Friday, September 14, 2012

Riders of the Purple Sage, by Zane Grey


An excerpt of a review posted on Schaeffer's Ghost:
Riders of the Purple Sage is often listed among the best novels the Western genre has to offer. While Zane Grey’s pulp roots show through, his rich descriptions of the Utah landscape are extremely evocative, and he’s managed to create some fairly compelling characters in Jane, Lassiter, Venters, and the girl he befriends. Grey’s focus on friendship, religion, family, and even marriage (as well as the strength of his female characters) will likely endear him to fans of more romantic authors like Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë—authors whose fan base tends to skew more to the feminine side. Don’t get me wrong. There is action here (gunfights, chase scenes, etc.), but the focus here is on the indirect way the Mormons exert their power over Jane. They work behind the scenes, so confrontation rarely occurs. Indeed, Grey highlights both the cowardice and the wickedness of this oblique approach by contrasting the conniving Mormon methods with the more direct (and thus somehow less despicable) actions of the local gang of cattle rustlers.
Full review available here.

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