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Riders of the Purple Sage (1912)

af Zane Grey

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1,454529,236 (3.42)139
`With searching eyes he studied the beautiful purple, barren waste of sage. Here was the unknown and the perilous.'The novel that set the pattern for the modern Western, Riders of the Purple Sage was first published in 1912, immediately selling over a million copies.In the remote border country of South Utah, a man is about to be whipped by the Mormons in order to pressure Jane Withersteen into marrying against her will. The punishment is halted by the arrival of the hero, Lassiter, a gunman in black leather, who routs the persecutors and then graduallyrecounts his own history of an endless search for a woman abducted long ago by the Mormons. Secrecy, seduction, captivity, and escape: out of these elements Zane Grey built his acclaimed story of the American West.… (mere)
Nyligt tilføjet afamanda4242, karrinina, privat bibliotek, MaryMsBookstagram, mknapil, ChristinaAH, gldewey, Pharmacdon
Efterladte bibliotekerLeslie Scalapino
  1. 10
    En studie i rødt af 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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Viser 1-5 af 51 (næste | vis alle)
There's a long introduction to this edition which discusses gender and sexuality in the novel and how they relate to its enduring popularity. At one point the essayist wonders why the initial audience included such a high proportion of women. This seems obvious to me; the story consists of two romances! There's been a female audience for novels of romance ever since they were invented.

So I was not really expecting romance, more a written version of the film High Plains Drifter or some such. Well, there's lots of mysterious strangers, injustice, desire for revenge, riding of horses and landscape worship and some gunplay, too, but it's inescapably a character-driven romantic tale. Fun, too, for the most part. The way things play out, the story is also the Fall of Adam and Eve, in reverse, which is a trifle weird.

It's surprisingly well written, apart from the occassions when the landscape description turns purple to match the sage and I can recommend it to anyone who wants to find out what the "formula Western" novel was all about back in 1912.

Deeper than expected. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
Full of purple prose but more than a mere Western, Riders of the Purple Sage often reflects a popular understanding of Social Darwinism (the vanished people of the past in the secret valley who didn't "deserve" to live on). And amidst all the action, you can't help but notice the Freudian imagery in Lassiter's big guns. The novel was written on the cusp of a major change in America and the world, the Great War but a few years away. And it is awash in many of the social and political assumptions that would find entry into that catastrophe all the more easy because the ground was plowed with the ideas planted in Riders.

None of this should detract, although it may enhance, the reading of the book for enjoyment. The rides and chases across the landscapes still stand out as something monumental and and entrancing. And as genre fiction goes, there is something of a payoff at the end. Hasn't everyone dreamed of a paradise where they close themselves off from the worries of the world and find true contentment? ( )
  PaulCornelius | Apr 12, 2020 |
Jane Withersteen lives in Utah in the late 1890s and has the distinction of being one of the richest people in her town. When her father died, he left everything he owned to her. Although Jane is a devout Mormon, she doesn't agree with the leaders of her Mormon group and definitely does not want to marry them. Jane is "pure" of heart and wants to help everyone, Mormon and Gentile alike, which is what leads her to have trouble with the villains in the story. One afternoon, a rugged, handsome gunslinger rides into town and starts fighting for Jane and, of course, they fall in love despite their differences in religion (she's a Mormon and he's a Gentile).

In my mind, when one refers to the western genre, they're almost always referring to either a Louis Lamour or Zane Grey novel; but, I don't recall ever reading a Zane Grey novel before. The introduction to this novel calls Riders of the Purple Sage both the most popular western novel of all time and also one of the pioneering and definitive works of western literature. I must admit that there were some very compelling parts in this book. I can see how Zane Grey defined the genre. I feel like the characters could have been better developed but, it was 1912 and I'm not sure just how much character definition existed in novels then. I'm definitely glad I read the book although I don't think I'll be reading very more in the genre. ( )
  melrailey | Apr 7, 2020 |
Not for me - didn't appreciate the writing style. Sentences were too convoluted and hard to follow. I don't mind rereading a sentence to absorb the beauty or thought, but rereading just to understand what the author is trying to say.....not for me. AND, can I just say, the words sage or purple sage appeared on every other page!!!
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
Beautiful images of Utah's canyon country. Story includes a strong Anti-Mormon theme, based on the author's views of Mormon practices of the 1800's.
Lots of blazing guns, cattle rustling, horse-stealing, and the ritual woman ranch owner relationship with the macho cowboy type. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
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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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`With searching eyes he studied the beautiful purple, barren waste of sage. Here was the unknown and the perilous.'The novel that set the pattern for the modern Western, Riders of the Purple Sage was first published in 1912, immediately selling over a million copies.In the remote border country of South Utah, a man is about to be whipped by the Mormons in order to pressure Jane Withersteen into marrying against her will. The punishment is halted by the arrival of the hero, Lassiter, a gunman in black leather, who routs the persecutors and then graduallyrecounts his own history of an endless search for a woman abducted long ago by the Mormons. Secrecy, seduction, captivity, and escape: out of these elements Zane Grey built his acclaimed story of the American West.

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