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Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

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

by Zane Grey, Mark Bramhall (Narrator)

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1,078407,745 (3.44)103
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, Kindle Fiction, Fiction, Audio books
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

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Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey (1912)

  1. 10
    A Study in Scarlet by 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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My original Riders of the Purple Sage audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Riders of the Purple Sage is a classic western from author Zane Grey. It was published in 1912 and has remained in print and popular to this day. The story is set in 1871 in the Utah territory. There is no separation of church and state. The Mormon church and it’s patriarchal society hold all power.

The main character Jane is very non-traditional for the time period and for Mormon women. She is unmarried in her late twenties. She is also wealthy because of inheriting her father’s estate. She further defies convention by refusing to marry one of the Mormon elders in the area who demand she get in line with church teachings. Worst of all, in the eyes of her Mormon neighbors, is her belief in treating all men, whether Mormon or Gentile (non-Mormon) with equal dignity.

Her property is very valuable since it has a reliable water source. Her horses are also well known and sought after. Elder Tull wants to marry her, her wealth equal in his eyes to her beauty. The local Bishop, Dyer, supports Tull in his attempt to make Jane into a respectable Mormon wife. When Jane does not jump at the chance to become another of Tull’s wives, Tull and Dyer set about forcing her by attacking her Gentile ranch hands. Without her trusted hands, Jane cannot keep the ranch functioning.

As Jane continues to fight for what she feels is right and not what the Mormon men tell her is right, help comes from an unexpected and very dangerous source. Lassiter, a gunman known for his antipathy towards Mormons and accused of killing several Mormon men, arrives at Jane’s ranch. His reputation proceeds him and causes the to resort to even more violence in an attempt to force Jane into marriage.

Lassiter is an anti-hero. He is a man who has willingly killed other men. He has a very open hatred of all things Mormon. Yet he demonstrates more honor than the religious men trying to rob Jane of her independence and wealth. The pairing of a gunslinger and a Mormon woman drive the plot to an unexpected and thrilling conclusion.

I enjoyed the book, the first Zane Grey I have read or listened to. My only disappointment was it took Jane so long to realize that the Elder and Bishop were not motivated by religion but by greed. She was naive. Other than that, all the characters were well rounded.

I had previously listened to the version narrated by Mark Bramhall. I was interested to hear the book narrated by a woman, Ann M. Richardson. Different narrators can bring different tones or emphasis to the same book. I was very interested whether the gender of the narrator would affect the story itself. I found the gender of the narrator in this particular instance did not make a difference. Ms. Richardson did a very fine job of narrating the book. After listening to the same passages read by the two different narrators, I found I enjoyed them both. If this is an edge at all, it goes to Ms. Richardson. Her voice is very pleasant and she handles the range of voices, male/female, very well.

Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Jun 20, 2016 |
A must read, in my opinion, of course. ( )
1 vote RhondasReading | Jun 2, 2016 |
Vaguely pornographic in its blatant sensuality. A classic pulp Western that pits a religious Mormon woman against a hardened brute of animal magnetism. A ranger falls in love with the apparent ex- of a bad guy - a thunder storm makes him realize he has "a storm of real love" in his own "breast." "...I reckon you'd better call quick on thet God who reveals himself to you on earth, because He won't be visitin' the place you're goin to!" ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Lots of Mormon bashing in this. I wish that the heroine Jane was a more realistic character. Her attempts to "save" the various men were annoying and after declaring that she would do anything to get the child Fay back, including marrying the despicable Tull, she then proceeds to agree to fly with Lattimore without a word about Fay! ( )
  leslie.98 | Nov 13, 2015 |
Utah, post-Civil War: Wealthy land owner Jane Withersteen risks losing it all when she disrespects the Mormon Church. Can her trusted rider, Bern Venters, and newcomer (and Gentile) Lassiter help protect her estate? More complications arise when Venters falls in love with the most infamous rider in the West. ( )
  andreaj607 | Nov 11, 2015 |
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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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[Riders of the Purple Sage]  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.
[The Rainbow Trail]  Shefford halted his tired horse and gazed with slowly realizing eyes.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:37 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Set in Utah during the nineteenth century, tells the story of a Mormon woman caught between the persecution of religious zealots and several 'Gentile' gunmen seeking to lend her a helping hand.

(summary from another edition)

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15 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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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100623, 1400109175

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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