available. True, the sweeping descriptions of the landscape give the reader a sense of the epic and heroic. The high speed horse chases are gripping with exciting horsemanship detail. Freedom, honor, and justice are valued. Still, there are two major flaws that hold this work back from being a compelling read regardless of genre. One of the main points from this book is that Mormons are kidnappers, truck with rustlers, and oppress women. Our Mormon killing hero, Lassiter, admits that he's meet good Mormons, including our heroine, Jane, a devoted follower of Mormonism. However, part of the resolution of the book is the "scales" falling from her eyes due to the love she feels for the gunman. This historical prejudice does not translate well into modern times. The other flaw is that much of the book reads like a daytime soap opera with overly dramatic declarations of love, secrets, and convoluted connections between characters. This is a weak example of genre fiction in a genre with declining popularity. But, given the book's staying power after all these years, having a copy or two within a library system is advisable. ( )
  MissyAnn | Apr 9, 2014 |
Although I'm not a fan of Westerns, Riders of the Purple Sage is a classic in the genre and I've wanted to read it for some time. A Zane Grey group read gave me the motivation I needed. I listened to the audio version read by Mark Bramhall and I'm almost certain that I enjoyed listening to Bramhall's narration more than I would have enjoyed reading the book. His voice for each character was just right, even for the women. A lot of the dialogue was dated, but somehow Bramhall managed to keep it from sounding corny.

I wasn't as bothered as some were with the negative portrayal of Mormons. The book is set in Utah Territory in 1871, at a time when there was a great deal of mistrust between the Mormons and the non-Mormons who lived there. Brigham Young was still living and the church had not yet rejected polygamy.

The thing that eventually got to me was Jane Withersteen's gun phobia. It seemed to be more than pacifism. She had a horror for guns, and she did everything she could to get the gunman Lassiter to give up his guns. Jane Withersteen was the owner of a large ranch with lots of livestock. Guns would be necessary for protecting the livestock from predators or for quickly putting fatally injured animals out of their misery. Jane needed to know how to use guns, and her employees needed access to guns. Her attitude toward guns made no sense for her position or life in that place and time.

Westerns will never be a favorite genre for me. However, at some point I would like to try Grey's Frontier trilogy, starting with Betty Zane, since it's based on Grey's family history. ( )
  cbl_tn | Nov 30, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zane Greyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bramhall, MarkNarratorsecondary 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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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