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Zane Grey (1872–1939)

Author of Riders of the Purple Sage

393+ Works 17,248 Members 243 Reviews 19 Favorited

About the Author

Zane Grey was born Pearl Zane Gray in 1872, in Zanesville, Ohio. He studied dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, married Lina Elise Roth in 1905, then moved his family west where he began to write novels. The author of 86 books, he is today considered the father of the Western genre, with show more its heady romances and mysterious outlaws. Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) brought Grey his greatest popular acclaim. Other notable titles include The Light of Western Stars (1914) and The Vanishing American (1925). An extremely prolific writer, he often completed three novels a year, while his publisher would issue only one at a time. Twenty-five of his novels were published posthumously. His last, The Reef Girl, was published in 1977. Zane Grey died of heart failure on October 23 in Altadena, California, in 1939. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the names: Zane Gray, Zane Grey, Gray Zane, Zane Grey, Зейн Грей

Also includes: Grey (7)

Disambiguation Notice:

born Pearl Zane Gray. Family changed spelling to Grey and he dropped his first name.

Image credit: By Original uploader was Chalupa at cs.wikipedia - Transferred from cs.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Faigl.ladislav using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5656661


Works by Zane Grey

Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) 1,735 copies
The Last Trail (1909) 406 copies
Betty Zane (1903) 403 copies
The Rainbow Trail (1915) 401 copies
The Lone Star Ranger (1915) 393 copies
The Spirit of the Border (1906) 390 copies
Desert Gold (1913) 356 copies
Wildfire (1917) 355 copies
The Call of the Canyon (1924) 326 copies
The Heritage of the Desert (1910) 323 copies
To the Last Man (1921) 287 copies
The Mysterious Rider (1921) 284 copies
The Thundering Herd (1924) 283 copies
The Man of the Forest (1919) 279 copies
The Light of Western Stars (1914) 276 copies
The Border Legion (1916) 268 copies
The Last of the Plainsmen (1908) 253 copies
Nevada (1926) 239 copies
West of the Pecos (1931) 228 copies
Wanderer of the Wasteland (1923) 223 copies
The Hash Knife Outfit (1929) 217 copies
Arizona Ames (1929) 215 copies
The U. P. Trail (1918) 214 copies
Wild Horse Mesa (1924) 206 copies
Thunder Mountain (1935) 197 copies
Raiders of Spanish Peaks (1931) 193 copies
The Vanishing American (1925) 193 copies
Fighting Caravans (1929) 188 copies
Shadow on the Trail (1946) 187 copies
Western Union (1939) 187 copies
Valley of Wild Horses (1927) 184 copies
Knights of the Range (1936) 183 copies
The Desert of Wheat (1918) 179 copies
Under the Tonto Rim (1925) 179 copies
The Trail Driver (1931) 178 copies
Twin Sombreros (1940) 177 copies
Code of the West (1923) 177 copies
Forlorn River (1926) 176 copies
The Shepherd of Guadaloupe (1928) 170 copies
30,000 on the Hoof (1940) 169 copies
The Drift Fence (1929) 168 copies
The Lost Wagon Train (1932) 167 copies
Robbers' Roost (1930) 164 copies
Rogue River Feud (1929) 162 copies
Sunset Pass (1928) 156 copies
The Dude Ranger (1930) 152 copies
Stairs of Sand (1928) 151 copies
Captives of the Desert (1925) 148 copies
The Deer Stalker (1925) 136 copies
Majesty's Rancho (1937) 135 copies
The Fugitive Trail (1957) 135 copies
Tappan's Burro (1923) 132 copies
Last of the Duanes (1996) 128 copies
Wyoming (1932) 128 copies
Lost Pueblo (1927) 122 copies
The Arizona Clan (1958) 116 copies
Boulder Dam (1944) 114 copies
Wilderness Trek (1944) 112 copies
Black Mesa (1955) 109 copies
The Maverick Queen (1912) 104 copies
The Young Pitcher (1911) 103 copies
The Young Forester (1910) 99 copies
Stranger from the Tonto (1956) 97 copies
Horse Heaven Hill (1959) 96 copies
The Shortstop (1909) 85 copies
The Westerners (2000) 72 copies
The Young Lion Hunter (1911) 65 copies
Tales of Lonely Trails (1922) 64 copies
Rangers of the Lone Star (1998) 60 copies
Ken Ward in the Jungle (1912) 55 copies
The Day of the Beast (1922) 51 copies
The Reef Girl (1977) 47 copies
Woman of the Frontier (1998) 44 copies
The Great Trek (1999) 44 copies
Shower of Gold (2007) 41 copies
Rangle River (2001) 37 copies
Tonto Basin (2004) 37 copies
Cabin Gulch (2006) 37 copies
Dorn of the Mountains (2008) 37 copies
Tales of Fishes (1919) 28 copies
Tales of Swordfish and Tuna (1927) 27 copies
The Buffalo Hunter (1978) 25 copies
Tales of Freshwater Fishing (1928) 20 copies
Tales of Southern Rivers (1924) 18 copies
Greatest Indian Stories (1975) 16 copies
Top Hand (2004) 15 copies
The Zane Grey Megapack (2013) 14 copies
The Camp Robber (1979) 13 copies
Tales of Tahitian Waters (1931) 11 copies
Tenderfoot (1977) 8 copies
The Wilderness Trek (2017) 8 copies
The Wolf Tracker (1930) 7 copies
The Big Land (1901) 6 copies
El cuatrero (1980) 6 copies
Round-up (1976) 5 copies
The Zane Grey Collection (2013) 5 copies
The Roaring U.P. Trail (1920) 5 copies
Yaqui (1976) 5 copies
Canyon Walls (1930) 5 copies
Tigre (2015) 4 copies
Prairie Gold (1965) 4 copies
The Water Hole (2014) 3 copies
Fantoms of Peace (2015) 3 copies
Avalanche (1928) 3 copies
Riders of Vengeance (1968) 3 copies
Rio Perdido (1959) 2 copies
Selected Short Works (2018) 2 copies
The Wild-Horse Hunter (2014) 2 copies
Desert Gold Trilogy (2012) 2 copies
To The Last Man 2 copies
Sence na poti 2 copies
Obras selectas (1986) 2 copies
Shepherd of Guadeloupe (1971) 2 copies
Zálesák (1991) 2 copies
Røverhulen (1987) 2 copies
The Great Slave (2011) 2 copies
Westerner (1977) 2 copies
Yksinsen tden harhailija (1973) 2 copies
Adventures of Finspot (1976) 2 copies
The Border Region (2019) 1 copy
Ranger 1 copy
Balik Oykuleri (2014) 1 copy
Stanger from the Tonto (1960) 1 copy
Pobegla reka 1 copy
Audio Trails 1 CST (1987) 1 copy
Adventures in Fishing (1952) 1 copy
RAINBOW TRAIL CST (1987) 1 copy
El Cuchillo Fatidico (1980) 1 copy
Karr 1 copy
Vanishing Indian (1968) 1 copy
Thieves' Canyon (1981) 1 copy
Die letzte Spur (1909) 1 copy
El policia rural (1975) 1 copy
False Colors (2014) 1 copy
The Rube (2014) 1 copy
The Rube's Pennant (2014) 1 copy
The Rube's Honeymoon (2014) 1 copy
The Rube's Waterloo (2014) 1 copy
The Knocker (2014) 1 copy
The Winning Ball (2014) 1 copy
Old Well-Well (2014) 1 copy
The Rubber Hunter (2014) 1 copy
Indian Tales (1977) 1 copy
Tęczowy szlak (2020) 1 copy
To tapre piker (1987) 1 copy
Fra Kansas til Arizona (1986) 1 copy
Posljednji graničar (1990) 1 copy
Works of Zane Grey (2009) 1 copy
Round-Up (1943) 1 copy
red headed outfielder (1948) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Arbor House Treasury of Great Western Stories (1982) — Contributor — 98 copies
Baseball's Best Short Stories (1995) — Contributor — 77 copies
Great Baseball Stories (1979) — Contributor — 47 copies
Great Tales of the American West (1945) — Contributor — 42 copies
Great Tales of the West (1982) — Contributor — 30 copies
Great Horse Stories (2010) — Contributor — 8 copies
Unbridled: The Western Horse in Fiction and Nonfiction (2005) — Contributor — 6 copies
The Boys' Book of the West (2005) — Contributor — 3 copies
Great Classic Westerns: Unabridged Short Stories (2012) — Contributor — 3 copies
Wagon's Wheels [1934 film] (1934) — Original story — 1 copy
Riders of the Purple Sage [1931 film] (1931) — Original book — 1 copy


* (52) 1. Zane Grey-Novel-Paperback (56) 19th century (41) adult (44) adventure (105) American fiction (39) American literature (79) American West (175) Arizona (49) baseball (51) biography (40) classic (42) classic literature (38) cover (53) ebook (192) fiction (1,707) first edition (57) fishing (68) grey (188) hard (74) hardcover (43) HC (65) historical fiction (135) Kindle (230) literature (39) literature cz (41) Location: A-4 (39) novel (233) romance (64) short stories (62) Southwest (46) to-read (267) Utah (54) West (51) western (3,051) Western Fiction (361) Western stories (109) Westerns (177) Zane Grey (243) ZGzz (39)

Common Knowledge



Zane Grey November - Group Reads in 2013 Category Challenge (December 2013)
western about a woman who runs a ranch in Name that Book (March 2013)


Just a little too melodramatic for me. But I can see why it's a classic. DNF
TheGalaxyGirl | 59 other reviews | Oct 7, 2023 |
Valley of Wild Horses is one of Zane Grey’s most satisfying westerns. Everything that was wonderful about Zane Grey — his magnificent storytelling, his vivid descriptions of the landscape and horses, the sheer excitement of a roundup, and the thrill of gunplay — are on display so vibrantly in Valley of Wild Horses that the reader is rarely annoyed by some stilted dialog which creeps in, and some slight awkwardness in the romance department — which are also Grey trademarks.

There is great beauty here in Valley of Wild Horses, a purity of the human spirit. On its pages exists a love for decency and what is right, even if it must be administered with a gun. Even then, there is always regret, a wish that it hadn't come to that. Grey never painted a better portrait of those with checkered pasts trying to find a place they belong, than he did in Valley of Wild Horses. The simplicity of Grey’s narrative is deceptive, because it is a rich and beautiful portrait of a young man named Panhandle Smith, who represents a time and place in history as well as any Grey ever painted.

For a western, it begins somewhat languidly, because it is the story of Panhandle as he grows up. We get to see the cowboys and cattle, the excitement and the harshness of these times, all circumstances which shape Pan’s life as a young man. At the age of twelve, Pan is already riding in the roundup, and loses one of the cowboys around him when he is taken away for stealing horses. Schoolteacher Amanda Hill is his first crush, Dick Hardman his first enemy, a situation which will play out over the years in their love for Lucy. Lucy is the young girl he helps deliver in a barn one snowy day, when he himself is but a boy. As she grows up, Pan’s feelings for her become romantic, as Lucy’s do for Pan, but Dick Hardman proves to always be in the way.

Once his beloved horse Curly is gone, and a terrible scrape with Dick mars the future, Panhandle drifts to Montana and Arkansas at the age of twenty, and that’s where this tale switches gears, and become one of Grey’s greatest achievements. As Panhandle becomes a name known by many, sometimes for the wrong reasons, he never forgets Lucy, or his beloved family. It is when he meets up with old pals Blinky Moran and Gus, and returns to discover his father has been swindled, and Lucy is being blackmailed into marrying Dick Hardman in order to save her father, that the pieces which make this a great western saga all fall into place. There is a softhearted saloon girl named Louise whom Blinky loves that has ties to Dick, a corrupt sheriff named Matthews, and Dick’s powerful father and his dangerous men for Panhandle to deal with. But not before one of the most thrilling roundups you’ll ever read, as Pan and his pals seek to find the wild horses and make a new start in Arizona.

There will be some treachery, some gunplay, and some twists and turns where Lucy and Louise are concerned. Louise in fact, is one of Grey’s best-drawn characters, and what happens is not only exciting, but quite moving. Throughout the book, there is a sense of family, and decency, and the hope of pioneers as they sought to carve out a new life. The storytelling is old-fashioned, to be sure, the dialog sometimes awkward, as Grey writes it phonetically as they speak it. But this is a lush, beautiful work, surprisingly layered and more complex than the premise suggests. The ending of Valley of Wild Horses is as lovely as any western you’ll ever read. It is simple, and pure, and hopeful. The reader will be imagining their lives going forward, and smiling.

The first portion of the novel, as Grey focuses on Panhandle’s childhood, is too lengthy and makes the narrative move more slowly than it should. That said, there is a rich reward waiting for those who forge on, and a pot of western gold when they reach the final page. This is Zane Grey at his finest, which is to say warts and all. It may be too old-fashioned for a great many modern readers, its narrative style too different for them to accept and enjoy, but it’s as romantic and lovely as any western you’ll ever read, the ending pure. A great achievement by Grey that fans of traditional westerns of old will appreciate more than most modern readers. Highly recommended!
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Matt_Ransom | 3 other reviews | Oct 6, 2023 |
“Going through life is something like riding a deep canyon where the light seldom shines. It is a strange canyon with unexpected turns and insurmountable walls and cross-canyons, boxed completely from the light. I suppose when we hit the closing wall of one of these box canyons it looks like the end and we want to beat our life out there. Sometimes by accident, sometimes by design, we feel our way out into the place where the light comes through at times, and we go on down that way because farther on there may be a way out into that light. Don’t you want to struggle on a little longer, Magdaline? I’m boxed in at present myself, in a canyon as dark as hell, but I’m feeling around for the way out.”

So philosophizes cowboy John Curry to his Indian friend, Magdaline. Both find themselves in dark canyons, but John has more experience in such matters. Compared to Magdaline’s 19 years, John is a wise old sage at 28. Their troubles involve John’s love interest, Mary Newton, a good woman married to a scoundrel. Even though she’s unhappy and often hurt by her scumbag husband, she feels bound by her obligations in the marriage vows. There is also High-Lo, the 19 year-old cowboy protege and best friend of John. They call him High-Lo because sometimes when work is to be done, they have to look “high and low” in order to find him. He’s the most interesting and fun character of the story. Grey gives us a fine story of how these folks deal with life--the choices they make, and the cards they’re dealt along the way.
Originally published in magazine serial form in 1926, Captives of the Desert is a Zane Grey mixture of old and new West. The setting is Black Mesa, Arizona of the 1920s. Sometimes they’re riding horses, sometimes cars. As with all Grey novels of the West, the landscape of mesas, canyons, and sage are beautifully woven into the story.
Although the outcome is fairly predictable, there are a few twists and turns, with interesting events. A Hopi snake dance is vividly described. Grey’s respect and admiration for the American Indian is displayed more so than in other of his novels that I’ve read.
There isn’t much gun play as can be found in such titles as, [b:Riders of the Purple Sage|90160|Riders of the Purple Sage (Riders of the Purple Sage #1)|Zane Grey|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1320415192l/90160._SY75_.jpg|2663060], [b:The Rainbow Trail|121292|The Rainbow Trail ( Riders of the Purple Sage#2)|Zane Grey|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1171832383l/121292._SY75_.jpg|3063248], and [b:The Lonestar Ranger|25844040|The Lonestar Ranger|Zane Grey|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1438357091l/25844040._SX50_.jpg|2425493] , but there’s plenty romance, even if some of it may seem a bit strange to the 21st century reader.
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MickeyMole | 2 other reviews | Oct 2, 2023 |
It's Zane Grey alright, but not on par with most of his excellent work. There's some of the great western atmosphere that he so eloquently describes, along with the wild west gun-play that no one does better. And, of course, the romance. Grey himself said that he wrote romance novels, and most of them have a setting in the Western US of the 19th century. That romance is one of the main things I like about his novels. But, this one was just corny and overdone. Twin sisters that no one can tell apart fall for our hero, Brazos Keene. He favors one, but because the sisters always dress and act exactly alike, and make play with it on everyone, Keene is never really sure which sister is which. This could work in a comedy novel, but this isn't comedy, and it got on my last nerve. It goes on and on. Just frustrating. Since [b:Twin Sombreros|121209|Twin Sombreros|Zane Grey|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1329014386l/121209._SY75_.jpg|116716] is a sequel to [b:Knights of the Range|121203|Knights of the Range|Zane Grey|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/book/50x75-a91bf249278a81aabab721ef782c4a74.png|2662999], (an excellent novel) I was looking forward to more of the same, but didn't get it.… (more)
MickeyMole | 2 other reviews | Oct 2, 2023 |



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